A Rendezvous with Death.By Dave Turner.
Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I write these stories for fun not profit.
Crossover: None, however several ideas were taken from ‘The Laundry’ series of books by Charles Stross.
Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar; Written in glorious English-English which is different to American-English.
Timeline: First story in a second batch of ‘Grim Up North’ stories set post Season 7 of BtVS.
Words: Ten chapters of approximately 3000 words.
Warnings: This story has Nazi’s in it, but they don’t crawl over your face.
Summary: A new ‘Grim Up North’ story; As Buffy adapts back to her old life after getting out of prison, an accident forces her to move in with Giles. Time travel and evil Nazi plots ensue. 0=0=0=0I have a rendezvous with Death
At some disputed barricade,
When Spring comes back with rustling shade
And apple-blossoms fill the air
I have a rendezvous with Death
When Spring brings back blue days and fair.
‘I have a Rendezvous with Death’ by Alan SeegerSlayer Central, Saltburn-by-the-Sea, April 2006.
Walking across the dining area, Buffy pulled the hair net from her head and shook her head until her hair fell back into place. Ever since her release from prison, almost two months ago, she’d been getting up early and cooking breakfast for the staff and trainee slayers on the old holiday camp that was now ‘Slayer Central’. Doing this every morning without fail, she only went back to her more normal duties once the regular kitchen staff had arrived. Seeing Giles sitting at a table by a window reading his newspaper, she changed direction and walked over to join her old friend.
“Hi Giles,” Buffy sat down on a chair across the table from Giles and sipped from the big mug of strong tea that she held in her hand; she cast an admiring eye over her old teacher, “nice suit.”
“Morning Buffy,” Giles came out from behind his newspaper and looked down at himself, “do you really think so?”
“Oh yeah,” Buffy grinned as she nodded her head, “it’s so…” for a moment Buffy was lost for words, “…like, well tailored and expensive looking and so not tweed!”
“Thank-you,” Giles smiled as he folded his paper away, “I thought I’d try a different style, you know? So you think it suits?” Giles smiled again before adding, “If you pardon the pun.”
“Great improvement,” Buffy put down her mug, “you look really…y’know…hot.”
“Hot?” Giles frowned for a second before the penny dropped, “Oh-yes, I see,” he picked up his own more delicate cup of tea and sipped appreciatively. “So how do you feel this morning, still…” Giles gestured vaguely at Buffy’s cook’s whites, “…erm, still getting up early I see.”
“Yeah,” Buffy lifted her mug to her mouth to give herself time to think, “I think I’m getting over it, apart from the occasional urge to lock myself into my bedroom and pee in a bucket!” Buffy laughed at the shocked look on Giles’ face, “Hey, everyone told me that prison changes you, I’d totally never have guessed that it took so long to get back to normal.” Buffy sipped her tea, it being another habit she’d picked up in Slade prison, “You know some nights I still go to bed at eight o’clock, just how weird is that?”
“It’ll take time, Buffy,” Giles reached across the table and patted her hand, “but I’m sure you’ll get over it…have you slayed anything recently?”
“Not so much,” Buffy admitted, “took down a couple of vamps last week, but nothing really big, why?”
“I think you need to get out on patrol more,” Giles explained quietly, “I think you need to get back into your old routine. Start taking the trainees out again; perhaps get Willow to find you a mission to go on…stop getting up at the crack of dawn to cook everyone’s breakfasts.”
“But I like cooking breakfast,” Buffy explained, “I’m good at it and it gives me a chance to meet with the girls and,” Buffy smiled coyly, “it also gives me a chance to talk to you without people bursting into your office just as we’re…you know.”
“Well, yes I suppose you’re right,” Giles agreed; breakfasts at the canteen had improved dramatically since Buffy had taken over their preparation, “alright not the breakfasts but you should really do more slayer related work.”
Sitting there as she finished off her tea, Buffy thought about what Giles had said, maybe he was right. Perhaps she’d been clinging on to her old prison routines too much. In prison no one was relying on her, they expected her to screw up. Every day had been mapped out for her in advance; there was always someone to tell her what to do, from when to get up in the morning to when to go to bed. It had all been very comforting and she suspected she’d clung to her prison routine as a way of not accepting her responsibilities. It was time to get back to her old ways (without the drinking and upsetting her friends) start to be ‘The Slayer’ again.
“You know Giles,” Buffy smiled into Giles’ worried face, “I think you’re right. It’s time for me to get back on the vamp,” Buffy noticed Giles’ eyebrows start to climb towards his hairline, “in a purely slayage way. Time for me to be Buffy the Vampire Slayer again!”
“Oh jolly good,” Giles gave her a relieved smile, he’d been worried about his slayer since her release from prison, “and the breakfasts?”
