: The characters of Buffy the Vampire Slayer belong to J. Whedon, etc. The characters of The Sentinel belong to Pet Fly, etc. All are used here without permission. No copyright infringement is intended.Notes/Warnings
: I haven't seen The Sentinel in a while so I might have a few things wrong. Don't expect canon for either show. Don't Touch That Dial...
"It's gotta change," Xander said, his voice brooking no opposition. "The little mini's can't sleep. The older mini's are restless and irritable. We need help."
Giles took off his glasses, closed his eyes and sighed. Having never had enhanced senses he couldn't fully relate to what they experienced.
As a watcher to an active slayer, it had never crossed his mind that Buffy or Faith might have issues or problems with their sensitive senses. The old council never thought of things like that and he could only recall a very few watcher's diaries mentioning problems and then it was usually related to the demon they were facing or something else supernatural. "I can see where that would be a problem, Xander but I'm not sure what we can do about it."
“What about that story you showed me, B?” Faith asked after a few moments of silence.
“I'd forgotten about that,” Buffy replied, her face showing her surprise.
“Story?” Willow asked.
“Dissertation, I think. But the guy later refuted it, said it was bogus,” Buffy answered with a shrug.
“Bogus or not, it kept me sane,” Faith offered.
“What exactly did it recommend that was so helpful?” Giles asked, his curiosity on full display.
“He talked about these guys with heightened senses – watchmen or sentinels. Some actor guy my mom used to watch in movies wrote about them,” Buffy supplied.
An amused chuckle escaped Giles as his mind made the connection. “The Richard Burton who wrote the books on Sentinels was not an actor. He was an explorer.”
“Whatever,” Faith tossed out.
“Didn't he also translate the Kama Sutra or something?” Xander asked, his faith thoughtful.
Closing his eyes and sighing, Giles removed his glasses and pinched the bridge of his nose, thereby missing the triumphantly amused look that passed among the Scoobies. "Who wrote the dissertation?" Giles asked. He and the council had academic contacts all over the world; it shouldn't be too hard to find this person.
“First name began with a B,” Faith offered, her face showing her concentration as she tried to remember. The tension eased from her face. “Blair! Yeah, that's the first name. Blair something. You remember the last name, B?”
Buffy's nose scrunched as she tried to recall the name. "The last name.... Something about the beach... Sand?"
A moment later Willow blurted out, "Blair Sandburg."
"That's him!" Buffy agreed. "He had this idea about dials for each of your senses and stuff. Kind of neat and helpful."
"Where is this Blair Sandburg now, Willow?"
"Cascade, Washington," the redhead replied.
"It looks like I'm headed back to the West coast of America then," Giles sighed.* * * * * * * * * *
"I don't like it, Chief," Jim said, as they approached the restaurant.
"You've made that perfectly clear," Blair said, his voice very controlled, betraying his own nervousness. "But we knew with the huge splash this would never be entirely behind us."
"Doesn't mean I have to like it."
Blair sighed. "Let's just hear the man out. Maybe we can get some answers from him we weren't able to find in out research."
The two men entered the upscale restaurant, gave their names and were led to a private room. Scanning the room with his senses prior to entering, Jim determined there was only one man in the room.
As he stepped through the door, a very faint smell he couldn't quite identify registered on his senses, but he ignored it in favor of evaluating Rupert Giles.
"Mister Sandburg. Mister Ellison, my name is Rupert Giles. I'm pleased you could come," he greeted, offering his hand to both before indicating that they should choose a seat at the table.
All three men knew enough to not broach the reason they were all there until they were alone in the room.
After several minutes of chit-chat and small talk, their meals were served and the room left to them alone.
Blair jumped right into his excuses. “Mr. Giles, thank you for this fine lunch, but, as I told you on the phone, the paper was just a work of fiction and after the ruckus it caused, I'm not interested in having anything more to do with it.”
Giles set down his fork and took a small sip of water. “Mr. Sandburg, whether sentinels exist,” his eyes slid toward Jim before returning to Blair's, “or not, is not something that concerns me. Your 'work of fiction' as you choose to call it has already helped two young ladies with heightened senses overcome the handicap such senses can be.” Seeing Blair open his mouth, he held up his hand, “I assure you they are not the sentinels described in your story, but there are now many other young women and girls as young as nine who need your help. Whether your story was make believe or real, your methods have already been proven. I came to you to ask your help.”
“I... But... little girls?” Blair asked, his face an odd mix of curiosity, bafflement and anguish.
With a sigh, Giles removed his glasses and rubbed his eyes, the weight of his years as a watcher and the burden he now carried showed for just a moment before he pulled himself together and once more met Jim and Blair's eyes. “We did not create this system, we inherited it and are doing our best to ensure these girls do not suffer like their predecessors.”
“What do you mean suffer?” Jim said, his body tense, his eyes less than friendly.
Meeting Jim's hard glare with one of his own, Giles answered, “What I am about to tell you is the absolute truth, I can prove it to you later if you need it. The world is older than you know....”
Several hours later the three men sat silently around the table, two were absorbing the world-view changing information they'd just received. The third waited patiently for their answer.
Surprisingly, it was not Blair who answered, but his partner, Jim. “We'll do it.”