2. Eyes on the Prize
Title: Sarmatian Ladies
Rating: Pg-13 - R
Disclaimers: Joss owns Buffy & Co., Fuqua & Bruckheimer own Arthur & Co. I own the baby.
Spoilers: Buffy: s7, the movie King Arthur, and my story Protector of the Weak
Summary: Football matches, hissy fits, unusual fares, and a little mambo Italiano.
A/N: Ok, the sport of choice in my house growing up was soccer. My sisters played, I played, it’s the one ball we actually have in my house, my sister was an assistant coach and I helped out, and my family still watches my older sister’s championship game on tape. A lot. So I know soccer pretty well. I’m also part Italian, so any Italian traits of certain characters I’ve picked up from family members or friends who are also Italian.
Garrett/Galahad’s remark about being called a man-whore? I actually heard some guy say that. Dontcha just love college guys?2. Eyes on the Prize
*****“I have been growing for these eighteen years,
And waiting here, for one thing and another.”
- Isolt, Tristam
Dawn pushed the sunglasses up on her nose. It was brighter than she’d thought. Maybe being pregnant made things look brighter? She wasn’t sure if it was that or the glare off the metal bleachers. Gwen and Gavin were enthralled by the game, and Garrett was enthralled by the two girls seating below them. Dawn was too busy trying to see Bors. It was weird to see him with blond hair. That was the biggest shock she’d had since seeing Gavin at the bar the first time.
“You call that defense?” Gwen yelled as the other team scored.
“That’s all right! We’re still up by three!” Gavin yelled at the same time. “They’re the better team.” He said quietly.
“Nah. West Ham’ll win it. Better goalkeeper.” Gwen replied, her eyes still on the action.
“The forwards are stronger.”
“They’ve got better defense.”
“We’re up by three points!”
“There’s still another half to be played.”
“Ok, for those of us not really into your argument, can you just be quiet?” Dawn interjected.
“You can’t be quiet and watch a football match.” They said at the same time.
“Ok. . sorry I asked.” Dawn held up her hands.
She was kinda bored. Soccer . . .er, football was cool and all that, but she really wasn’t all that interested. She wanted to find Bors, see if he even believed them, and finish packing. So she went back to staring at her ’drinking buddy’. She wondered what would ’tip’ him off. She could mention liquor, Vanora, or eleven bastard children. Something told her that would be a bad idea. Then he turned around, peering up into the crowd. In her direction.
Boris Haggarty felt the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end. He glanced over his shoulder at the cheering crowd. His eyes narrowed. Up near the top of the bleachers, the cheap seats as Joe liked to call them, there was a girl watching him. She straightened up quickly when she saw him stare back at her. Her face looked familiar, but he couldn’t be sure. She was wearing these huge sunglasses that seemed to swallow her face. She looked pale. The bloke sitting next to her turned to her then, his hand going to her arm. He turned to stare at Boris, jerking the arm of the girl next to him.
Boris turned away. He didn’t care what was bothering that lot. He had players to yell at. The defense was getting sloppy, and McHenry was getting full of himself. Even though Boris told himself to concentrate on the game, he felt his mind wandering back to that girl up in the bleachers.
Willow stared at the computer screen. She’d promised Dawn she’d work her hacking skills and try to get a lead on where Lancelot and Arthur might be, but so far she hadn’t come up with anything. The other six had been in London or near London, but that didn’t mean that they would be there. She sighed. This was useless. Something wasn’t matching up. Either they were different looking in this time or they didn’t live in London. She was leaning towards the not-living-in-London theory.
“Hey Red, G-man said you wanted to see me?” Faith called, poking her head in Willow’s office. She watched with a grin as the witch jumped.
“Sorry. Didn’t mean to startle you.” Faith chuckled. “What’s up?”
“Can you do me a favor?”
“What?” Faith asked guardedly.
“Dawn needs to find this guy, for that whole mission the Powers set her on?” Willow said, printing the information out.
“The one that sent B running back to Rome?”
