Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Merlin the tv series. All rights remain.
Summary: Giles needs to use a magic item in an alternate past. So, enter the dreaded exchange portal. Only, they don't get a demon in place of their favorite Watcher, and frankly, Willow would have preferred the demon.
Author's notes: I'm sure this storyline has been done before. Just a bit of half-crackish rambling. Set post S7 Buffy, early Merlin. Playing with the idea of the portal exchange introduced in "Get it Done" and in the comic arch "Time of Your Life." ~700 words
Willow decided she would have preferred the demon. Sure, the first four times, it had kind of been entertaining to hear the Giles look-alike threaten her with an old fashion burning at the stake. By threat of execution number five, though, the concept of their favorite Watcher having a somewhat evil/totally rude doppleganger no longer held any appeal.
Buffy sat across the room, holding her head up on one palm and looking entirely bored with the whole not being able to slay the being that had come out of the portal dilemma. Him being this annoying and still human? Entirely unfair.
Willow had thought about spending the time wisely, interviewing the king about his time period, learning all she could about the mythical Camelot… She'd even tried asking him about Merlin, to which he'd looked confused and asked what this had to do with his son's servant boy. Talk about your strange alternate dimensions. Willow had quickly changed the subject with a muttered, "Sorry, wrong Merlin."
"You will release me, you traitorous harlot!" he snapped at Buffy. He tried to sit up, and failed, the chains wrapped around him keeping him against the floor. "If you do not," he spat, "the army of Camelot will come for me, and, I assure you, your sex will not save you from a most painful death."
Willow frowned in sympathy at her friend.
Buffy rolled her eyes, glancing down at the "king." She scooped up the crown that had rolled off of his head, running a finger along the detailed metalwork. "Lord Spittle, has it even occurred to you that, if we were really scary-evil Big Bads, we'd probably have killed you already?"
Logic, of course, didn't have a place here.
Giles the Hateful, who claimed to be the legendary King Uther, tightened his jaw in response to the question, raising his head in an attempt to look dignified. "My son will never give into your demands, sorceress. There is no room for negotiation when it comes to your vile dark magicks. The only possible way to deal with your kind is eradication."
Willow could almost taste the spell on the tip of her tongue. Would it really mess with the portal exchange if he went back missing a little piece? Or, hey, she could always just stick it in his pocket after making it fall off…
She was two seconds away from taking action when there was a flash in the room, the portal sucking in their captive. Giles remained where Uther had lain, swallowing in deep breaths at the sudden dimensional shift. He blinked up at the two girls.
"Well, that was rather odd," he said, pulling his glasses free from his top pocket and giving them a swipe. "The good news is, I found the codex and was able to translate--huh."
He was cut off by a sudden lack of oxygen. Buffy and Willow hugged him tightly, desperately.
"We missed you," Buffy said.
"Don't ever change," Willow added.
Giles patted them gently, a small smile on his face. "Yes, I gathered who I had been replaced with somewhat quickly," he laughed. "I take it King Uther was just as bad as I surmised?"
They nodded against his chest.
"Worse," Willow assured. She pulled away, upset. "And so anti-magic, Giles! It was sad--I'd always thought Camelot was all progressive with its equality and…and…"
"Round table," Buffy chirped.
Giles frowned. "Yes, I'm afraid the Camelot I arrived in was somewhat different from the place of legend."
Willow pouted, looking much like a five-year-old who'd just discovered the truth about Santa. "And I bet Arthur's a jerkface, too. This sucks."
Giles chuckled. "Actually, while somewhat of a…jerkface…the prince seemed rather different than his father. Of course, he assumed I was Uther, at the time…" He stood up, taking the two young women with him. "But perhaps, Willow, you'd like to hear about Merlin."
Willow nodded, a smile breaking her face. Buffy only raised a brow. "Mr. Magic wasn't burnt at the stake?"
Giles shook his head. "Not yet… Most interestingly, though, he's a bit younger than we've always assumed…"
“No long beard? Pointy hat?”
“No beard at all, actually.”