Of Swords and Stakes and Getting Older
March 8, 2005 6:59 PM
A small shuffle made Giles look up from his book. He saw Buffy leaning against the doorjamb. He smiled back at her, and introduced Commander Bond to his bookmark.
"Hello, Buffy." He slid his legs off of the sofa, and sat up.
Buffy slowly walked in and sat on the arm of one of the armchairs in the seating arrangement. She slid back until she was sitting sideways in the chair. "Watcha reading?"
Buffy looked around with wide eyes. "Who the hell was that? And why did they shush me?"
"Willow has a charm of some kind on this room," Giles responded. "It responds a certain decibel of noise by shushing the occupants."
The slayer crossed her arms in a pout. "We're in a library. I never got shushed at the library in high school."
"Yes, well, that was because it was -- A -- almost always empty, and -- B -- MY Library."
He rolled his eyes.
Buffy grinned at him. "Looks like it's Will's library now. Someone's been de-librarianized. And I just made up a new word."
"Yes, well, it's good to know that you still have the ability to completely massacre the English Language. As for the Library... I may just have to reassign it to someone else. The shushing is getting rather old."
"You know what else is getting old?" she asked with a frown, not waiting for his response. "Me. That's what the baby slayers are calling me. The old one
. I'm not even 30! You're the old one, not me!"
Giles looked less than impressed. He had an eyebrow raised.
"Don't look at me like that!" Buffy snapped. "I'm not
old. This gig was nice at the beginning, with all the slayers looking to me for guidance, but if there's not an apocalypse, let's just put Buffy on the shelf to collect dust."
Giles continued to look less than impressed. He considered offering her a shovel so that she could dig herself in even deeper. Instead, his other eyebrow went up.
Buffy rolled her eyes. "Giles, this is when you're supposed to tell me I'm being stupid and childish and that I'm not old."
"Ditto," he responded. "At least about that last bit."
"Giles!" she growled out.
"Oh shut up
!" she snapped into the empty room, and surprisingly, it remained quiet.
Buffy burrowed into the chair more. "So even you've put me on a shelf? I'm getting restless, Giles. There's only so much I can teach and watcher and monitor."
He sighed. "No, Buffy. I was attempting to point out that I am not old, but I have been relegated to a desk as well."
"When did we become the non-needed Buffy and Giles? They've always needed us. The only time you weren't needed was when I was dead." Buffy scrunched up her nose. "Do you think we can get Xander to conjure another singing demon? Just so we can say we know what to do?"
"I don't think that would be wise. Perhaps we can do something less... damning."
"All I have is a tap dancing demon."
"When was the last time that we all went on patrol, or killed a demon lord, or closed a hellmouth?"
Buffy had to think, and that in and of itself was sad. Back in Sunnydale, the answer had always been 'last Tuesday'. "The biggest thing was helping out in L.A., I think. Besides that, I helped put down a nest the other week, but I didn't even break a sweat. Is there even a hellmouth nearby?"
"Stonehenge, but the druids took care of that with the standing stones," Giles responded. "The nearest active one that I can think of is in Vladivostok, but nobody ever tries to open that one. The Russians got very
upset when Hitler tried, and word got around."
She had to laugh at the crazy turn in conversation. "Can you believe we're actually looking for a hellmouth to fight against? Spend seven years dreading it and the moment we're away we miss it. How ridiculous are we?"
Giles neglected to answer her question in favor of not sounding any more ridiculous than he already did. Instead, he said, "Perhaps we should schedule ourselves some patrol time." He smiled ruefully. "Start back small, as it were."
Buffy snorted, but she could see what he meant. "That sounds cool. Do we get an audience or will it be like old times where you bitch about my form, get attacked, and I save you with said bad form?"
"I would prefer to avoid concussions. Plus, I'm quite a bit better at it than I used to be. I have honed my swordplay, and if all else fails, the stone circle gave me some tips on lighting things on fire."
"Now you sound like Draco. Should I be worried? Is he going to be Randy Giles Jr?"
Buffy had a flashback to her slayer dream where Spike was wearing a tweed suit and was going to become a watcher. She shook her head to dispel the image.
Giles just chuckled. "Well, the 'Lumos Maximus' charm is a bit beyond my reach at the moment, so no large orb of daylight. I suppose that I could come up with some spell that would cut off something's head, but I'm afraid of what the cost might be. I'm not looking forward to what the cost will be from the fire spell... I picked that one up from Granny, and she warned me of what would happen afterward."
He cleared his throat, and he forced his disposition to lighten significantly. "But swords and stakes... No consequences there."
"Yeah," Buffy said with a grin, "Unless the pointy end is coming towards you."
"Yes, well... That's where the training comes in. I now know where the pointy bits are supposedly meant to go."
"So some good ol' patrol. I'm actually looking forward to it. How sad is that?"
"There, there," Giles said, opening his book back up. "I'm sure that you'll get over it."