Note: Just for the Merlin fan's here. What I'm talking about here hasn't happened in the series so there are no spoilers.
It was so quiet for a moment that you could hear a needle fall to the ground.
Buffy, looking at the shocked faces of the stranger and her watcher, broke the silence, "Giles?"
"Uhh," mumbled Giles and, ignoring Buffy, he said into the direction of the stranger, "Merlin? What a surprise. I thought you were dead, because I never heard or read anything about you after the fall of Camelot."
Willow interrupts the stranger who just wanted to start talking, "Camelot?Merlin?Gilesyoudon'twanttosaythathisistherealMerlinwillyou?BecausetherealMerlinsmustbedeadandtheguydoesn'tlooklikeheishundredsofyearsold.."
"Breathe, Willow breathe," Buffy interrupted the babble fest Willow had started. "Merlin, as in the wizard Merlin or were your parents just cruel to name you after a fish?"
Merlin looked at Buffy, smiled and answered, "To that I have just one thing to say. BUFFY!"
Before Buffy had a chance to answer, he turned to Giles again, "No, you wouldn't have. After Arthur died I turned into a hermit for a hundred years or so. After I gave up that life style I wandered through England for while and hearing the growing Legend about King Arthur and myself, I decided it would be better to take another name. And what about you? How can you be alive? The dragon roasted you after he got finally free, which was so not my fault."
"No, it wasn't. I never should have imprisoned him in the first place, but I was so blinded by my hatred against magic at the time, I made so many errors in regards of handling magic and things around it. I still cannot believe I never realized you were a wizard, even after you saved Arthur so many times. This in hindsight was better, as I would have executed you for sure. I'm still alive, because the dragon didn't really kill me with his fire. He cursed me."
Merlin, Willow and Buffy looked astonished at Uther/Giles.
After a few moments Merlin and Willow asked at the same time. "He cursed you? How?"
Giles looked at Merlin and the two girls for a moment and then he replied, "He cursed me with immortality and believe me, it is a curse and not a gift."
While Willow and Buffy looked still astonished at Giles, Merlin just nodded in agreement and then Giles continued. "As you can surely guess Merlin, that wasn't all. The fire of the dragon didn't kill me, as I said before, but it hurt me quite well. I spent nearly sixty years in a magical coma until I was healed again. After that I wandered a bit around the Isle and after a while I realized what had happened to me. Sixty years had gone by and the land was in chaos. The Pendragon line died with my son, or at least I thought so at that time, and there was a civil war going on for quite a while, as you will have seen for yourself."
Merlin just nodded.
"I was first thinking about trying to reunite the Kingdom again, but after a grandson of one of my former allies put a sword through my gut, I gave up on that plan. It took me awhile to get up to my feet again and after I was whole, I started to wander around and after 20 years, during which I finally noted that I wasn't aging, the dragon found me and explained my curse to me."
Merlin looked up and asked, "What did he say?"
"He told me that for my crimes against magic and her people I was cursed from then on to help those with magic in need, until Arthur returns from Avalon in the Kingdom's greatest need. I could have pleaded for mercy, but at that time I was still too proud and too much of my former hatred regarding all things magical was still with me. It took me quite a while to overcome that.
Later my restlessness brought me to a small village in Scotland just after dark. There I met a small tiny girl who was fighting off a gang of brutes. I quickly drew my sword and just as I wanted to rush in to help her, one of the brutes suddenly exploded into a cloud of dust.
As you can guess that was my first meeting with a slayer and the first dusting of a vampire I had seen. I was so surprised about this, that I stopped my rush for a moment, in which the girl fought of another one who exploded into dust as well. Then I remembered a few tales Gaius had told me about creatures called vampires and so I raised my sword again and stormed in to help the girl. I quickly beheaded the first brute, which exploded into dust as well. Together we quickly got rid of the rest of those brutes, but sadly it looked like I came a bit to late. The girl had received quite a heavy wound before I came and had lost too much blood already.
While I tried to do anything I could to save her, she told me her story and about the watchers. Then a short while later she died in my arms and somewhere another poor girl was called to the fate of the slayers. I searched the whole village, but it looked like the vampires had already killed everyone in it. Because I didn't know much about vampires at that time, I feared all of the villagers would rise soon as vampires as well and so I build a huge funeral pyre. That took me quite a while.
While I put everybody I could find on it, I found the body of a man who wasn't dressed the same as the locals. On him I found a diary. I quickly looked into it and it seemed like I had found the watcher of the poor girl. I hauled him on the pyre as well and then put a torch on it. To honor the poor girl, I build her an extra pyre and then gave her to the flames as well. After that I quickly left the village and put a few miles behind me. There I made camp and after sleeping a while I studied the diary. After that I traveled to Londinium where the Watchers had their base."
Buffy, who was caught in the tale, looked up and asked, "Londinium?"
Willow quickly said, "That was the Roman name for London."
Giles and Merlin nodded to that.
"Why didn't you say so then Giles?" Buffy complained.
"Because at that time, it was still called Londinium," Giles replied.
"Humpff...," Buffy added.
"What happened next? "Willow asked.
"Over the next centuries I joined the Watchers from time to time and I tried everything I could to help the slayers. Sadly, the council had gone quite downhill since that time and there wasn't much I could do about that. So I just tried to help the Slayers when I could and in the time between I helped out with a lot of other magical problems wherever help was needed."
"But how did your fall to the chaos magic and the whole Ripper episode with Ethan?" Willow asked.
Giles smiled at that, not surprised that Willow caught that hole in the story. "Simple Willow, it all happened as you know it with one small change. Rupert ‘Ripper' Giles fell into even deeper black magic after the whole Eyghon incident where one of his ‘friends' died and to make that story short, I killed him while he tried to summon another demon and took his place."
Merlin just nodded at that. He already had guessed something like that had happened.
Willow and Buffy just looked in shock at Giles.
Both tried to say something several times, but didn't come up with anything.
Suddenly the door to Library opened behind him without all of them noticing it and then they heard a well known voice. "Uhh guys..What's with the fish expressions? Did I miss something?" Xander asked into the round.