Revelations & Responses
Chapter Title: Revelations & Responses
Rating: FR18 for swearing.
Disclaimer: I own nothing. All characters connected with BtVS are owned by Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy.
Dawn Summers awoke bright and early, despite her best efforts to sleep in till noon. She lies in her bed for a few moments, listening to the breathing of her roommates, Amanda and Eloise. With a sigh she swings her legs off the bed and allows herself a full-bodied stretch and a huge yawn. Getting up she gathers up a change of clothes and makes her way to the bathroom. At least I’ll get first crack at the bathroom. She thinks.
Twenty minutes later she exits the bathroom in a cloud of steam, dressed in a pair of faded blue jeans, ripped at the knees and a lightweight, pale violet sweater over a black tank-top. She goes to the mirror attached to the dresser and quickly brushes her damp, light brown hair. Satisfied with her appearance she makes her way quietly to the door, she slips out and silently shuts the door behind her. Once in the hallway she hesitates, unsure of what to do next. Finally she decides to go down to the dining room to have breakfast. As she passes Buffy’s door, she notices that it’s slightly ajar. Curious and a little alarmed (a side-affect if living on the Hellmouth) she creeps up to the door. As she nears, she overhears the older members of the group talking loudly clearly agitated.
“Are you quite sure Whistler said you had no choice Buffy?” Giles asks. Dawn can picture him pinning Buffy with a no-nonsense look as he vigorously cleans his glasses.
“I’m sure Giles, he may not have used those exact words, but the message was pretty clear.” Dawn frowns at her sister’s voice, which sounded suspiciously like she had been crying.
Curiosity and alarm growing Dawn presses closer to the door, and manages to peer inside. She sees Willow on the couch fully dressed, looking like she’s about to burst into tears. Xander sits next to her in his pajamas, looking like he wants to beat something. Faith sits on the arm of a chair clad in a pair of grey sweats and a tank-top, apparently in shock. Robin sits in the chair, bare-chested, in a pair of dark sweats, his arm around Faith. He appears to be deep in thought, absent-mindedly rubbing his bandaged stomach. Giles is pacing back and forth, in black jeans and grey sweater, his glasses in his hand and a pensive frown on his face. Buffy sits in a large chair with her back to Dawn.
‘What the hell is going on?’ Dawn thinks.
“They can’t do this, I mean take someone from a dimension to use as their muscle. Can they?” Willow asks, looking up at Giles. Her words almost a plea.
Giles sighs and stops pacing to look down at the floor. “They are The Powers That Be, one would assume they could.”
“Isn’t there something we can do? A spell, a blessing, anything.” Willow asks, beginning to sound desperate.
“Whistler only gave me three days Willow. I don’t think even you could find a spell in that short a time.” Buffy answers.
‘Three days for what?’
Faith speaks slowly obviously in shock. “I thought they were the greater good, the reason we fight the good fight. B fought the longest and the hardest why would they do this to her?”
Dawn feels her pulse jump into her throat. ‘Do what to Buffy?’
“Because they’re unfeeling bastards, who care diddily squat about their champions.” Xander finally speaks up, obviously pissed.
“Xander-” Willow starts, but she’s cut off by Xander springing to his feet.
“Don’t ‘Xander’ me Willow. We just got her back and now they expect us to just sit here twiddling our thumbs while they send her off to another dimension.”
Dawn gasps and moves away from the door, as Buffy jumps up from her seat and spins around.
Dawn doesn’t answer, instead she turns and bolts down the stairs. Once in the lobby she hesitates a moment before racing toward the doors. She hits the streets and runs down the sidewalk, tears now streaming down her face. Four blocks from the hotel sobs begin to rack her body, she leans against a store wall and slowly slides down it. With her face against her knees and her arms over her head she sobs, while the sun streams down on her. The people on the busy sidewalk sidestep the young woman who cries as if her heart was breaking.
A few moments later Dawn senses someone next to her, sniffling she turns her head slightly and is surprised to see Willow.
Noting her surprise Willow gives her a small smile, dried tear-tracks on her own face. “I convinced Buffy to let me come after you. Thought it’d be best if Los Angeles didn’t see the Slayer in her pj’s.”
