Disclaimer: I don't own Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Anita Blake
The Sunnydale survivors stared out over the newly formed crater. The air was filled with relief, a battle over, and grief, for friends lost. It was ten minutes before anyone moved. Giles was the first to turn away from the sinkhole. The rest were quick to follow. Giles took the driver's seat and waited for the rest of the kids to fill the seats on the bus. He looked back at them, there was no one without blood on their hands. Whether it was their own or someone that they had been trying to save. Everyone seemed on the verge of passing out, a few of the girls looked catatonic and specifically so did Xander. Giles shut the door once the last newly made slayer got on the bus.
As Giles began driving the bus away he felt his heart lighten despite the losses, it was like a weight was being lifted. Then the world felt like it was slipping away, he felt lightheaded. He carefully stopped the bus. He was so tired, he could barely keep his eyes open. A glance in the mirror showed that everyone was in the same state. Everyone except Dawn. That was Giles' last thought before he passed out.
It was like he was reliving his life for the first time. However while most of the people were all the same, the events were different. Some events were the same, like spending summers at his grandmother's cottage growing up, meeting a rebellious Ethan Rayne when he was 16 year old, becoming a watcher at 42 but it was all wrong. As he remembered each new detail the previous was erased as it never had been.
He remembered the first lesson he was ever taught when becoming a watcher. 'The world must never discover the true nature of the Watcher's Institute. No one, except your slayer may ever know what you are. A slayer must be kept secret. Her identity safeguarded. If the Vampire Council were to ever to discover us we will all be destroyed.'
He remembered getting the call that changed his life forever.
Giles was about to leave the museum for the night when his phone rang. He briefly thought about leaving it till tomorrow, before sighing and sitting back down. “Rupert Giles speaking.”
“Rupert it's Quentin. You've been activated. Merrick's dead.” Travers said.
“Oh dear lord. Where is she?” Giles sat straight in his chair. In the back of his mind he was already thinking of all preparations he would need to do. And a very small part, the part that had never wanted to be a watcher, was wondering why the hell Travers had finally decided to activate him when he hated his guts.
“Sunnydale. She's been outed. I except you to be there in a week's time.” Travers said before hanging up the phone.
Giles held on to the phone a moment longer before gently placing it on the cradle. He stood up, then with a surge of rage he flipped over his desk while spewing foul language. Ten minutes after calming down and assuring the night guard that he was indeed alright while helping him right his desk, Giles sat back town.
Of course there was the reason, Travers activated him. The latest slayer, Buffy Summers, was in bloody Sunnydale. He had done his graduating thesis paper on the damn town. Sunnydale was a place of such dark magic that it barely was part of this dimension. In the United States where they had legalized vampirism, Sunnydale was known as a town with no vampires. None. What a laugh. That land was warped, drawing people, vampires, demons in and changing them. People went in, they rarely came out. Sunnydale held onto people with a choke hold grip. Any person that went to Sunnydale would forget that the supernatural were real, everyone but the slayer. A witch or wizard's amount of power would be vastly different. A vampire would go and be able to be awake during the daytime. A lycan would be a savage beast ruled completely by the moon. Demons... were pretty much the same. They were still not common knowledge and had gone a long way to keep it that way. Of course if any of these beings managed to leave Sunnydale, the world would reform them back to fit the proper laws of magic.
But his vast research was not what made Travers activate him. No, it was the mark on his forearm. He had devised a spell with the help of his coven when he was 24. It was suppose to help the wearer retain his or her memories of the actual world. They weren't able to preform it until he was 26, they should have waited maybe Randall would still be alive. It wasn't until he was 32 that he perfected the spell to the best of his knowledge. No deaths and no needed ink. However the Watcher's Institute never saw the need to send any people to test his spell. Now at 42 he'd be the first test subject.
He remembered the first time he left Sunnydale. Six years he had been trapped unable to leave, not that he ever knew it. When he drove his car past the town limit, he had been forced to stop and relive his life in his head. When he woke, he simply moved his car to the side of the road and stared into space. He kept trying to understand what had happened. Vampires do not explode when you stake them, that's ridiculous. They cannot heal from holy water nor do their faces change unless of course they are of the rotting kind. Witches cannot just say latin and have fire appear. Werewolves do not look like that.
