Giles had been traveling around the country all summer trying to find Buffy. The only one in Sunnydale who didn’t think he was crazy for continuing to look for her was Joyce. They didn’t understand that he felt like he had failed Buffy. She had left without so much as a word after having to destroy the man she loved. If he had been able to warn Buffy about what would happen when she slept with Angel, he wouldn’t be searching for her now.
He got a call from one of his contacts who believed he had seen Buffy working in a bar called the Roadhouse. From the outside it didn’t look like much, just another run down old bar. It was in the middle of nowhere which seemed appropriate for a slayer on the run.
He entered and sat down at the bar where a beautiful woman was wiping down glasses. “What can I get ya?” she asked without looking up from the glass she was cleaning.
“Actually, I was hoping you could help me.”
She looked up into his eyes, “How exactly are you expecting me to help you?
“I’m looking for a young girl that I believe may be working for you.” He pulled out a picture of Buffy and handed it to her. “A friend of mine said he saw a young woman fitting her description working here.”
Ellen was relieved. Her usual clientele were all hunters. Men and women who traveled the country hunting evil creatures and demons. This man certainly didn’t look like a hunter. With everything she had seen though, she knew to be suspicious. “The only girl that works here is my daughter Jo. She’s blond. Your ‘friend’ might have mistaken her for your girl.” She handed the picture back to him. “Why you lookin’ for her anyway?”
She could see pain in his eyes, “She is the daughter of a friend and I consider her to be a daughter myself. She ran away a couple of months ago and I need to find her. I have tried all of my contacts across the country and it has only led from one dead end to another.”
For some reason unknown to her, she wanted to help this man. He was definitely not telling her the whole story, but she could tell that what he said had been the truth. “I tell ya what, I’ll make a few calls and see if I can track her down for you. I’ve got friends all across the country who are good at tracking people down.”
She turned to grab the phone but was stopped by a hand on her arm. “Why would you be willing to help me?”
She stared into his eyes for a moment, “Honestly, I don’t know.”
“My name is Rupert by the way.”
She made calls to Bobby, Luther, and Gordon. She also sent a copy of the picture that Rupert asking them to keep a look out. They all reluctantly agreed to keep an eye out for the girl and Bobby even offered to call a few hunter friends of his and spread the word. When she was finished making her calls, she went to join Rupert at the bar.
“Well, I got the word out. It’s just a matter of time.” She poured them both a scotch.
“Thank you. I guess I should be heading back home. School starts next week and it’s back to work.” He downed his scotch and set the glass back on the bar, “I was hoping to have some word on her by now.”
“Maybe she just doesn’t wanna be found. I know you don’t wanna hear that, but it’s true.”
“I wouldn’t blame her. I miss her terribly and am worried about her.”
“Why is that?”
“Buffy has a tendency to get into trouble.”
Ellen hadn’t talked to anybody except Jo for this long since her husband was killed. It was nice to sit and talk to someone who wasn’t obsessed with finding and killing demons. Ironically, Giles was having the same thought. He was so consumed with training Buffy and researching monsters that he had forgotten to live. Especially after Jenny had been killed by Angel. He needed this. There was something very comforting about this woman he hardly knew.
They continued to drink until the bottle was empty. They were both so drunk by the end of it that they had to help each other walk. They made it to Ellen’s bedroom door and before he realized what he was doing he kissed her. He was about to apologize when she pulled him into her room and slammed the door.
The next morning Jo opened the bar without her mom which was unusual. She heard her mom go to bed late last night but had expected her to be up by now. Jo went to her mom’s door and knocked. When there was no answer she opened it and peeked inside. “MOM!”
There was her mother, in bed with some strange guy! She couldn’t believe it! She slammed the door and walked away. Maybe her mom would lighten up now that she had gotten laid.