Disclaimer: Giles, Jack and Daniel do not belong to me, alas.
The knock on his door surprised Giles. He paused in his packing to wonder who it was. It certainly wasn’t Buffy; she had already said her piece and was blatantly ignoring him. It hurt more than he expected it too, but he was used to his Slayer breaking his heart. His feelings for her ran deep, but he was firm in his belief that leaving her was in her best interest.
Neither Willow nor Tara would have any cause to visit him, as was the case for Xander and Anya. Dawn might be stopping by to say goodbye, but Giles doubted that Buffy would allow her younger sister to be out so late. Whoever it was, they were insistent as the knock came again, louder and harder than before.
Giles walked over and opened the door to find two large men in uniform standing there. They were Marines if Giles remembered his insignias correctly. The taller of the two spoke.
“Yes, that’s me. How can I help you…,” Giles spotted the two bars on the man’s shoulder, “lieutenant?”
“We need you to come with us, sir.”
“I beg your pardon?” What on earth would the United States military want with him?
“It’s a matter of national security, sir. We can make you come by force if we have to but we’d prefer not to if at all possible.”
“I’m not gong anywhere but home, to England. Now if you don’t mind, I have packing to do.”
The silent Marine shot a hand out before Giles could close the door on them. His grip was firm enough to prevent Giles from going anywhere, but not so hard as to hurt.
“Sir, we were warned this might happen and were told to give you this.”
The lieutenant reached inside a pocket and pulled out a slip of paper. Giles took it with his free hand. The other Marine let him go so he could unfold it. It was a fax, the receiving information blacked out. It was on Council letterhead which made him wary, but a quick glance at the signature calmed him. It was from Davies, a classmate who was now head of Translations, and no friend of the current Council regime.Rupert,
Please do anything these young men ask of you. I cannot go into detail, everything will be explained to you later, I promise. They are in need of your skills old chap. The organization in question was referred to my department and I in turn referred them to you. I’m calling in that favor, Rupert. Be a good fellow and don’t let me down.
Yours in friendship,
“Well, it looks like I will be going with you gentlemen after all,” Giles sighed, giving the two a glare.
“Excellent choice, sir. You said you were packing, sir?”
“Yes, my suitcases are in the living room.”
The second Marine went in to collect his luggage and then Giles was whisked into an unmarked car and off to parts unknown.
“But…when I kissed you…you know I was thinking of Giles, right?”
As soon as Buffy said the words, the truth hit her. She had been thinking about Giles, in a round about way. He’d left, making her angry and depressed which led to her kissing…Spike. Ick. She shook herself just in time to hear Spike’s response.
“You know, I always wondered about you two.”
“Well, wonder no more,” Buffy stated, hands on her hips. “I’ve both been there and done that with the undead, Spike. Never again.”
“You had to bring up Peaches, didn’t you?” he snarled. His coat flapped as he turned away angrily. “Why does he get all the good things?”
Buffy watched as Spike stalked off, still muttering about Angel. Maybe that would keep him off her back for a while. She needed some time to think and she hoped it wasn’t too late. She set off running for home.
“IthinkIlikeGiles,” Buffy said as she skidded to a stop in Willow’s doorway.
She’d made it home in record time, feet barely touching the steps as she’d sprinted to her friend’s room. Willow looked up from the sweater she was holding, Tara’s probably, and gaped.
“I think I like Giles,” Buffy repeated, slowly and more clearly this time.
“Is that like as a friend or like as in ….?”
“As in like,” Buffy emphasized.
“Oh!” Willow brightened, her whole body coming to life. “So, tell all. Are you gonna call him and get him to come back?”
“I don’t know, maybe. That’s an awful lot of flying back and forth in short amount of time. Plus, it might be too late to do anything.” Buffy sat at the end of Willow’s bed.
“It’s never too late, Buffy. Remember what you told me about boys?”
“Seize the day,” Buffy said, thinking about that fateful night.
“Exactly,” Willow stated with a smile. “So you just pick up that phone missy and call him, no hesitating.”
“Except that I think right now, Giles is on a plane. Kind of hard for me to call him when he’s thirty thousand feet up.”
“Okay, then…then you wait, but only until you’re sure he’s gonna be at home. He did give you his phone number right?”
Buffy looked at her lap, studying the pattern on her skirt. “Yeah, I think he was hoping I’d forgive him for leaving eventually. It’s to his flat in Bath.”
Willow kept smiling; Buffy could practically see the wheels spinning in her friend’s head.
“So, his flight left Sunnydale a few hours ago. They probably stopped in Los Angeles then took off for London. It takes like twelve, thirteen hours to get there, a few more to drive to Bath, then….”
Buffy held up her hand. “I’ll call him in a couple of days, Will. That way I know for sure that I really feel what I feel and that he’ll have recovered enough from jet lag to be mad at me for being flaky.”