Dawn shifts and leans against the wall with Willow, wiping her eyes and cheeks with her hands. “Why does she have to go?”
Willow sighs, “Well it’s either what Xander said, and the PTB’s are unfeeling bastards or it’s because Buffy’s the only one who can help those other worlds.”
“What about what you said, can’t we find a way to keep her here?” Dawn asks hopefully.
Willow shakes her head. “Buffy was right, three days is just not enough time to come up with a spell. Not one strong enough to oppose omnipotent beings anyway.”
They sit in silence for a moment, watching the people walk by them. Never realizing that they were about to lose a great warrior. Dawn finally breaks the silence. “What if it isn’t the PTB sending her away? What if it’s a nefarious evil, planning on killing her when it gets her alone?”
Willow raises her eyebrows at this, considering it. Then she shakes her head again. “I don’t think so. Buffy says she got her orders from Whistler, and Whistler is a balancing demon for the PTB.”
Dawn refuses to let the idea go just yet. “Could’ve been a shape shifter.”
“Buffy would’ve sensed it.” Willow looks at Dawn in empathy. They again sit in silence. This time it’s Willow who eventually breaks it. “The way I see it is we have two choices. One: we could get angry and blame Buffy for something she has no control over. Or two: we could finally act like adults and spend the next three days showing Buffy that she has our support and love.”
Both girls stare off into the distance, each lost in their own thoughts. Each wondering how to let go.
After Dawn had run off and Willow had gone after her, Xander had left the door slamming behind him. Faith and Robin had left shortly afterwards, saying something about getting dressed. The only ones left in the room were Buffy and Giles.
Buffy stood staring at the door for a moment, finally she glances toward her former watcher. Giles stood in front of the large patio windows, with his back toward her. Taking a deep breath, she decides to take the bull by the horns. “Are you angry with me?”
Giles jerks as if startled and spins toward her, shock written across his face. “Good Lord Buffy why would I ever be angry with you?”
Buffy shrugs, but doesn’t look away. “You haven’t said anything since everyone left. Silent Giles usually equals angry-at-Buffy Giles.”
Giles looks at her intently, he sighs and moves toward the couch. He motions toward Buffy and she approaches him. Both sit, and Giles leans forward and braces his elbows on his knees. “I’m not quite sure how to . . . react to all of this.”
Buffy snorts softly. “Join the club.”
Giles glances at her and smiles gently. “Yes, well. A part of me is terrified for you, but another bigger part of me thinks this could be a great opportunity for you.”
Buffy looks at him sharply. Then gets up and moves away from him quickly. “Sure of course you do. I mean you’re the one who thought I’d kill my own sister. But did I? You’re the one who thought it’d be best to leave after everyone found out I came back from Heaven. Which worked out really well by the way. You’re the one who told me I’d have to make the hard decisions. Of course once I did you turned around and told me I’d gone too far, then supported everyone when they kicked me out of my own house. You’ll excuse me Giles if I think your thought process is currently crap.”
Buffy was shaking slightly as she paced, and for the first time Giles realized just how his disloyalty had hurt her. He stands and approaches her, he raises his had slightly to touch her shoulder, but thinks better of it. “Buffy . . . I don’t know what to say . . . I-I did what I thought was best. I realize that some of my decisions over the past few . . . um I realize they were . . . crap. But the leaving, I honestly thought it would be better for you to stand on your own feet. I didn’t realize that you would turn to Spike of all people. I didn’t realize you would be unable to . . . reconnect with anyone. And I now know that I put too much pressure on you, to make the hard decisions. You have accomplished a great many things and have sacrificed much, that I admit I sometimes forget that you are in reality a twenty-three-year-old woman, who was forced into an unfair destiny. I should have seen that, I shouldn’t have expected you to make the hard decisions when I, myself could not.”
