Chapter One: A Dark Discovery, A New Beginning
Summary: Being brought back form the dead is easy, going back to where it all began isn't. Inspired by the wonderful artwork of cloudleonsgurl.
Disclaimer: I own nothing. All of the characters except for Johnathan Merrick are the exclusive property of either J.K.Rowling and Josh Whedon. I am making nothing for this fic. Just borrowing the characters for a bit of fun.
Chapter One: A Dark Discovery, A New Beginning
Rupert Giles pasced the length of his barrowed room in the Summers' home. How could Willow have done such a thing? How could she have ripped Buffy form her greatest reward? Couldn't she see the damage that she'd rought? Buffy, his bright brilliant girl, was a shell of her former self. She was just going through the motions of life, waiting for it all to come to the end. She was steadily becoming just another worn out Slayer with a death wish. Well he wasn't having any of that. He was taking his girls, Buffy and Dawn, home to England. The Bloody Hellmouth could implode for all he cared anymore. It was time to make some calls and pull in a few of his old markers.
Dawn stared out of her bedroom window into the clear night sky. 'How did it all go so wrong?' She asked herself. They were supposed to be rescuing Buffy from hell not turning her into a soulless ghoul. All that work, all the planning and she still didn't have her sister back. Tara was right. Circumventing the natural order was wrong. Her sister came back wrong.
Even after the whole 'Sweet' debacle Willow and Xander refused to see what was right in front of them. The girl they knew was gone and in her place was a woman that felt more like her mother than her sister. Buffy's mannerisms changed more and more everyday. Her quirky SoCal girl accent was slipping and she sounded more cultured almost British now and the compulsion to hide her naturally dark auburn locks under bleached out blonde was a thing of the past. Buffy was a new person now, calmer and most days sullen. She'd been spending most of her days in the makeshift study Giles had made. Xander and Willow were all about getting her to go "Bronze the night away" with them but their offers usually went in one ear and out the other as she sat with Giles and just read. This woman was not her sister and much to her chargrin maybe that was a good thing.
"I'm not the girl I used to be." Buffy thought as she brushed off the dust of the night's last kill from her jacket and pants. "I'm not even sure that was the real me." Buffy said into the night air. Sure she'd sung her heart out about being snatched from heaven but she'd yet to tell anyone the other things she'd learned on the otherside. Things about past lives and present and about soulmates and a lost son. She so desperately wanted to confirm that the dreams/memories were real but how does one go about telling your 'sister' and 'father figure' that you think you have a thirteen year old son in England and that he's a wizard and in danger of being killed by a genocidal maniac? And what about her duty to guard the hellmouth? Who would takeover if she left? With another sigh Buffy slowly made her way home wishing she could be Lily again.
"You can't take her from me!" Willow yelled as Giles informed Dawn and the Scoobies of his decision to take his girls to England. Giles took off his glasses and slowly polished them. Willow's slip was highly telling, she didn't see Buffy as her friend but as weapon to use at her discretion. He now knew that his actions were beyond justified.
"My sister does not belong to you or anyone else but herself. So if she wants to stay here in Sunnydale or come to England or anywhere else she can. She's paid for her freedom, yours, everyone's with her life. I don't know what she wants but I'm getting out of here."
"If buffy leaves whose going to protect the hellmouth?" Xander asked, although he had a sneaking suspicion already. There was really only one person who could.
"We will, whether we have your support or not."
Everyone's eyes turned to a tall dark haired man with blue eyes who looked frighteningly familiar to the stoic Buffy and the young brunette everyone knew as Faith.
Chaos broke out. Xander drew a sword from the weapons trunk and Willow tried to cast but Tara blocked her. Dawn moved in front of a still and staring Buffy. Anya cowered behind xander.
"Willow! Xander! Stop this instant. I called them here." Giles shouted.
"You brought her back here? Are you insane? She's evil." Xander said not lowering his weapon an inch.