Willow leaned forward, taking Buffy’s hands in hers. “I’m happy for you, Buffy. You deserve it.”
After signing a stack of papers, mostly non-disclosure forms, Giles found himself twenty-eight floors underneath a mountain in Colorado Springs. He was currently sitting in what was laughingly referred to as guest quarters waiting for his guide. He’d been given full security clearance by the government and therefore was allowed to know the true nature of the facility he was in.
Giles had known about demons and vampires and the darker side of nature for as long as he could remember. He should not have been entirely surprised that evil extended into the far reaches of space. What he was astounded by was the American government’s ability to keep this fact hidden. It was apparent that the Watcher’s Council was not the only agency in the world devoted to ridding the world, or universe for that matter, of evil.
The knock on the door drew him from his thoughts. He opened the door quickly, but did not issue an invitation. One couldn’t be too careful, even in a secret government run facility.
“Rupert Giles? I’m Doctor Daniel Jackson, pleased to meet you.”
The younger man held out his hand, arm crossing the threshold without hindrance. Giles relaxed and took the offered hand.
“Likewise, I’m sure. Can you please explain to me exactly why it is that a linguist such as yourself needs my help?”
Daniel grinned and ducked his head in embarrassment.
“The Marines have been talking, haven’t they?”
Giles just nodded.
“Well, Mr. Giles….”
“Just Giles please, or Rupert.”
“Okay, Rupert, I have a working knowledge of twenty-three languages which usually suffices, but I must say this one has me stumped.”
“Can you tell me anything about it? Like what it is written on, where you found it?”
Daniel shifted, his stance a little more relaxed. “Why don’t we go to my office, it’ll be easier to explain everything there.”
“Very well, Doctor Jackson.”
“Daniel,” Giles smiled, “lead the way.”
The phone was ringing when Buffy and Willow came through the door. Buffy set down the bags of groceries to answer it.
“Summers residence, Buffy speaking.”
“Oh thank heavens. I’ve been trying to reach you for almost two hours now.”
The female voice was unfamiliar but Buffy pegged the accent as British and the tone as worried.
“I’m sorry, who are you?”
“Goodness me, I completely forgot. My name is Molly Parker; I’m Mr. Giles’ housekeeper.”
“Oh, hello, uh, how is Giles?”
“That’s just it Miss Summers. Mr. Giles never arrived. I thought perhaps he might have taken a later flight or changed his plans, but I called the airline and he never got on his plane, never even arrived at the airport. I called the Council, but that nasty Mr. Travers says he wants nothing to do with Mr. Giles. I know you and he have had your differences….”
“I’ll find him Mrs. Parker. I swear to you I’ll find him.”
The woman’s thanks were lost as Buffy severed the connection. Her heart was pounding and all she could think about was Giles.
“Buffy? What’s wrong?” Willow placed a hand on Buffy’s arm.
“Giles is missing. Willow? Can you….?”
“Of course, Buffy. Anything, I can even take us to wherever he is.”
“Thanks.” Buffy relaxed momentarily but then went immediately into combat mode. “Call Xander, tell him to watch out for
Dawn, no questions asked. I’m gonna grab some weapons.”
Willow nodded. A few minutes later they were ready, Buffy armed for anything, Willow with a handful of ingredients for quick spells. Willow chanted and smoke swirled around them. A vortex slowly opened up in front of them.
“This’ll take me to Giles?”
“Let’s go.” Buffy hefted her sword and stepped through, Willow right behind her.
“Yes, that could be what that says,” Giles said. “Pass me….” The book was in his hand and he looked up, smiling at Daniel in thanks.
They had bonded quickly over their love of languages and shared hatred of Budge. They had traded stories; Giles learning of Daniel’s quest to destroy the Goa’uld, Daniel hearing about Watchers and Slayers. Giles had almost asked Daniel if he’d moved on from his wife’s death but an interruption by one Colonel Jack O’Neill had given Giles his answer.
Giles felt a pang in his heart watching the two men. He and Buffy had once had that kind of rapport. They never would again. Giles cursed himself for a fool, but kept on working. Several hours and numerous cups of coffee later, he was ready for a break. He was about to suggest one to Daniel when klaxons sounded, lights flashed and a voice came over the loudspeaker.
“Intruders in the gate room! All security report to the gate room immediately.”
Daniel jumped up and left without a word. Giles knew he should probably stay where he was but he had clearance, maybe he could help in some way. When he got to the control room, he noticed everyone’s attention was on the room below.
“Drop your weapons and surrender now.”
Colonel O’Neill was speaking to whoever was in the gate room. He was in charge as General Hammond was in Washington on business. Giles turned and gaped at what he saw. Half a dozen Marines were lying in the ground, their weapons bent and tossed aside. Several more were aiming at the figures in the middle of the room.
