Disclaimer: Don't own or claim rights to Buffy or TFATF~~~~~
Rupert Giles absently reached to answer the phone. “Library,” he murmured.
“That Rupert Giles?” the man on the other end asked.
Giles' distraction vanished at the sound of that voice. He didn't know who it belonged to, but the tone was familiar. Whoever was calling was someone who was used to being in charge, someone … dominant. Someone he used to be.
“Rupert Giles speaking,” he admitted cautiously.
“Name's Dom Toretto. Xan ever mention me to you?”
“You're his cousin, in LA,” Giles nodded. “He always lights up when he speaks of you. I'm glad that he has family that cares for him.”
“He's family, it's what you do. Even if he wasn't, he's a good kid. Got a good heart.”
“That he does. So how may I help you today?”
“Boy told me about that little incident last week. Told me a lot about what goes on up there.”
Giles felt a chill go through him. “Exactly how much has he told you?”
“I know about you and your girl,” the other man offered. “Don't be hard on him. He needs someone to talk to, someone he can trust, someone not there. You want him to talk to the girls about how he nearly raped his best friend?”
“Dear Lord,” Giles murmured. He shook his head. “He could always talk to me,” he argued.
“You're a Brit,” the other man countered, and Giles could hear the humour in his voice. “I'm sure you're all cuddly and shit. Boy needs someone who'll listen. Someone he knows, who knows him. He's known me longer than you, trusts me to always be family, always back him.” There was a pause before he went on. “I can keep secrets, okay? I get that you need to be quiet about all this shit, and I'm the only one he talks to. It's a big thing you're doing there, not something I ever want to have to do. It's dangerous in ways I never got into, and I admire you for that. Thing is, boy don't have any skills. He's sixteen, and he ain't never learned how to fight. We fuck around here, but it's nothing you want to use against anything … you know.”
“Quite,” Giles murmured, not quite sure if he liked where the conversation was heading.
“Like I told Xan, I got plans. But I need to know what you're going to do about it.”
“About … what, precisely?” Giles asked, puzzled.
“Training him,” Dom replied, and Giles rather thought he could hear a sneer in the man's voice.
“Er, well, I'm not really supposed to train, well, others,” Giles offered.
“Really,” Dom asked sourly. “So you can take on kids, but you can't train them?”
“I'm not supposed to allow Willow and Xander anything to do with … what we do.”
“Well, if you're not supposed to let them join you, but you do, how about you do something about training them, too. You got to know how dangerous this is. They could get killed. This is my family we're talking about, so I want to know what you're going to do to keep him safe. And don't tell me you're going to tell him to step back, 'cause you know that's never going to happen.”
“No,” Giles murmured, thinking of the stubbornness of the boy, “quite.”
“So what are you going to do about it?” the younger man demanded.
“Well...” Giles considered his response. “What would you like me to do about it?”
“I want you to teach the boy. I want you to make it so that he has every chance of surviving high school. Fuck, man. He's in high school, for fuck's sake. He should be worrying about grades and shit like that. I should be thinking of teaching him how to handle bullies, not worrying about vampires! There's got to be something you can do!”
“I can train him,” Giles decided. “I can teach him the rudiments of the trade. But it's not something that happens quickly. It, it takes years to make a Watcher,” Giles warned.
Dom scoffed. “I don't want him to be no Watcher. I want him to survive. Can you do that? Do you think you can manage that?”
“I, yes. Yes, I can do that. Does he understand it will mean extra work?”
“Don't know. But we'll make him understand.”
“And school work. He is not a stupid child. My training him will be contingent on him maintaining an appropriate grade average.”
There was silence for a long moment. “Contingent? Jeez,” the other man chuckled. “You shouldn't use words like that on me. I ain't a Brit like you, you know. Okay. Alright. Xan has to make his grades to be allowed to play. I want him to do well, so that's okay. And if you have a problem with it, I'll talk to the boy.”
“Good. Thank you. It will actually work out for me, too,” Giles conceded.
“Yes. Well, if you can imagine how it is for someone like me to have to spar with a teenaged girl who is strong enough to make vampires quail, then you will understand why I am so willing to have someone else trained up to help out.”
Dom snorted. “Yeah. 'Cause being beat up by a girl is good for a boy's ego.”
“If I can withstand it, Xander will just have to, also,” Giles pronounced austerely.
Dom chuckled. “I don't mind you, Brit,” he decided. “You ever need help with your car, give me a call.”
Giles smiled. “Thank you. I do appreciate it, and I am very glad Xander has someone who actually cares about him. I was beginning to get a little concerned about his family.”
Dom snorted again. “Yeah,” he muttered sourly. “Less said about them the better. At least they ain't getting between me and the boy.”
Giles looked up with the teenaged trio wandered into the library, chatting. “Ah, Xander,” he greeted. “Just the person I was wanting to see. It would appear that your grades are about to take a turn for the better.”