“Buffy didn’t run, she -”
“She ran, Willow. She doesn’t like Dawn’s choice, so she left.” Faith said, rolling her eyes. She knew Buffy better than anyone else.
Being a slayer had always been a job Buffy had to do, and when there was a chance for her to escape that life, she’d jumped at it. Faith didn’t blame her, she’d have done the same thing had she been in her shoes. But she wasn’t. Faith knew that was why it was hard on Buffy, having Dawn get dragged back in by the powers.
“That’s not fair.” Willow sighed.
“Life ain’t fair, Red.” Faith plopped herself down in the chair across from her. “So, who am I lookin’ for?”
“Trevor Bishop, or Sir Tristan.”
“One of Dawnie’s knights? I thought she was supposed to get them?”
“She is. But this guy - I saw him fight, Faith. He’s a warrior.” Willow grimaced, noticing the look on Faith’s face. “I -”
“You’re worried he might overreact and hurt Dawnie.” Faith nodded. “I get that, why send the Key when you can send a slayer.”
“It’s just that Dawn’s pregnant, and I really wouldn’t want anything to happen to the baby. Not that -”
“Red, I got ya.” Faith sighed. “Wait, why not send one of the already-found knights?”
“Well, they really are only just remembering their pasts. Dawn says they can’t even spar yet. Gavin’s only been here for about a month . . .what are you smiling about?” Willow asked.
“Gavin. The blond, right?” Faith grinned. “Good choice, Red.”
“What are you talking about? Hello, gay now.” Willow said blushing, looking back at the printer tray.
“Get off it, Red. Everyone knows he’s got a thing for you. Might as well take him for a test drive.”
“He doesn’t have a thing. There’s no thing!” Willow said, snatching the papers as they slipped from the printer. “And besides, I’m gay.”
“Willow, you and Kennedy Little-Miss-Slay-A-Lot broke up about three months ago. You’re free to sleep with anybody you wanna. He’s single and he’s got a thing for you.”
“He - there’s been some innocent flirting. Nothing else.” Willow admitted. “That’s it.”
“There’s no such thing as innocent flirting unless you’re twelve years old. He wants to knock boots.” Faith grinned. “You better take him up on the offer.”
“Faith, I’m not into guys.” Willow sighed.
“No, you’re not into macho people.”
Willow turned to stare at the brunette. What was she talking about? Okay, so the whole flirting-with-Gavin hadn’t been totally innocent, he was a good looking guy, and she was single, but she was also gay. Nothing was gonna happen.
“Xander was the first person you liked, right?”
“I was a kid! I didn’t -”
“That’s not the point. You wanted Xander. Then you met Oz. No offense to either of em, but they’re not the world’s most masculine manly men. Oz was soft-spoken, sweet, and gentle to a fault. Except when he went all Wolfman. From what D told me about Tara, she was the polar opposite of Kennedy.” Faith grinned wider. “Now, Gavin. He’s all baby-faced and sweet. But he’s got a macho streak if you scratch the surface. Probably all that knightly past life.”
“What does that have to do with anything?”
“You want him because he’s everything you’ve ever fallen for. You liked guys before, Red.”
“I liked them as people -” Willow cut herself off, and Faith just grinned at her.
“So, who’s this mystery man and how do I find him?”
“Trevor Bishop. Here’s his cab’s normal route. I’ll call ahead and arrange him to pick you up at the Oyster Shell Pub.”
“How do you know he’ll be the cabbie to pick me up?”
“I have my ways. Plus your ‘destination’ is one of the buildings the Council owns down there, and it’s one of his regular routes. His shift ends around five, so you can convince him to stay there with you once you explain you’re on a mission of great importance.”
“Shit, I get to be all 007?” Faith grinned. “What’s he look like?”
“Here’s a copy of his driver’s license.” Willow handed her the packet of information. “We’ll have Dawn and the others meet you there when they get back from Hampshire.”
“Damn. He’s kinda hot.” Faith muttered.
“How’s Robin?” Willow asked, quietly.
