10.The Epilogue.Buffy's Office, Slayer Central, a couple of days later.
“...so, Miss Summers, what do you think?” Colonel Dempsey sat back in his chair and gave Buffy a fatherly smile.
“I'm still not sure,” Buffy replied slowly, “this all sounds too much like the government wanting to use the slayers for their own evil ends.”
“I can assure you, its not,” Colonel Dempsey sounded sincere, “I understand your reluctance after your experience with the Initiative, but The Regiment isn't like that, in fact this entire proposal is more than a little unofficial.”
“Unofficial?” Buffy didn't like the sound of this one little bit.
“Look,” Dempsey shifted in his seat, “the entire idea was thought up by Staff Garvie and Sergeant McBride. True I ran the idea passed MI5, but I believe you have your own contacts with the security services. No way is this official government policy, we will not be 'conscripting' slayers into the army, however any slayer who wants a military career would be welcomed with open arms,” the Colonel paused for just a moment to give Buffy a searching look, “I'm sure you'd not stand in the way of any girl who wanted to serve her country.”
“Of course not,” only after she'd uttered the words did Buffy realise what she'd just said; she'd sort of given Colonel Dempsey permission to recruit her slayers.Her
slayers? Buffy shook her head, they weren't her
slayers they were just girls who happened to have been given a very special gift and they could do whatever they liked with it. If that included joining the military there wasn't anything she could or should do to stop them.
“I think that this recent little emergency shows that it would be a good idea for the slayers and The Regiment to learn to work together,” Colonel Dempsey pointed out.
'Little emergency'? This was obviously another fine example of the famous British understatement. The little emergency, as Colonel Dempsey put it, had cost the lives of more than two-hundred people. Of course the government was still claiming that it had been a terrorist attack and had covered up the fact that the 'terrorists' were actually aliens.
“So what you're saying Colonel,” Buffy began slowly, “is that you want some slayers to come to your base and join in with your wargames?”
“I wouldn't have put it quite like that,” Colonel Dempsey gave Buffy a small smile, “but in a nut shell, yes.” The Colonel started to explain the idea again, “Whoever you send would spend a couple of weeks being shown how we do things the SAS way, perhaps learn a few of our procedures. Then over a two or three day period she could participate in one of our escape and evasion exercises. This part of the exercise would be particularly useful for us,” Dempsey explained, “as it would give my people experience in hunting a physically superior foe.”
“Okay,” Buffy nodded, “say I did agree to this, how many girls would you want to go on these wargames?”
“Oh we'd only want one or two at a time,” Dempsey laughed, “perhaps start with those two young women that went in with Sergeant McBride.”
“If anyone goes on one of these escape and evasion exercises,” Buffy pointed out, “the first slayer to go will be me.”
Buffy found herself warming to the idea, this escape and evasion exercise sounded like that time she'd neutralised one of Riley's patrols in less than forty-five minutes.
“I expected you'd say that,” Dempsey nodded approvingly, “it'll take a while to set up, how does September sound?”
“Early September would be fine,” Buffy replied, “once I've seen what you're offering I'll be able to tell you whether I'll be asking any more slayers to go on one of your exercises.”
“Jolly good then,” Colonel Dempsey stood up and offered his hand, “I hope this will be the beginning of a long and mutually beneficial collaboration between the Slayer Organisation and The Regiment.”
“Maybe,” Buffy agreed with a little less enthusiasm than the Colonel; she stood up and shook Dempsey's hand.
“I'll have my people contact you in a couple of weeks,” the Colonel let himself be lead towards the door where he paused for a moment, “You know Miss Summers,” he said quietly, “you've nothing to fear from The Regiment.”
“I hope not,” Buffy opened the door for the Colonel, “but then I've been told this sort of thing before and it didn't turn out so well.”
“Of course,” Dempsey replied gravely, “I fully understand your reluctance, but we're not the Initiative and the government will never hear about your involvement from my lips.”
After taking the Colonel down to reception and wishing him a safe journey home to Hereford, Buffy stood and watched as the officer climbed into his maroon Range Rover and drove off, she smiled.
