Disclaimer …. As before I own nothing. Joss & Dan own the characters, I just thought of the plot.
Buffy sat for a few seconds staring into space, to Dan Carter it seemed like hours.
“Buffy, Buffy, hello, anyone home?” He asked waving a hand in front of her face.
She blinked and shook her head slightly. “Sorry.” She said, a little vaguely. “It just caught me by surprise, shocked even, that Giles could have any family. He’s never mentioned anyone.”
“According to this he has. So I take it you know this gentleman.” Said Dan.
“Oh, only for almost the LAST TEN YEARS “ She raised her voice in the last part of the statement.
“Ok, calm down and give me some more information please. Like who, what, when, where and why.”
She composed herself, she didn’t want to give too much away.
“He’s my Watch“ ….. She stopped herself.
She started again. Dan noticed but didn’t say anything.
“He was our High School Librarian and my mentor and a friend. He’s also the CEO of the WSC Foundation, and the brainiest person I know. ‘Except for maybe Willow.”
“Right. So answer me this. How does an American High School Librarian, be related to Sir Leigh Teabing; and have The Order of The Bath bestowed upon him by The Queen. This is one of our countries highest honours. There‘s only a couple of your Presidents that have had this honour.” Queried Dan.
“Well he is actually British, he only came to Sunnydale on a green card just over ten years ago. He was the curator for the British Museum before that.” Said Buffy.
“Ah. That answers it. Although he must have been really good at it to get to be a ‘Sir’ that quickly.” Said Dan.
Buffy’s face suddenly lit up.
“Wait till I tell Willow, and Dawn, Xander!” She exclaimed. “He is sooo going to enjoy this. It will give him ammunition for years.”
She reached in her pocket for her cell phone and started to hit buttons. She suddenly paused, hit the cancel and put the phone away.
“What’s wrong?” Asked Dan.
“What I was about to do.“ She pouted. “There’s obviously a good reason he didn’t tell us this, so first I need to speak to him.”
“You obviously think a lot of him.” Said Dan
“If you could choose your parents; He would have gotten my vote for Dad.” Replied Buffy.
She turned to Sue Porter, who had been listening to the revelations unfold, and asked her to call a cab for her, to which Dan offered to drive her anywhere she wanted to go.
“What about here, your job.” She asked.
“I’m off duty now. Actually, I’m on Stand Down for a week because of the ribs, Docs put me on sick leave.” Dan replied.
Buffy winced and looked at her watch, it was five p.m. So that made it around noon in Cleveland.
“Can you take me back to my office. I really need to speak to him face to face.”
She turned to Sue Porter.
Would you contact your boss and apologise for me, I arranged to meet him back here at six, doesn’t look like I’m gonna make it. If he needs to call me he can contact me through my office.” She pulled her wallet from her pocket and extracted a business card.
The secretary nodded. Buffy picked up the files and they left the office.
“Where to, milady.” Said Dan as they exited the lift, giving good imitation of Parker from Thunderbirds.
She raised her eyebrows at him and flashed him a broad smile.
“Now that’s a better look for you, since I first met you this morning that’s probably the first genuine smile I’ve seen from you. Apart from when your boyfriend showed up.” Said Dan.
Buffy’s smile turned to a puzzled look, and then she blushed slightly and a small giggle escaped her lips.
“You mean Xander, the guy with the eye patch. No, he’s not my boyfriend, he’s more like a brother. We were in High School together, along with Willow, she’s my best friend. “
“And you all work for the WSC Foundation, which if I understood your Q&A earlier looks into supernatural occurrences and protects ordinary people from the ugliest and smelliest things I’ve ever seen this side of a bad Japanese film, ….What does WSC stand for anyway“? He asked.
Her face fell slightly, she thought and quickly said. “Not here, lets get to my office and I’ll try and explain a little better.”
The weather had brightened considerably since that morning. It was only about a mile to the offices of the Council from Belgravia Police Station. With London traffic volumes at five p.m. they decided it was lot quicker to walk.
As they walked Dan started asking questions about her likes dislikes, family, friends, boyfriends. It was at this point that Buffy stopped and cocked her head on one side.
“Are you hitting on me.”
“That’s American for chatting you up isn’t it? Might be………But if it’s a problem I’ll leave it. I have enough bruises already.” He added quickly.
“Direct much.” She thought. Buffy looked him up an down, sizing him up as though she was assessing how much strength it would take to throw him into the Thames from here. She decided she liked what she saw. Six - two, brown hair, darker hair than Riley‘s, but not as dark as Xanders, brown eyes good body, solid but not overweight. This guy looked after himself.
“Are you evil?” She questioned.
