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Expiration Date

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Summary: Everything has an expiration date. Even souls. Written for the 2010 August Fic-a-Day.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Supernatural > Giles-CenteredkerrykhatFR131696231,1382 Aug 102 Aug 10Yes
Disclaimer: Joss Whedon owns "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and related characters; Eric Kripke owns "Supernatural" and related characters. I own nothing.

Rupert Giles never told Willow the real reason why he was so angry when he discovered the spell she had attempted to bring Buffy back. The spell never would have worked, but it didn’t mean that there weren’t consequences to her rash actions. No, the real reason he was upset was that he was the source of Buffy’s resurrection, of forcing her to claw her way out of her coffin after being torn from Heaven and thrust back onto this plane of existence.

Rupert had never told anybody of his desperate search to find a way to bring the young woman he considered the closest thing he had to a daughter back to life. He had followed every possible lead, looked into every book that he owned to try and find a solution. He had almost given up hope when he had stumbled upon a reference to a crossroads demon. Doing his best not to fan the spark of hope that had appeared in his chest, he continued his research on the flight back to England from Sunnydale. By the time he landed at Heathrow, he had made up his mind to summon a demon in one last, desperate attempt to save Buffy from what he assumed was a hell dimension.

Ten years. Ten more years of life, after which his soul belonged to Hell. That’s what the demon offered him in return for Buffy’s life. He had accepted the offer without a second thought. And, despite what had transpired because of his actions, he could not bring himself to regret them. Buffy was alive again, and that’s what mattered.

“Hello, Ripper.” The voice echoed through his darkened office as Rupert stepped inside. His hand, which had been reaching for the light switch, froze. There should be nobody in his office at this hour at night. Not only that, but how had this person managed to get inside without triggering any of the alarm spells protecting the Council Headquarters? By the sound of the voice, it wasn’t Ethan, but other than the use of his former nickname, he had no bloody idea who it could be.

“Who are you?” he demanded, his voice dropping to a low growl. A figure detached itself from the shadows and walked towards him. Rupert could faintly discern the outlines of the man’s face, but his identity was still unknown. “How did you get in here.”

“The name’s Crowley,” the man said. “And I have my ways of getting about. I don’t want to give up all my secrets, though.”

“What do you want?” Rupert asked, stepping closer to the man, trying to cow him into submission.

“You have one year left, Ripper,” Crowley told him, an amused look on his face at Rupert’s attempts at intimidation. “I’m just here to remind you to get your affairs in order. Wouldn’t want you to leave a mess of them when we take your soul.”

A chill ran down Rupert’s spine. One year... How had his time run out so quickly. Crowley smirked at him, obviously enjoying Rupert’s reaction.

“I’ll be seeing you around, “ Crowley said, walking closer to where Rupert was standing. “And I wouldn’t go around trying to break your agreement. You wouldn’t want to kill your little Slayer again, now would you?” The next instant, Crowley vanished, leaving a shaken Rupert alone in his office.

“Giles? Is everything OK?” Buffy’s voice called out from the end of the hallway to the Slayer dormitories. “I thought I heard voices.”

“I’m fine, Buffy,” he answered, trying to calm his shaking voice. “It’s nothing.”

“You sure?” she asked, not sounding convinced.

“If something somehow managed to breach our wards, you’d be the first to know,” he replied, somewhat sharper than expected. She was silent for a moment before walking angrily down the hall. Letting out the breath he hadn’t been aware he was holding in, he finally flicked the lights on and slowly made his way to his desk. Collapsing into his chair, he held his head in his hands and tried to calm himself down.

One year. Dear Lord, he only had one year left before Hell came to claim his soul.

The End

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