“Pleeez!” Buffy shook her head pityingly as she headed back to her office; she'd go on one of these exercises; she'd show these SAS guys what a slayer was capable of and then they'd leave her alone. Having kicked the Initiative’s butt she didn't really didn't see why she couldn't do the same to these SAS guys.0=0=0=0Later.
Looking up at the sound of a soft knock on her door Buffy took her eyes off her paper work for a moment; this time it was a rundown on this year's repair costs. Even taking into account that 'Central' wasn't attacked by religious fanatics every day, costs were getting out of hand and savings would have to be made. Putting the report to one side, Buffy saw Willow standing in the doorway.
“Will!” Buffy smiled, “Come in, close the door and sit down.”
Doing as she was asked, Willow crossed the room and sat down in one of Buffy's visitor's chairs.
“You wanted to see me,” Willow asked, “your message said it was important.”
“Yeah,” Buffy sighed, “I've been wanting to speak to you about something personal for a while now.”
“Personal?” Willow replied uncertainly, “Perhaps you should speak to Giles.”
“This is 'girlfriend' personal,” Buffy explained, “and it sort of concerns Giles.”
“Oh...” Willow frowned just before realisation hit, “...OH!”
Over the next five minutes Buffy explained all about her 'lusty' dreams and all the spanking fantasies and wanting to dress up like a schoolgirl or cheerleader.
“You know I did actually consider introducing a uniform for the younger slayers,” Buffy admitted.
“But you're not going to, right?” Willow asked hopefully.
“Of course not,” Buffy shook her head, “but these dreams are affecting my work, Will. Even when I was chasing aliens I kept having these visions of Giles spanking me...its not natural!”
“I'll say,” Willow agreed, “but I don't know what you expect me to do about it.”
“I've been thinking,” Buffy replied slowly, “could this be some sort of fallout from the 'Everybody's Gay' spell or something? Or maybe you didn't get all of Groutie's spell after all”
“I don't see how,” Willow shrugged; the demon's spell had been a fairly simple one and she was sure she'd broken it.
“Okay then,” Buffy tried a different tack, “have you ever thought it was strange how you and Kennedy are into all the bondage and whipping stuff...”
“BUFFY!” Willow gasped in denial.
“Oh come off it Will,” Buffy smirked, “it's common knowledge what you and the 'Queen of Pain' get up to in your bedroom.”
“It is?” Willow asked timidly.
“Uh-huh,” Buffy nodded, “and now I find that Dawnie likes to be chained up by Faith,” she paused to let that piece of information sink in, “and I'm having all these dreams about being spanked...don't you think that's odd?”
“Hmmm,” Willow rested her elbow on the arm of her chair and started to play with her hair, “I'm not sure, you see it could all just be perfectly natural.”
“Okay,” Buffy interrupted, “I know you and Dawn have issues about guilt and being chained up, but I've never once thought about being spanked before now.”
“Issues!?” Willow replied sharply.
“So couldn't this be a spell or something?” Buffy asked hopefully, “I mean we never actually found out for sure who did the 'gay-thing', did we? We just sorta assumed it was something Ethan had done.”
“No,” Willow shook her head as she went over everything in her mind, “look,” she said eventually, “I'll make sure its not a spell or a charm or anything but...”
“But...?” Buffy looked at her oldest friend pleadingly, she really wanted these fantasies out of her head.
“But...” Willow hesitated before taking the bull by the horns, “...there's always the possibility that you do
actually want to be spanked.”
“No!” Buffy gasped.
“Yes,” Willow replied forcefully, “you might have issues of your own...and I gotta say wanting Giles to spank you is a big issue
“What you need to do, Buffy,” Willow put on her best resolve face, “is to find yourself a boyfriend...or girlfriend, I can turn you gay again no problemo, and get them to spank you...you never know you might enjoy it.”
Sitting behind her desk in stunned silence Buffy stared unseeingly at her oldest and dearest friend. The terrible truth hit her then, what if Willow was right and she actually did want to be spanked?
“So, Will,” Buffy said frantically changing the subject, “how's the getting pregnant thing going?”
“Oh, don't want to deal with the spankin' thing just yet, huh?” Willow replied quietly.
“No way!” Buffy gasped, “Now answer my question.”