“Pardon.” He looked puzzled. “I don’t understand. I erm I don‘t think so. Why?”
“Lets just say that I so far think you’re ok, but you need to understand that it can be dangerous to be around me.”
Dan shook his head. “I can’t imagine why.” He grinned.
They crossed the road and facing the Tate Britain, Buffy walked past the main entrance to a plain stainless steel side door with no handle. She punched in a code on the keypad next to the door and it swung inwards. Dan noticed the small brass plaque on the other side of the door. It said. WSC Foundation.(2003) Registered Charity No. 5773337.
They stepped singly into what resembled an airport security cubicle which scanned them with a white light. As it passed over Buffy it turned lilac. When Dan stepped forward the light remained white. Dan gave a frown but said nothing.
Laid out before them was a large well lit, windowless reception area, with a desk at the far end next to lift doors. Filling one wall was a huge roll of honour board. The title over the board simply said. Fallen Hero’s - Never Forgotten.
Dan didn’t have time to more than glance at the board, but he was sure he glimpsed the name Summers on there. The receptionist greeted them.
“Good afternoon Miss Summers, there are some messages for you, would you like them now or shall I send them to your cell phone.
“Hi Jenny, Who are they from?” Asked Buffy
Chief Superintendent Clewley, and Mr Giles.” She Replied.
“I need to speak to Giles anyway, so send me the other one please. Oh, this is Dan Carter. Sorry Dan I don’t know your rank.
“Constable.” He replied.
“He’s one of Edward Clewley’s men, he’ll be ok. I’ll keep him with me.” Buffy offered.
The receptionist smiled and offered Dan the visitors book to sign, and gave him a blue coloured visitors pass to pin on his jacket.
“Don’t remove this badge for any reason. If you remove your jacket whilst in the building please put the badge onto your shirt. The consequences of moving around without it may be dire for you.” She said. It didn’t sound like a request. It sounded like an order.
Dan pinned it on him immediately, and gave it a sharp tug to make sure it was secure.
Jenny then raised her left hand in front of Dan. “Let you not speak of sights you see, nor sounds you hear.” She intoned. Dan looked confused.
They walked to the lift. As they approached the doors automatically opened to reveal a plush lift, they entered and Buffy pushed the single button. The lift started to descend, rapidly gaining speed for a few seconds and then slowing to a stop. Dan felt his stomach do a flip.
The doors opened and Dan’s jaw did the dropping thing as did most of the visitors and dignitaries who were given the tour for the first time as the lift doors opened to reveal a massive, brightly lit cavern in front of them people moving around an open plan office area, partitioned meeting rooms and a large matted training area in the centre. There were a group of girls following a kata routine, led by the auburn headed girl who had almost hit them with the van that morning.
“How far down are we?” He asked.
“About four hundred feet. Even the Subway’s above us here. Answered Buffy. We got the idea from a U.S. Military operation that existed a few years back. Keeps the prying eyes away.”
He recovered his composure and exclaimed.
“I understand it now you’re the female James Bond. Good God this is huge. How…. What……. Is that Tai Chi?” Stuttered Dan.
Buffy smiled and nodded. “Uh-huh. It’s one our warm up, cool down exercises. Helps keep you centred.
Dan’s mind was racing ahead thinking of all the questions he wanted to ask.
They approached one of the doors to the offices. Buffy opened the door and ushered Dan inside. Again it was comfortably equipped and furnished. A large desk sat in the centre with a telephone and a computer screen fitted with a webcam, keyboard and mouse to one side. Along one of the walls were several filing cabinets with index labels on them.
“Got to make a call. Said Buffy “There’s a mini bar over in the corner, no alcohol in there though, too many underagers around to be tempted. And trust me when I say that you definitely don’t need these girls drunk.”
She went to the computer Dan thanked her, went over to the mini bar, chose a bottle of water and walked over to the other wall.
Mounted on this wall were framed photographs, some depicting groups of girls in fighting stances, or just standing and laughing or pulling faces. The man with the eye patch he now identified as Xander was also featured in many of them. There was an older man with glasses also in some of them, doing his best to look disaffected by the groups antics around him. There was one photo of a tall black man with a shaved head and an earring with his arm around a rather saucy looking brunette, who, as the camera had snapped the photo, had raised two fingers behind his head giving him the impression of having horns. In the centre was a larger frame with multiple photos in it. These looked a little older than most of the others, one showed a younger Buffy with two other people, a younger Xander, with both eyes, and a pretty red head. They looked as if they hadn’t a care in the world. They were all smiles. Several of the others in the frame showed Buffy with another younger teenager and one depicted Buffy, the teen and an older blonde woman sitting under a tree in a park having a picnic.