His voice must have carried over the microphone because she looked up, smiling when she saw him
“You know her? O’Neill asked.
“Um, yes…Buffy is…was my Slayer.”
“Uh, Jack, we need to talk,” Daniel offered.
“Ya think?” Jack turned back to the microphone. “Boys, could you escort our…guests to some quarters. You won’t be harmed and I’ll let you talk to this guy,” he gestured to Giles, “if you go quietly.”
Buffy put down her sword and held up her hands. Willow followed suit. They walked out with the Marines and O’Neill sighed before facing both Giles and Daniel with a glare.
“Do either of you mind telling me how a teenaged girl….”
“She’s almost twenty-one actually,” Giles interrupted.
“Whatever, just tell me how in the hell she and her friend got in there and beat up some of my best men.”
“Magic,” Giles answered.
“For cryin’ out loud! Daniel?”
“Come with me, Jack and let me tell you a story, See the Earth hasn’t always….”
Daniel steered O’Neill out of the control room. Giles followed slowly afterwards, wondering when he would get to see Buffy. He had questions of his own.
Buffy knocked tentatively on the door. The Marine standing behind her was scared. She looked back at him and smiled. He took a step back. Score one for the Slayer. She released the breath she had been holding when Giles opened the door. He stepped aside and she went in.
“Thank you, major, I can take it from here,” Giles told Buffy’s escort.
“Before you ask, it was my idea, I asked Willow to find you so you can put all the blame on me, not her.” Buffy sat on the edge of the bed, ignoring the chairs at the table in the middle of the room.
“Very well, where is Willow?”
“Oh, she’s fine. I left her in a conference room with that Doctor Jackson, total hottie by the way. They were getting into a deep discussion about magic and mythology and I totally blanked out. There was another guy there, military, going gray.”
“Yeah, that sounds right. Are he and the doctor…you know? I got the feeling that….”
“Buffy,” Giles said, his voice firm. “What on earth are you doing here?”
“I was looking for you!” she nearly shouted. “I thought you were in trouble. Your housekeeper in Bath called.”
“Yeah, she said you never got on the plane.” Buffy stood, starting to pace the small room. “I didn’t think, Giles, I just reacted. I can’t lose you, I just can’t.” She was near tears.
Giles let go of his anger and concern and walked over to her, enveloping her in a hug. Buffy pressed her face into his shirt, her tiny hands gripping at it firmly. He led her back to the bed, sitting them down. His hand ran up and down her back, uttering soothing nonsense words.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t have time to call. And once I got here, I was so immersed in the work….”
“Research heaven, huh?” Buffy sniffed, pulling back and looking up at him.
“Yes, very much so. I’m sorry I worried you.”
“I’m glad Mrs. Parker called. I was gonna call you in a few days anyway. I wanted to ask you something, Giles.”
Giles sighed. He should have expected this.
“Buffy…I can’t be your Watcher again. You don’t need me anymore.”
“You’re wrong. I’ve always needed you, Giles. I just didn’t realize it. I asked you once before to be my Watcher again and you said yes without question.” Buffy took his hand in hers. “I don’t want you to be my Watcher. I don’t need a Watcher. I want you to be my partner.”
“I’m sorry, can you say that again?” Giles blinked, his heartbeat picking up, hoping.
“I love you, Giles. I’m in love with you.” She looked him right in the eye as she said this, wanting him to believe it. “I don’t want to go another second without saying that. I was kinda hoping that maybe you’d come back to Sunnydale and well….”
“We could start a relationship?”
“Yeah. I would so get it if you didn’t feel the ….”
Buffy’s words were cut off when Giles leaned down and captured her mouth with his. She wrapped her arms around him, pulling him closer. Neither of them heard the door open.
“Oh! Sorry, sorry, I’ll come back. Don’t let me stop you,” Willow squeaked, closing the door behind her with a bang.
Buffy and Giles looked at each other before laughing.
“I guess this means she’s okay with this. I wonder if the same will be said about the rest of your friends, or even Dawn,” Giles said.
“It doesn’t matter if they are or not. It’s my choice, and the best one I’ve ever made,” Buffy grinned, happier than she’d been since she’d come back. “When can we go home?”
“I’m almost done helping Daniel with his translation. A day at most. You do understand that…?”
“I can’t tell anyone about this place? Hello, Slayer here, Giles.”
“You haven’t exactly kept that fact under wraps, love.”
Buffy warmed at Giles calling her that. “My lips are sealed. Besides, who’d believe me if I told them? In fact, wasn’t there a TV show that was kind of about the SGC?”
“Plausible deniability. I’m sure that it would be okay for you and Willow to stay here for another day, the Air Force will provide us with conventional transportation back to California.”
“Good, I don’t want to let you out of my sight ever again.”
Buffy smiled and pulled him down for another kiss.