Two Fingers of WhiskeyAuthor:
Post Graduation Warning:
Not a Buffy friendly ficCategory(s):
Companion piece to my story ‘Blackmail Is Such A Dirty Word’ – What happened after the lawyer left having informed Giles and Joyce of Xander’s death and what they receive from his estate.Disclaimer:
If I owned the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series, Xander would have been the star but I don’t so we had to suffer with She Who Lays Vampires. Also I don’t own StarGate SG-1 even though we don’t see them in this fic, they are part of this series universe. And finally I don’t make any money from this fic and if I did the true owners of the universes I’m playing in would sue me for everything I own and don’t own.Bad Author Notes:
So many people just love
my portray of Buffy in my fic that my Muse just demand to write a companion piece to the story. No Xander or SG-1 in this fic, sorry
Thanks to Aewnaur for letting me steal and modify one of my favorite lines from The Chronicles of Riddick: The Underverse. Also Thanks Vo for the 'A corpse is a corpse' saying. It fits perfectly
It was five minutes after 6 when there was a knock on the door. Opening the door, Giles found a trim man with light brown hair which was going grey standing there.
"Mr. Bond?" the man asked with a smirk. "Mr. James Bond?"
"Ah Velma… Velma Dinkley, if I'm not mistaken," Giles said with an almost Ripper like grin.
The man shook his head. "I wondered were Xander got his sense of humor."
"I believe he won it from a packet of crisps," Giles said in a haughty tone of voice.
"I can believe that," 'Velma' replied. "His sense of humor always seemed to be something out of a box of Cracker Jacks."
”Indeed," Giles said with a smirk.
"So, Mr. Giles," the man said, "may I come in or are we going to talk about everything out in public as the sun sets?"
Giles stepped away from the doorway.
"I know, never invite anyone in," the man said as he stepped into Giles' apartment.
Giles closed the door behind 'Velma' only to find the man facing Joyce, who was tapping her foot impatiently, her arms crossed over her chest.
"Xander always said that the most dangerous things in Sunnydale wasn't the vampires or the demons, it was an upset woman, especially the ones he knew," 'Velma' commented then turned to look at Giles. "Couldn't you have warned me that I was about to die today?"
"In Sunnydale, its every man for himself," Giles said as he walked past 'Velma' and out of Joyce's range.
"Do you know that every night my daughter and her friends go out and patrol this town while the military doesn't nothing, Mister…" Joyce said.
"Pierce, ma'am, Colonel Pierce and we couldn't actively help them," 'Velma' replied.
"And why not Colonel Pierce," Joyce growled.
"The U.S. Military is not allow to openly operate on U.S. soil without an act of Congress and presidential order," Pierce explained. "And honestly I don't want some of the members of Congress to learn about vampires and demons. I would be afraid that someone would declare that killing the bad ones are against their constitutional right. That vampires are really harmless kittens that we should invite into our homes while ignoring all the screaming, blood-shed and death," Pierce answered
"If that is so, then why is the military monitoring the going on in Sunnydale?" Giles asked.
"During World War 2, President Roosevelt formed a government agency that was tasked with to monitor and study supernatural beings since there were indications that the Nazis were trying to figure out a way to use them against us. After the war, the agency’s mission was downgraded to tracking and monitoring in order to determine if any of these beings would become a threat to the American government," Pierce explained. "My team was assigned to investigate Sunnydale after those who were sent in previously had either vanished or died under mysterious circumstances. Xander happened upon my team when we were getting out our as… behinds handed to us by some vampires."
"And you struck up a friendship," Joyce’s tone of voice saying she didn't exactly believe him.
"In a sense. Xander realized that we were missing critical information about this town and it's inhabitants and we noticed Xander's lack of training and confidence," Pierce explained. "After a time Xander became our man on the inside. He was able to alert us when a threat might be more than your daughter's small group could handle for example the Mayor."
"I don't seem to remember seeing the military at graduation," Giles commented.
"We were there, Mr. Giles," Pierce replied. "If Xander's plan had failed, we had orders to destroy the town with extreme prudence."
"Which means?" Joyce asked.
"A small tactical nuclear strike," Pierce admitted.
Giles gasped. "That could have opened the Hellmouth!"
Pierce shook his head. "We believed that the odds were in our favor. The Major would have pulled a great deal of energy from the Hellmouth, weakening it. And with it being underground we were hopeful that it won't disturb it."
"I think I need a drink," Joyce said softly.
"I'll join you," Giles added in.
Giles poured two fingers with of whiskey into three glasses. Handing one to Joyce, Giles offered Pierce a glass before gulping down his own.
"Xander wanted me to contact you if he died," Giles studied his empty glass.
Pierce nodded his head. "He trusted you to take his place," he replied simply. "He knew someone had to be here to sound the alarm if it looked like the gates of Hell were about to open."