“Oh I’m not giving that up,” Buffy laughed.
“Oh thank god for that,” Giles gave a heart felt sigh of relief, “the thought of going back to soggy fried bread and half cooked sausages was almost enough to make me start eating all that stuff people claim is good for you.”
“Right,” Buffy stood up, “I’m going to shower and change, then I’ll see you in your office in an hour?”
“That sounds wonderful,” Giles nodded his head glad to have his old Buffy back at long last, “I’ll look forward to it.”0=0=0=0
Leaving the kitchen and canteen behind her Buffy walked through the camp towards the converted chalet where she lived. The Slayer Organisation had bought the old holiday camp when they’d all moved to England back in ‘03. They’d almost immediately got into financial difficulties after finding out that no one was willing to hand over access to the old council’s bank accounts and savings funds.
For a time things had looked grim, the organisation had got down to perhaps two months worth of money. Once that had run out, Buffy had resigned herself to going to work for the British subsidiary of ‘The Double Meat Palace’. However, relief had come from an unexpected quarter; Tony Scarpone, Kennedy’s rich and as they later discovered, Mafia Godfather, father, came to the rescue. He'd bought the entire site off Buffy for more than she’d paid for it. Next he’d leased a part of it back to her for a nominal rent, while flattening the rest of the camp and building a depot for his ‘Import-Export’ business. He had also helped out with lawyers and had soon got the old council’s funds handed over to the Slayer Organisation.
At times Buffy worried that Tony, as he insisted she call him, would start to ask for ‘favours’ in return for the help he’d given her and the slayers. But, so far he’d asked for nothing, in fact it had been incredibly useful knowing someone with ‘connections’ in the criminal underworld. The odd kidnapping here, the borrowing of a Jetstream private jet there; Buffy just pretended not to see and told herself it was all for the greater good. But one day, she knew, there would be a reckoning and on that day skeletons would jump from closets and bills would become due. Until that day arrived, however, she’d act as if nothing bad was happening.0=0=0=0
Arriving back at her chalet she pushed open her door, she never bothered to lock it these days. After she’d been put in prison (on totally trumped up burglary charges) Willow and Xander had done a major security upgrade on the camp. Before her departure to become one of Her Majesty’s guests, they’d sort of relied on the fact that it was a camp full of slayers to keep unwanted visitors away. The planting of evidence in Buffy’s chalet had proved this was the wrong approach. While Xander had organised the installation of CCTV’s and a new perimeter fence, Willow had cast magical wards to keep out or warn off the more magical intruders. Now the simple act of the wrong person opening the wrong door would cause alarms, magical and mundane, to ring and wake the dead (sometimes literally).
Taking off her cook’s dress, Buffy stood in the middle of her living room in just her underwear. Living alone she didn’t have to bother about how people saw her. For a while after coming out of prison she’d had an affair with Maggie McBride, one of the slayer instructors at the camp. Some time before she’d gone to prison every slayer in the world had been turned gay. They’d never found out who’d done it (although they'd all had their suspicions) or why they’d done it. All they’d known at the time was that it was a spell. It had taken Willow several months to work out the counter spell by which time Buffy had been in prison.
Not bothering to use the counter spell Buffy had remained ‘gay’ while she was in prison and had in fact had a relationship with a fellow inmate. When she’d been pardoned, she’d tried to recapture the excitement of her prison relationship with Maggie but it hadn’t worked out. Eventually it had got so embarrassing that Maggie had left and rejoined the army and Buffy had completed the counter spell and turned herself hetro again. However, this hadn’t improved her love life, it still sucked and she was beginning to think about getting Willow to turn her gay again.
Dumping her cook’s dress on the floor by her washing machine, Buffy went into her bedroom. Laying out clean underwear, jeans, thermal vest and a pretty top she took off her underwear and headed towards her little bathroom. Shutting the door behind her she switched on the shower to let the water heat up while she quickly brushed her teeth. After rinsing out her mouth she stepped into the shower. It was as she was running the soap over her body that she noticed the strange gurgling sounds emanating from the ceiling.
Pausing in her ablutions, Buffy cocked her head to listen. The gurgling sound had been joined by an odd tapping noise that grew louder by the second. The water spat and faded away before picking up to its usual pressure again. Very sensibly, Buffy rinsed the soap from her body, stepped out of the shower and wrapped her robe around herself. Just as she was thinking that now might be a good time to call Xander, there was a loud bang from above her head and the ceiling caved in. Plasterboard and water fell from above as Buffy screamed and jumped back out into her bedroom. Water continued to cascade into the shower, which quickly filled up (the drain having been blocked by fallen plasterboard) and overflowed onto the floor. By the time Buffy had found her mobile phone and called Xander the water was soaking into her bedroom carpet and more of the ceiling had fallen down. 0=0=0=0
Having followed Xander’s instructions on how to switch off the water, Buffy had gotten dressed and was waiting for Xander to arrive. The leak or whatever it was had brought down most of the ceiling in her bedroom. Water had soaked her bed and carpet, but it hadn’t got to her clothes in her closets and drawers. Standing with her arms crossed over her chest Buffy watched Xander inspect the damage.