Buffy looks at him sharply, a questioning, vulnerable look, that breaks Giles’ heart. “As for kicking you out of the house. I’m sorry, it doesn’t nearly make up for what happened but I am. After the heat of the battle wore off I had a lot of time to think. And perhaps Spike was right in a way.” He notices Buffy’s curious look. “When he returned to the house and discovered that you left he told us, ‘the Watcher can’t handle the fact that his Slayer has outgrown him.’ Or something along those lines. And it’s true. I didn’t realize how much I relied on you needing me, until I came back and you no longer turned to me. The fact that I had brought it on myself by leaving . . .” He laughs at himself slightly, shaking his head. “Well it just made everything that much worse. I’m afraid I went through what all parents’ go through, I had trouble believing that you were an adult and no longer the little girl I first met.” He turns away rubbing his eyes.
Buffy looks at the proud figure of her once mentor, the man who despite what she had said was more like a father to her than Hank Summers had ever been. Watching him, she realizes what it cost him to say what he did. She approaches him silently and wraps her arms around him, burying her face in his back. After a moment he squeezes her arms in a pseudo-hug.
Breaking out of her hold he turns to her and continues. “This could be a real chance for you Buffy. These other worlds . . . they’re not your responsibility, you’re not their hero, from what I understand, from what Whistler told you. You will be there to help and guide the heros’ of those dimensions. Many young adults go through similar journeys.” She looks up at him, wrinkling her nose in a frown. He chuckles slightly. “Well perhaps the journeys are a little different. But the idea is still the same, going away to find oneself. To be free of ones obligations. Granted most people go to exotic places such as Europe or Asia, but I guess one could make do with other dimensions’.” He smiles and is rewarded when she returns it. “You can do this Buffy.”
He hugs her, and they stand there for a bit, sharing a moment. Giles finally pulls away and leaves to go to his own room to allow her to change. Buffy stands there for a long while staring at the door pensively.
Faith & Robin’s Room
Robin stiffly lowers himself onto the couch of their room, as he watches Faith absentmindedly gather her clothes. “Faith?” he asks his lover worried.
Faith looks over at him a distant look in her eyes. “We talked after she came for us after the explosion. I told her how I’d always thought she’d had it all, friends, family, a devoted guy. I told her how I didn’t realize that being the leader, the strong one had cut her off from the people she loved most.” The distant look fades as she looks Robin dead in the eye. “I’m the next oldest Slayer, when she leaves I’m it. I’ll lead these Slayers, I’m gonna be the one they turn to, the strong one.” She laughs darkly. “The strong one. You know what I would’ve done if the Scoobies had pulled that ‘kicking you out for our own good’ bullshit?” She plows ahead, not waiting for a response. “I would’ve said, ‘see you all in Hell’ and been outta Sunnydale so fast, it would’ve made your head spin. But what does Buffy do?” Again she doesn’t wait for an answer. “She stays, she fucking stays, rescues the person who took her place and never once tells off the people who kicked her to the curb in the first place.” Faith starts pacing in agitation. “I don’t think I can be the one people lean on alone.” She admits in a soft voice.
Robin struggles up from the couch and approaches her. Taking her in his arms he tells her, “You’re not alone.”
“You sure you want to stay when people are getting on my nerves and I start snapping and bitching at everyone?” She asks in a cocksure voice.
Robin though can hear the underlining thread of trepidation. He gathers her closer and leans into her. “Of course, your bitching and snapping will keep life interesting.” He gives her a small, intimate smile.
She returns it almost against her will. She then breaks out of his hold gently and turns back to gather her clothes, she then enters the bathroom not bothering to shut the door. As she starts the water for her shower, she shouts back to him. “We should have a party for B.”
Robin, once again settled on the couch, frowns and calls out. “What? Why?”
“A going away party for B, you know loud music, presents, booze. To allow the new Slayers to say goodbye without making B, or anyone else getting uncomfortable or sad. A way to send B off with a bang.” Faith tells him, stepping under the stream of water.
Robin smiles and once again gets up off the couch walking over to the bathroom he leans against the doorjamb and admires her silhouette through the shower curtain for a minute. “You’re pretty remarkable, you know that?”
Faith pokes her head out from one end of the curtain and gives him a good-natured grin. “Bout time you admitted that Robbie.” Her grin turns into a leer as she asks, “You wanna help me wash my back?”
Robin laughs, pushes away from the doorjamb and enters the steam filled bathroom.
Next Chapter: Operation: Bon Voyage Buffy
The party & a certain souled vampire. Also, Xander says his piece
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