"My duty is to my Slayer," Giles said.
Pierce nodded his head. "And I understand that but your duty is also to the world. We're only asking that you alert us if you think what she's going to face… if you don't think she'll be able to defeat the next Angelus, the next Mayor."
"And when Buffy falls," Joyce said solemnly.
"We hope that Faith will be able to take her place," Pierce replied.
"Faith!" Giles said in shock.
Pierce nodded his head. "Before graduation Xander found out where Faith was at and alerted me. We moved her to a secure location and now waiting for her to come out of her coma."
"I don't think you understand how dangerous Faith is, Colonel Pierce," Giles said. "She's killed before."
"Oh, I know all about Deputy Mayor Finch's death and how she ran to Mayor Wilkins for protection from the Watcher Council," Pierce replied.
"Do you know she nearly killed Xander and she has in fact killed for Mayor Wilkins," Giles replied.
"Yeap," Pierce replied before taking a sip of his drink. "I'm also smart enough to look at the whole picture. You have a girl, younger than your Slayer, Mr. Giles, whose life was in hell. She never had the support of a loving family growing up. She grow up learning that she has to do what she can for herself cause no one else will ever help her. Then someone came into her life and that person cared for her only to have that person killed before Faith's eyes. So she runs to the only people she hopes will help and support her and her duty only to find disinterest and neglect."
"I say!" Giles said in outrage. "I have never neglected any of my charges."
"You're right, you have never neglected your charge but Faith was never your charge," Pierce replied. "And neither was Xander."
Pierce took another swallow from his glass. "I honestly think that if Angel hadn't interfered Faith would never had gone to the Mayor."
"Or Xander would have been dead," Giles countered.
"I doubt that. Faith needed someone to be there for her to support her," Pierce said. "Both Xander and I believe that she would have stopped herself before she could permanently harm Xander."
Giles shook his head. "And I think your trust in Faith to be unfounded after all the girl did lie about her part in Finch's death. She claimed that Buffy killed Finch."
"Yes, Buffy does bear the greater responsibility for Finch's death," Pierce said. "After all Buffy is the senior Slayer and she was the one who threw Finch at Faith during the battle without warning the other girl. Why did she throw him towards Faith instead of out of the fight?"
"That is enough from both of you," Joyce snapped at the men before Giles could reply to Pierce's latest comment. "What you're fighting over is history and it can't be changed. Faith did kill Finch but it was an accident and Buffy did play a part in his death. And as for Faith turning to the Mayor… well we all played a part in that. I should have questioned were she was staying and how she was paying for her own care. I could have offered her a room in my home but I didn't."
"And as you said dear lady, that is the past and we can't change it," Pierce tried to comfort Joyce.
"No but we can make sure her future is bright," Joyce said after taking a calming breath. "So what exactly
does the military have planned for her?"
Pierce swirled the amber colored liquid in his glass before swallowing it in one gulp. "First she has to wake up if she ever does. I know Slayers are hard to kill and they heal fast but the doctors aren't sure that she'll ever come out of the coma. When she comes out of the coma we have some psychologists on hand who are used to men and women who have been on the battle ground and have been prisoners of war."
"I would hardly consider Faith to have been a prisoner of war," Giles commented. "Besides how do you plan to keep her long enough for your psychologist to help her? Most likely the girl will escape at the first opportunity."
"The Cruciamentum serum," Pierce said simply.
"The drug the Giles gave Buffy?" Joyce gasped.
"How did you get that?" Giles demanded.
"Xander gave it to me," Pierce replied with a smirk.
"Xander… How… How did he get that?" Giles sputtered.
With a cat that ate the canary grin, Pierce said, "You gave it to him."
"It turns out that if you're distracted by a new book or item, you'll answer almost any question without realizing it," Pierce replied.
Joyce started to giggle as Giles stared at Pierce in shock. "He's right, Rupert."
"Yes. Well…" Giles took his glasses off to polish the lens. "And after she's been rehabilitated then what?"
Pierce shrugged his shoulders. "Help her with her duty, of course. While Sunnydale will remain under Buffy's protection there are other places that could use their own Slayer."
"And yet you're not willing to aid my daughter in her duty," Joyce commented.
Pierce sighed weary. "Ms. Summers, Faith for the most part will be conscripted, drafted. It will be a way for her to pay for her crimes against humanity while continuing on in her duties. If Faith is alive when your daughter finally falls then it will be her duty to return to this town and guard the Hellmouth."
"And if Buffy falls before Faith is ready to return to duty, then what?" Giles asked.
Pierce held out his empty glass towards Giles, who looked lost for a moment before refilling it.
Pierce looked down at the amber liquid that once again filled his glass before taking a big gulp of said liquid. "Those in command have decided that if Buffy should fall that the needs of the world outweigh the hope of Faith recovery and the return of duty."