“How bad is it?” She asked after he’d spent five minutes sucking his teeth and tutting; Buffy recognised these as the signs of a craftsman who was about to tell her just how big a bank loan she was going to need.
“It’s bad,” Xander admitted as he consulted the notes he’d made, “I’m no plumber but it looks like someone used the wrong type of pipe which split and,” Xander shrugged, “well, you can see what happened.”
“So,” Buffy sighed miserably, she’d grown to appreciate her little house since her release from prison and had worked hard to make it into a real ‘home’; now everything was spoilt, “how long will it take to repair?”
“Like I say Buff,” Xander gave a sympathetic smile, the news was bad, “I’m no plumber but we’ll need to clear everything out of here. Dry everything out, replacing the ceiling will probably only take a couple of days. But I’ll want someone to check the pipes in the entire block before we repair them. It could take weeks…”
“What could take weeks?” Giles walked into the room and looked around, “Oh good grief!” He gasped as he saw the mess, “I heard there’d been an accident but this looks like a flood of biblical proportions!”
“Its not that bad,” Xander said from the other side of the room, “it’s just gonna take time to fix everything.”
“How long?” Buffy and Giles asked almost at the same time.
“Could be a couple of weeks,” Xander admitted, “depends what we find.”
“Find?” Giles prompted.
“The whole system could be shot,” Xander pointed out, “but I know a reliable guy who can fix it and the insurance should cover the money side of things.”
“Yes, well,” Giles walked over to Xander and peered up into the roof space, “that’s all very well but where’s Buffy going to stay in the meantime?”
“I could go and stay with Willow,” Buffy said brightly. “Oh!” Her face fell, “Yeah, Kennedy…”
Although Kennedy and herself didn’t actually hate each other and did indeed share a few common problems, they weren’t and never would be bosom buddies (if you didn’t count the one night they’d spent having wild, lesbian, monkey-sex). The thought of spending a couple of weeks in the same house as Kennedy wasn’t Buffy’s idea of fun.
“What about Dawn and Faith,” Xander suggested, “they’ve got a spare bedroom.”
“Xander,” Buffy placed her hands on her hips as she turned to face him. “The idea of lying in bed at night while my little sister and Faith screw each others brains out, would totally give me the wig.” Buffy shook her head, “Do you know how thin those walls are?” She asked, “You can hear everything!”
“Yes I can imagine,” Giles could, but he tried not to.
“I suppose I could move into one of the guest chalets,” Buffy didn’t sound overjoyed at the prospect.
“No!” Giles said decisively after only a moments thought, “You must come and stay with me I’ve got plenty of room.”
“Where?” Buffy demanded, as far as she could remember Giles lived in a chalet not unlike her own.
“My new house,” Giles informed her proudly, “its an easy five minutes walk along the beach.”
“House?” Buffy looked from Giles to Xander and back again, “When did that happen?”
“When you were in prison,” Giles told her, “I got fed up of living on the camp and…” Giles blushed slightly, “…I was lonely without you around so I thought I’d have a change of scene.”
“You were lonely, so you moved out to live on your own?” Buffy gave Giles a crooked smile.
“Yes, I know it sounds odd,” Giles agreed, “but getting everything organised took my mind off things.”
“And, I may add,” Xander butted in, “padded my bank account nicely!” He grinned broadly at his two friends, “Now, if you don’t mind,” he stepped over the wreckage on the floor and headed for the door, “I better start getting things organised if you want to move back in here sometime before Christmas.”
“Thanks Xan,” Buffy walked over and kissed her friend on the cheek.”
“You do know that you’re not getting anything off the bill for that, don’t you?” Xander asked with a cheeky grin.
“Get outta here!” Buffy aimed a half-hearted slap at Xander’s arm.
“Ow!” Xander cried as he clutched at his arm were Buffy had hit him, “Okay!” he winced, “I’m going!”
“Thanks, Xander,” Buffy called as her friend hurried out of the room.
“So,” Giles looked hopefully at Buffy, “what do you say? Will you come and keep your old watcher company for a couple of weeks?”
Standing there in the ruin of her bedroom, Buffy weighed up her options. To be honest taking Giles up on his offer seemed the best alternative.
“Okay,” Buffy wondered what it would be like to spend a couple of weeks living under Giles’ roof, “why not?”
