Author's notes: Okay, my English class read "The Lottery", so I thought 'What would happen if Buffy were there? She'd beat them up and make things right. Giles would get knocked unconscious and wake up after the battle... It'll be funny.' But then I started writing, and it just turned angsty. Sorry. Hope you enjoy anyway.
***After reading several reviews pointing out "character cannon" problems, I realized that I left out an important piece of info. I wrote this story when I was in high school, so that works out to either late season 2 or very early season 3. So the "bad-ass Wicca" and the super confident and capable Slayer were non-existent at the time. Sorry for the confusion.***
Disclaimer: (boring recitation mode on) I own nothing in the Buffy universe. I own nothing pertaining to the Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery." I have no money for which to sue. To do such would just waste your time. (boring recitation mode off)
The entire crowd was hushed as the family names were called one by one. The whole town was gathered in the town square for the annual Lottery. This year there was even a new family.
"Giles," Joes Summers called out from the list.
Rupert Giles gave a somewhat reassuring smile to his young 'family', stepped up to the box, and drew out a slip of paper.
Buffy, Willow, Xander, and Giles had come to the town three weeks previously in response to reports of a rather vicious vampire. No vampires were found when they arrived, but plenty of strangeness was.
The strangeness started out as a lot of little things, easily dismissed at first, but soon grew to include their inability to leave and their involvement in the town Lottery.
When they'd first arrived, they told people in the town that the three teenagers were Giles' children and that he was a widower. The story was made up to keep up appearances, but the would all regret it later. Their apparent 'family' was their ticket straight into the Lottery.
As Joe Summers neared the end of the list, the teenagers could barely contain their anxiousness. Buffy scanned the crowd, wondering if escape would be possible. Xander hummed to himself, wishing it were over. Willow fidgeted and glanced back and forth between Giles' face and the slip of paper he held clutched in his hand. She wasn't sure she could keep herself from fainting much longer. Giles stood, apparently calm and impassive, but inside, his mind was racing.
'What will I do if it's one of them? How can I stand by and watch? Will they be able to find a way out of here if it's me?'
As the last man drew the last slip of paper, the crowd became even quieter.
"Has anyone been overlooked?" asked joe. "No? All right, then. Everyone open your papers."
Faces all throughout the crowd beamed with joy after seeing blank papers. Giles opened his paper slowly, and his heart filled with dread. And then it shattered as he stared at the black dot.
"It's Giles," voices rang out.
Buffy looked ready to fight, while Willow and Xander looked ready to pass out. Giles had never looked so miserable in his entire life.
"How many in your family, Rupert?" Joes demanded.
His voice was amazingly clam as he answered, "Myself and my three children."
Joe took three blank papers and Giles' marked one, and put them back into the box. "Alexander." Xander took a paper. "Buffy." She followed suit. "Willow." She was shaking so badly she nearly dropped hers as she took it, but managed to take her turn. "Rupert." As he took the last paper, he offered up a silent prayer to whatever gods listening that it would be him.
"Open the papers," Joe said.
Buffy, blank. Xander, blank. Giles, blank. Willow...her already pallid face became stark white. It was her.
"It's Willow," Joe announced. "Bring her up here..." he ordered to the two men who had been steadying the box.
"No," Giles interjected. "Spare her. Take me instead," he insisted.
"Now, Rupert," Joe began, "The rules are the rules. She was chosen fairly, so she will be the one."
"She's too young. She has her whole life ahead of her. I'll take her place. I'll-" Giles persisted, but was cut off by Joe.
"Rupert," he said scowling, "This is how it has always been done..." Giles defiantly stepped between Willow and the men coming for her. "If you don't step aside and behave civilly, Rupert, I will have to have you restrained."
Realizing he was no good to her tied up, he dutifully stepped, and the two men each took her by an arm. Willow's thoughts were barely intelligible to even herself. 'No, I can't die. Don't wanna die. Must be something someone can do.'
With the Gileses already being in the front of the crowd, it was only a few steps to the platform, but to them Willow's walk to it seemed to take forever.
She climbed the two steps, and then turned to face the crowd. Only three kind countenances stared back at her. Xander and Buffy were crying, the tears streaming down their faces. Giles had the look of a make with no spirit left.
The two men and Joe stepped away from the platform and began gathering rocks from the numerous piles along with the rest of the townspeople.
It wasn't certain who threw the first stone, but the soon grew in number. As soon as the barrage began, Giles raced up onto the platform and tried to shield Willow with his own body.
The blasphemy of this act on egged the town on. Stones flew faster and harder towards the two. Xander was too astounded to do anything, but Buffy found herself restrained as she tried in vain to go to the aid of her friends.
Willow and Giles, who had long since fallen to the platform, were still being pummeled by the stones. Willow had taken several good hits and wouldn't last much longer. Giles, who had taken the brunt of the attack was on the brink of death.
He'd fallen on top of her when his legs had given out, but at the moment, she was past noticing such things. With the last of his strength he lifted his head to look into her eyes, and his broken heart was healed. He saw all his love and trust and hopes reflected there.
With their last breaths they kissed. And there they were, the winners of the Lottery.