"Which means exactly?" Giles asked
"Nothing worse than what your Council plans for the girl if they get their hands on her," Pierce replied. "At least we can promise it would be quick and painless."
"I think I need another drink," Joyce held out her empty glass to be refilled.
Giles nodded his head in agreement as he refilled Joyce's glass then is own.
"So… do they know?" Pierce asked.
"Do Buffy and Willow know about Xander's death?" Pierce asked.
Giles shook his head and Joyce said softly, "No. Not yet."
Pierce took a slip from his glass before setting it down on the table. "You going to tell them?"
Joyce and Giles share a look between them before Joyce said, "Last time Buffy was over for dinner she was complaining about how she running low on stakes and wondering when Xander would be back to make her more."
Giles sighed wearily. "Buffy is… she can become rather focused about certain things in her life to the detriment of others."
Joyce snorted. "What Rupert is trying to politely say is that my daughter is spoiled."
"Yes. Quite," Giles admitted.
"But she's not. She's not really spoiled," Joyce said. "I mean she is spoiled, all children are but she's not spoiled like some children are. She's not like those children who cause a car accident while drunk or high on something and then blame the other car for the accident while waiting for their mommy or daddy to clean up the mess."
"I've seen one or two of those in the military," Pierce admitted, "usually after the Judge gives them the choice of jail time or the military. Some of them actually get their lives straightened out but most wash out quickly. Of course those who wash out don't understand they have to then go to jail then again they never understood what they did wrong in the first place."
Joyce smiled sadly. "I almost wis… it would be nice if being spoiled was Buffy's only problem but she has mental issues too."
"Joyce?" Giles said in confusion, his brow furrowed.
"Buffy… Buffy's not well," Joyce admitted. "She's… after she burned down the gymnasium at Hemery High… I thought it was that sure she just fallen in with the wrong crowd. I thought we could start a new life here. And then I found out the truth and I really truly had to take a look at who and what my child was and I realize that she was not a well person."
"Joyce," Giles said as he took one of Joyce's hands in his. "I don't understand."
"Did Xander ever tell you how Buffy treated him, Colonel Pierce?" Joyce asked.
Pierce nodded his head. "He might have mentioned it once or twice."
"I witnessed it once. And when I spoke about it she said that he was normal. Xander hunted with her, he helped her and because he was normal
he was useless to her," Joyce explained. "She looks at people and judges them on how useful she thinks they can be to her. She doesn't judge them on who or what they can do but what they can do for her."
Joyce took a sip from her glass. "You can see it in how she treats Willow too and how Willow responds to it. It's like they feed off of each other, remind themselves how special they are and how ordinary everyone else is."
"Xander is… was everything a mother could want for her daughter," Joyce said. "He was handsome and kind. He was polite, supportive and loyal. He supported Buffy; he helped her with her duties. He would have been there to the very end; he would have died for her and she fell in love with a corpse."
"Vampire," Giles corrected automatically.
"He's a corpse that walks around," Joyce replied. "My daughter is a necrophiliac. She fell in love and had sex with it."
"A corpse is a corpse of course, of course, and no one can talk to a corpse of course. Unless of course the name of the corpse is the incredible Mr. Angel," Pierce said. See the confused looks from Joyce and Giles, Pierce shrugged his shoulders and said, "Xander."
Joyce snorted. "That does seem to be Buffy's excuse for him, doesn’t it. The incredible Mr. Angel."
"In all fairness, Angel did help fight the forces of darkness," Giles pointed out.
Joyce snorted. "And so did Xander and yet he was treated like a puppy who had an accident on the carpet," she said. "I love my daughter but I am ashamed of her. I am ashamed by how she treats those who try to help. I am ashamed about how she treats her duty as a Slayer. I know she never wished to be the Slayer," Joyce snorted, "No one in their right mind would want to be the Slayer but Buffy… she wants all the benefit, all the respect that goes with the title of Slayer but she sees her duty as an inconvenience."
"She is a teenager," Giles pointed out.
Pierce snorted. "And yet Xander rose to the occasion were Buffy faltered and he was a teenager too."
"Yes… well that is the type of person Xander is… or was," Giles commented.
Pierce made an agreeing noise. "So that returns us back to the big question of the day. Will you take Xander's place, be our inside man, Mr. Giles?"
"My duty is to my Slayer," Giles answered.
"And mine is to my men, my country and to the world," Pierce replied.
Giles started at Pierce for a moment before nodding his head. "For whatever reason Xander trusted you so I will honor his last request but make no mistake Colonel if I feel you or your men are a threat to any of my children, I will
"Of that I have no doubt, Mr. Giles," Pierce replied. "I would go as far to say that if we were ever to become a threat to your team and the world, I'm sure that Xander would find a way to return from wherever he is to help you."