"You look like Merrick." Buffy said softly and it was if a bubble burst inside of her and the tears started to fall.
"He was my brother. My name is Johnathan Rupert Merrick and it is an honour to meet the woman who redeemed my brother." Johnathan said as he knealed in front of Buffy and wiped the tears from her cheeks.
"I redeemed Merrick, Ha. I killed him. He put himself between Lothos and a half-assed rookie slayer and all he got for his trouble was dead." Buffy said with a bitter laugh.
"You don't believe that, not really. My brother loved and respected you. He saw a fire and will to survive in you that he'd long since let the council snuff out in himself. You may have read his journals but you've never read his letters to me. YOu made him the Watcher that we should all strive to be and I dare say that he may not be the only one you've saved." And with that Johnathan pulled a bundled stack of letters from his jacket pocket.
"This is for you. I've waited a long time to be able to give these to you. You don't have to read them now Miss Summers but I hope that when you do. They'll aide you with the next chapter of your life." Then he stood and smiled.
"Watcher Rupert Uther Giles, I Watcher Johnathan Rupert Merrick do hereby officially relieve you of your position here on the Hellmouth of Sunnydale, California. Watcher Giles you are to return to the mother country with your family Miss Dawn Summers-Giles and Miss Elizabeth Summers-Giles forthwith. May God and country protect on your journey home."
"I Watcher Rupert Uther Giles do readily except this decommision and will return forthwith. May God and country protect you and yours in your mission Watcher Jonathan Rupert Merrick." Giles said with a grin.
"What do you say girls?", Giles asked turning to Dawn and Buffy. Dawn turned pleading eyes toward Buffy. The ball was in her court now, go or stay.
"Yo B. Take it. Live for both of us. There's a whole new world waiting across the pond for ya." Faith said with a knowing look. "Yeah I've been dreaming too. Plus I've got a lot to make up for and this is the only place I can do it."
Giles gave Buffy a puzzled look. They'd talk later he wouldn't push.
Buffy searched the eyes of everyone in the room and took the leap.
"How soon do we leave?"
"No you can't go!"
Giles was really getting tired of the little redhead but it was Merrick who jumped into action. The air temperature must have dropped at least ten degrees just from Merrick's magic rising.
"Willow Rosenburg," Merrick's voice echoed calm and steady, "In the name of the Great Mother Goddess I bind thee. From this day until forever you are stripped of your powers. You brought chaos to the natural order and this is your punishment. So mote it be."
Willow paled and sank to her knees. She could feel her closely coveted power leech away from her and back into the earth. She was no longer a witch no longer powerful and useful. Tara tried to comfort her only to be shoved away.
"Miss Rosenburg this is the price you pay for bringing Buffy back. The corruption of order will not be tolerated by the Goddess. Your power came too quickly to you and it corrupted you. Even now there is a taint that will never leave, it stains the soul."
Willow looked up at Merrick and spat at him. "I hate you and hate her! I don't care if she leaves the hellmouth anymore! The bitch can die again for all I care." She bolted out of the room with tears in her eyes.
"Willow wait!" Xander said dashing after her. Leaving Anya alone with Tara. Even to Johnathan his actions were telling. Those two would have much soul seaching to do in the future. Faith wasn't the only one in need of redemption, but unfortunately she was the only one to realize it.
Giles turned to his girls with his arms open. They didn't need any more inventation than that.
"Lets go home." They left the Summers house and Sunnydale without another word.
Author Note: Okay that was very traumatic for me but I hope I've gotten off to a good start. This is what I think Giles should have done as soon as he found out Willow brought Buffy back. Willow was wrong and out of control in my opinion and Xander was just another enabler. Not that I don't think they can be forgiven and redeemed but hey somebody needed to step up. Plus this story isn't really about them so don't expect to see them again for a while. If you haven't guessed this story is going to begin during Harry's third year, so Sirius and the rest still have a fighting chance at survival. Thanks again to cloudleonsgurl for the awesome inspriration. :)