“I've decided to go and make a withdrawal from the sperm bank,” Willow explained.
“What about Giles and Xander's guys?” Buffy asked, “Aren't they good enough?”
“It's not that, Buffy, it would never be that,” Willow admitted sadly.
“Then what is it?”
“What if they said 'no'?” Willow replied miserably, “As it is I don't think I could look them in the eye again even if they said 'yes'.”
“I think I see,” Buffy nodded wisely, “so, when are you going to the bank?”
“Kennie and I are going up to Edinburgh again next weekend,” Willow told her.
“Uh-huh,” Willow nodded.
“Well, good luck with that,” Buffy suddenly felt very old and slightly 'empty'.0=0=0=0Later Still.
Looking up from yet more paperwork, this time it was a quote for an electric stake sharpener, Buffy saw Giles hovering in her doorway.
“Can I have a word?” Giles asked as he stepped into her office and closed the door behind him.
“Sure!” Buffy smiled happily, “I've always got time for my favouritest watcher in all the world, what can I do for you?”
“I'm afraid this is a little personal,” Giles said quietly as he sat down.
“Personal?” Just for a moment Buffy thought that Willow had told Giles all about her sexual fantasies concerning Giles and spanking.
“Erm yes,” Giles admitted, “Do you remember Olivia?”
“The woman who visited you in Sunnydale a few times?” Buffy asked slowly, a heavy weight had suddenly appeared in her stomach and her heart began to race.
“Well, not long after we arrived back in Britain I bumped into her again on one of my trips to London,” Giles explained, “and we've been seeing each other ever since and...the other day we met again and I asked her to marry me and she said yes!”
For just a moment Buffy felt as if her heart had been broken, ripped out of her chest and then been stamped on, she also felt like the bottom had fallen out of her world (or the world had fallen out of her bottom); whatever, just at the moment she wasn't the happiest slayer alive. Quickly she recovered herself and plastered a big, happy smile on her face for her friend while inside she felt like crying.
“Oh-my-god Giles!” Buffy got up and rushed around her desk, pulling Giles to his feet she gave him a good hugging so she could hide her tears or at lest pretend they were tears of happiness. “You sly old dog you!”
“Yes, well,” as usual Giles was embarrassed by Buffy's show of affection, “I never said anything in case it didn't work out.”
“So,” Buffy let go of Giles and stood back as she wiped at her eyes, “when's the big day?”
“Soon, some time before Christmas we hope,” Giles explained.
“So soon?” Buffy looked at her old mentor suspiciously, “You've not got her 'in trouble' have you?”
“No!” Giles laughed.
“Oh that's alright then,” Buffy laughed, but her laugh was just a little brittle, “we must have a party, bring Olivia in to meet everyone and...and...”
Slowly Buffy ran out of words as she slumped back down into her chair.
“Are you all right, Buffy?” Giles asked his voice full of concern.
“Yeah...its just come as a shock, is all,” Buffy replied, “its like having your mom or dad saying they're getting remarrying.”
“Oh...” Giles paused before adding, “OH! I never knew you thought of me like that.”
“Of course I do,” Buffy explained, “you've been more of a father to me than my real father...now,” Buffy took a deep breath, “Why don't you leave your slayer to pull herself back together and stop being all silly and girlie and then I'll come to your office and we can plan your bachelor party...” Buffy grinned, “...we can make lists!”
Watching as Giles walked out of her office, Buffy held on to her emotions until he'd walked out the door. Getting up, she rushed into her bathroom and locked the door behind her. Sitting on the lid of the toilet, she buried her face in her hands and started to cry. Get sobs shuddered through her body as she realised that all her fantasies had been shattered. Of course she knew she'd never stood a chance of ever being anything more to Giles than his surrogate daughter, but that hadn't stopped her from dreaming.
Standing up, she walked over to the wash basin and washed her face. Looking at herself in the mirror she patted her face dry with a towel. Not too bad, she admitted grudgingly, her eyes didn't look too red. Hanging the towel up, Buffy looked herself straight in the eye.
“Pull yourself together,” Buffy told herself, “you always knew it could never be...” she took a deep breath, “...now, you've got a party to organise!”The End.