“Oh, jolly good,” Giles smiled, “You get packed up while I bring the car around.”
“You have a car too?” Buffy asked in surprise.
“Well, yes,” Giles gave her a puzzled look.
“When…?” Buffy left the rest of her question unsaid; she knew exactly when this had all happened; when she’d been in prison. “Erm, what else happened while I was away?” she wanted to know.
“Oh nothing much,” Giles claimed, “nothing earth shattering anyway.”
“You got married didn’t you?” Buffy accused.
“No I did not!” Giles replied fervently, “Now stop wasting time and get packed.”
Buffy watched as Giles hurried out of the room, he was hiding something, she always knew when he was. It’d be fun finding out what.0=0=0=0
“Wow, Giles,” Buffy stood just inside Giles’ front door and gazed around the hall.
“I take-it it meets with your approval?” Giles asked as he dumped one of Buffy’s six suitcases by the coat-stand next to the door.
“I’m impressed,” Buffy admitted; from the outside Giles house looked like an ordinary, though admittedly large Victorian house, inside it was just the right mix of old and modern.
“Kennedy helped with the interior design,” Giles explained before going back out to his car and collecting another of Buffy’s suitcases, “she’s really very talented.”
“Yeah,” Buffy admitted grudgingly, “I saw what she was doing to Willow’s and her house before I went away.”
“You mean,” Giles was starting to get out of breath bringing in Buffy’s cases, “you’ve not seen it finished yet?”
“Here, let me help,” Buffy turned and ran to the car to pick up the two cases that contained her weapons, “no I’ve not been over yet.”
Taking the last case, Giles followed Buffy back into the house and shut the door behind him.
“Here,” he smiled, “we’ll put these in your room later, I’ll give you the fifty-pence tour.”
“Cool,” Buffy grinned, it was a long time since she’d seen her old watcher look so happy.
There was a large living room, a dinning room a down stairs bathroom and a study. Upstairs there were three bedrooms, a large bathroom and a flight of stairs leading into the loft.
“I’ve not decided what to do upstairs yet,” Giles explained as they looked around, “I was thinking of making it into an observatory or something.
Going back down stairs, Giles led Buffy into the kitchen intending to show her the back garden. He was halted in his tracks by her squeal of delight.
“Cooool!” Buffy cried happily her eyes wide as she looked around the kitchen, “All mod cons,” Buffy ran her fingers along the sparkling new kitchen appliances, “Gods you’ve got to let me cook you a meal or two in here!”
“Yes,” Giles laughed lightly, “Kennedy really went to town, every possible modern convenience…trouble is I hardly have the time to use any of it.” Opening the back door he showed Buffy into the garden. “It’s a bit overgrown but there’s plenty of room for barbecues in the summer and it looks out over the sea,” he pointed, “see?”
“You’ve really gone to town on this,” Buffy went to stand close to Giles as they looked out over the North Sea.
“Well actually,” Giles shrugged, “I just gave Kennedy a pile of cash and a vague idea of what I wanted and left her to it. I was sort of hoping we could use it as a sort of hideaway from the world of monsters and slaying.” Giles hesitated, “When I say ‘we’ I meant everyone, you know?”
“Yes!” Buffy replied happily, “That’s a brilliant idea, well done Giles!” Standing up on tip-toe she kissed him on the cheek.
“Oh I say!” Giles smiled down at her as his hand went to the place she’d kissed him.
“There is one thing,” Buffy gave Giles a serious look before walking over to the fence that separated the garden from the cliff that led down to the beach. “I was wondering where you got the money for all this,” she turned to give Giles an uncertain smile, “you’ve not been cooking the books while I’ve been away have you?”
“Oh no,” Giles laughed as he walked over to join Buffy, “I just had a bit of luck, that’s all.”
“Luck?” Buffy queried.
“Yes,” Giles nodded, “I had a rather handsome win on the National Lottery.”
“Just how handsome?” Buffy wanted to know.
“Oh very,” Giles neatly avoided the question, “now I think we should get back to the camp, I for one have things to do and you,” he placed his hand lightly on Buffy’s shoulder, “said something about a more hands on approach to the girl’s training.”
“I did indeed,” Buffy nodded as she let herself be guided back to the house, through the kitchen and into the hall.
While she was waiting for Giles to find her a set of keys, Buffy filled the time looking at some framed photographs on the wall.
“Who’s this, Giles?” Buffy pointed to an old black and white photograph that showed a group of soldiers posing in front of a little tank-like vehicle.
“Oh that,” Giles stood next to Buffy and peered at the photo, “that’s my father and his men. It was taken near the end of World War Two in Germany.”
“Gotta say, Giles,” Buffy gave the photo a closer look, “you look a lot like your dad, like brothers almost.”0=0=0=0