He was pulled from his musings by Buffy’s voice, talking to someone.
“Giles, switch on the webcam, I want to see your face. What do you mean you don’t know how? Willow’s right you’re techno phobic. Ok push the button on the camera base that‘ll switch it on. There that wasn’t so hard was it.”
Dan’s curiosity was roused. He moved towards the screen she was sitting at so that he could get a better view of the person who was obviously Rupert Giles. He was rewarded with a view of the older man he had seen in the photographs.
“Giles, you look tired.” She admonished. “Have you been sleeping enough.”
“Buffy, when did you become my mother.” He retorted.
“Ewww. Gross image Giles. Sit down I’ve got some news, and some of it’s not of the good.”
Giles’ face on the screen looked both worried and thoughtful at the same time. He took off his glasses and began to polish them.
“Apocalyptic?. He asked
Don’t think so, but it does affect you. There’s no easy way to say this so here goes….Your cousin, Sir Leigh Teabing has died of a heart attack.
Giles placed his glasses on he table in front of him and he pinched the bridge of his nose.
“Problem is.” She continued. “I had dreams over the past few nights regarding a woman speaking French, saying what sounded like ‘Sangria’ and a crystal pyramid. Then last night this guy on crutches wandered into the dream as well, and, well; it kinda turned out to be your cousin. I’ve tried to research it from this end with Ed Clewley, but all we can find out is that he seems to have been the mastermind behind a plot to find or steal the Holy Grail or something. I got there just as the police were arresting him and a Fyarl attacked; which I killed by the way; and when did they get so rude. Anyway, before I can talk to him, he has a heart attack and dies, it was horrible Giles all I could think about was that what it was like for my mom.
At the thoughts returning the tears started to well up, Giles’ face had a look of sympathy on it.
“Are you alright Buffy. Look, Xanders there isn’t he,” She nodded. “I’ll get an earlier flight back. I‘m finished here anyway and I daresay that Robin and Faith will be glad to see the back of me.”
He thought for a second then he replaced his glasses.
“You said a woman speaking French and Sangria” Buffy nodded. “ Buffy, the French for Holy Grail is San Greul, is it possible that’s what you heard.” She shrugged. “Did you recognise the woman at all, or can you describe her.”
“Stupid Slayer dreams; she was old; like Grandma. I’m sorry Giles it was just flashes, I don’t think I’ve been given enough to go on; but I do know that it started in the Louvre in Paris, where a Jacques Saunier was murdered and this French Detective Fache………..”
She was cut of by Giles exclaiming “Oh dear Lord.”
“What?” She countered.
“There’s glass pyramid in the courtyard of the Louvre. Saunier is, or rather, was the curator.
Buffy turned to Dan. “See I said he was the brainest person I know”
“Buffy is there someone else there?”
Dan moved into the camera’s view. “Sir”, He said
“Who are you”
Giles its ok, he’s one of Edward Clewley’s men. Rupert Giles, meet Constable Daniel John Carter of the Metropolitan Police.” She said brightly.
“How …. Buffy,. Security. Stuttered Giles.
“He’s cool Giles. I sorta dented him this morning when the Fyarl attacked, and he hasn’t stopped asking questions yet. He passed the reception test.”
“Oh well I suppose that’s alright then” Quipped Giles, not hiding his sarcasm.
“Giles I have a guest, play nice.” She admonished.
Giles sighed and slumped slightly in his chair. “I’m sorry Buffy, you’re probably right, I’m tired. What are the arrangements for Leigh’s body.”
“The Imperial College. They have autopsy facilities. You know for someone who has just lost the only remaining member of his family you might be a little more upset. Why did you never mention him; and why did the Queen order you to have a Bath?” Said Buffy pointedly.
Dan sniggered at the Buffyism, and on the screen Giles face was having trouble keeping a straight face which earned them both a glare from the senior slayer.
“Firstly, Leigh was a prat. Secondly, he was so obsessed with the Holy Grail it got him kicked out of the old council; and thirdly, well thirdly he was an idiot who couldn’t see what was in front of him. Now his death has left me with another problem.” …He trailed off.
“And that would be? Asked Buffy.
“I’m next in line of accession to the House of Lancaster.” Groaned Giles……..
In the morgue of the Imperial College, two surgeons were preparing for an autopsy. Professor John Fielding was the senior consultant at the college and his assistant was Leigh Teabing’s own physician, Dr. Harold Davies.
They entered the room to see the body of Teabing covered by a clinical sheet, one foot sticking out with a morgue tag attached. They approached the table, Fielding reaching up and switching on the recording microphone. He started to record the details of the proceedings for the report, when Davies saw the foot twitch.