But it had all made sense when he was in Sunnydale. He even had books that supported those facts. Except some of those books, he remembered now conflicted with the Sunnydale version. Much of the history and lore was wrong. Anything that conflicted with what Sunnydale wanted people to see, it changed. Books, tv shows, even phone calls. Whatever Sunnydale was, was something more than he had ever imagined. It took him another hour of sorting through his time in Sunnydale before he was able to drive away. It would be a long time before he returned to Sunnydale, he thought. Then he got a call. Buffy was alive.
He remembered the second time he left. It was much less jarring than the first. It only took him 30 minutes before he was able to drive again. He flew back to England to his friends, his coven. Many he hadn't seen in years. It had grown since he had been gone. But they had been keeping an eye on him. His time away from Sunnydale had been refreshing. The air was dark there, what he could sense from it. Even though he had left to give Buffy time to grow he couldn't stop thinking about Sunnydale and the closest people he had to children.
He had been in his library with two of his oldest friends Deidre and Thomas. 'Two people who had not been killed by Eyghon, thanks very much for messing that memory up and sending that demon after me. Sodding hellmouth.' Giles thought to himself. He nearly bit his tongue when he felt it. Dark magic thrumming through his bones. From the look on his friends' faces they had felt something too, though to a much lesser degree.
“I need to get back to Sunnydale.” Giles stood up. “We have to do a teleportation spell.”
“Magic doesn't work like that Ripper. Not outside Sunnydale.” Deidre said.
Giles shook his head, “No something is wrong. Its power is growing. Something's feeding it. No not someone, I know that darkness. It's Willow. I have to combine natural magic with Sunnydale theory and Sunnydale will suck me back in.” He hurried out of the room.
“You don't even know what's wrong. What are you going to do?” Thomas asked as he and Deidre followed him.
He went to his room and began pulling out every talisman, cross, and good luck charm and shoving them in his pockets or hanging them around his neck. He pulled out a piece of paper, “Start chanting.” He set up four candles and stood in the center.
“Seriously?” Thomas said. Deidre had already started chanting. He joined in on the second verse.
Giles closed his eyes and followed the chain that was dug into his aura by the hellmouth. He tugged hard. For a second nothing happened. Then he was screaming in pain as Sunnydale claimed him again.
He remembered why he had to return to Sunnydale for the last time. He had been sleeping when the phone rang. “Ripper turn on the tv. I know you still have one. Turn the damn thing on and look at the news.”
Giles flung himself out of his bed at the urgency in Deidre's voice. He brought the phone with him as he turned the television. “What do you want me to see Deid-” Every news station was showing the same images. The Watcher's Institute main building was on fire. He turned up the volume.
“Tonight this building was attacked by a horde of vampires, in what appeared to be a last attempt to defend themselves the humans set the building on fire. We have yet to find who owns the building. We-”
Giles jumped slightly as the phone beeped in his hand. “Can I call you back? Someone's on the other line.” He switched to the other line. “Hello?”
“Rupert Giles? This Robson, Henry Robson.” Robson's breath was heavy through the phone. “The Council knows we exist. They're sending vampires to kill all watchers and potentials they can find. They must have gotten a hold of our files.”
“What do you need me to do?” Giles asked while he started getting dressed.
“Go back to Sunnydale. It's more than just the Council, the Dark Mother is aware of us. She's aware of her. She's sending her followers to Sunnydale. I don't know what she's trying to accomplish by going there. But it can't be good. You say it makes vampires more vicious, what will it do to the first vampire?” Robson said.
“But our files says she's asleep.”
“Something's been trying to wake her up. Listen I've got three potentials with me. Take them with you to Sunnydale. I'll send anymore I can find there. There's a dark power that's been rising in Sunnydale. People have been able to leave freely. It's no longer considered a vampire free town. Whatever is rising there needs to be stopped.” Robson said. He rattled off his address before hanging up.
Giles grabbed his bag and keys and headed out the door thinking, 'How was Buffy going to be to handle the first vampire when she's fueled by the hellmouth?'
Giles laid slumped over the steering wheel for a moment longer. The First, the Dark Mother, had been trying to leash legions of vampires on the world. And they hadn't even defeated her. All they had done was destroyed whatever dark magic had been fueling Sunnydale. Already he felt his magic returning, like it always did once he was free of the town's hold. 'Oh God,' he thought, 'how will being free of Sunnydale affect my kids? They think we've won.'