“You might want to ask his girlfriend.” Faith said, pushing herself up out of the chair.
“Broke up. His surprises were getting kinda annoying.” Faith said quietly. “Not all that into a girl who’s into ‘the mission‘.”
“Oh. I’m -”
“Nah, I’m cool with it. Opens the playing field back up. I’ll call you once I get him secure.”
“I’ll call, Red.”
“This’ll be a piece of cake.”
Dawn yelled along with everyone else, happy that West Ham had indeed won the match. Her reason was slightly different than everyone else's, but what the hell? She tapped Garrett on the shoulder, only to have him continue to flirt with the girls below them.
“Sweetie, we’ve got to get to that obstetrician appointment.” Dawn said as sweetly as she could. “Garrett Junior here needs to get his little picture taken.”
The girls went wide eyed and Dawn nearly bust out laughing. They gave him disgusted looks and her a sympathetic and embarrassed look. Garrett was red in the face. Literally.
“That was uncalled for.”
“Yeah, well we have a knight to recruit, so sorry I had to wreck your love life, hon.” Dawn rolled her eyes. Honestly, he could be really annoying at times. “C’mon. He’s alone.”
“Dawn!” Gwen tried to caution her, but she went running down the bleacher steps.
There was a divider that separated the field and the bleachers. Luckily, Bors - Boris, whatever his name was - was standing near them. That solved one problem. She reached the divider fence first.
“Mr. Haggarty?” She yelled.
Boris looked up to find the girl from before calling his name. He should have known. She was one of those crazy fangirls, probably wanting him to introduce her to the players.
“Sorry, love, I can’t help you get any of the players numbers.”
“Mr. Haggarty, I need to speak with you.” She called, leaning over the rail. “It’s very important.”
“Look, girl, I ain’t got the time to be -” He said crossly, getting annoyed by this conversation already.
“It’s about Dagonet!” The girl snapped, taking her sunglasses off.
Boris felt a chill seep into his skin. He’d never spoken that name out loud to anyone. How could this girl know it? Dagonet had been an imaginary friend of his as a child. They’d been knights together, like brothers, always riding off on great adventures.
“Who told you that name?” Boris demanded through gritted teeth.
“You remember it?” She whispered. “Oh, thank god! My name is Dawn Summers -”
“I didn’t ask your name. I asked where you heard that name?” He said grabbing her arm roughly.
Dawn let out a shocked cry, and Gavin was there in a flash prying Boris’ hand off of her arm. He stepped between them, glowering down at the older man he half-remembered.
“Don’t touch her.” Gavin said in a low and threatening voice.
“Gav, it’s okay.” Dawn said, trying to move him out of the way. “I know that name because the man I loved had the same name. He was big, tall, strong.”
“That’s not a real name.” Boris spat.
“Yes it is! It was the name of the court jester of King Arthur’s court.” Dawn said, praying he would remember.
“Dag wasn’t a fool!” Boris spat.
“No, but history painted him that way. He had a close friend, name Bors. Bors was a strong warrior, father to eleven children. Lover of Vanora.” Dawn continued, pushing around Gavin to crouching lower, so Boris could hear her.
His face went pale. How could she know these things? He had never told anyone about Dagonet, or that whenever he saw Dagonet, there was a young red-haired girl with him. She always trailed behind them in his memories. Vannie had been her name.
“How do you know this?”
“I - I know because I was there.”
“You’ve gone round the bend!” Boris chuckled. “How in the bloody hell could you have been there? Past life you’re remembering I suppose?”
“No. I was there less than two months ago. You’re remembering your
past life.” Dawn stretched out a hand and touched him gently on the shoulder. Boris jerked slightly at her touch, but he found himself looking in her eyes. Tears glistened there as she spoke again. “We mourned together. My drinking buddy. I told you I loved him and you said you knew.”
“Bloody -” Boris said quietly, as the images pulled themselves to the front of his mind.
A/N: I’m gonna be gone next week due to spring break. Just a heads up to let you all know.