Chapter 2: Giles Apartment
AN: Thanks for the Reviews! More Please, Can I have some more.
At Giles’s apartment, Willow knocked loudly on the front door. “Giles! Giles! Wake up! Wake up! I killed Buffy!” Willow yelled with tears blinding her eyes and choking her voice.
“Who is it?” Giles asked as the pounding on his door awoke him. He stumbled drunkenly down the stairs missing a few steps on his way to the door. Hair mussed, and glasses hanging crookedly on his nose, he shrugged into his favorite robe as he jerked the door open. “What is it!” he yelled in frustration. “Willow?” he said surprised. He looked at the young girl on his doorstep, blinking in bewilderment. “What are doing here, its one o’clock in the morning,” he asked, blinking owlishly at her. “Aren’t you supposed to be in bed?”
“Giles,” Willow sobbed. “Come quick, Buffy’s dead.”
“Uh,” Giles said, shaking his head. This is a trick, he thought. Someone put her up to this. He looked beyond her, peering into the dark night. “Willow,” he said. “It is not funny to be playing tricks at one o’clock in the morning.”
“It’s no trick,” she said sobbing, rushing past him into the apartment.
“Uh,’ he said again, bewildered. Ice formed in his heart. It couldn’t be. Buffy Summers was not dead. He staggered slightly, grabbing the door for support, then closed it gently behind him. “What happened?” he asked. His voice seemed as if it was going through a tunnel. “Was it a vampire?”
“No,” Willow sobbed.
“Was it a demon?” Giles asked his mind in a haze.
“No.” She sobbed louder and pulled him into an embrace. Just thinking about what had happened shattered her spirit, making her sob louder.
“Not a vampire or a demon,” Giles asked bewildered. “Then what was it,” he yelled, his voice inflamed. He shook her as if it would speed up her thoughts. He was tired of this. What happen to his slayer?
Willow gasped. “I killed her,” she wailed shaking in fright as she remembered Buffy’s pale and lifeless body on the ground.
Giles stumbled back, shock made him loosen his hold on her.
“Giles?” Willow called in a small-frightened voice.
He put up a hand in stop motion. He shakily walked towards the kitchen. “I need something to drink,” he muttered.
“Giles!” Willow said, rushing to follow him.
Twenty minutes later, sipping a cup of tea, Willow calmly tried to explain what had happened. Abruptly the front door opened while Willow was wiping her eyes on a damp piece of cloth.
“What’s this about Buffy being killed?” demanded Xander as he, Cordelia, and Oz rushed into the room. Oz made a beeline for his girl.
“I killed Buffy!” said Willow on a fresh sob. She swallowed the despair in her throat.
“No you didn’t,” Giles said automatically, sipping on his tea. Oh my dear girl is dead. What will the council think? That I couldn’t keep a Slayer more than two years. My Slayer is dead. Dead.
The door once again crashed open and Faith, with Buffy cradle in her arms staggered towards Giles couch.
His tea crashed to the floor, and for a brief moment shock held him immobile. “Let me help you,” he said rushing towards the Slayer.
“No!” said Faith, pushing the Watcher aside. “I got it.”
“Did someone call Angel?” asked Cordelia. She didn’t know what to think. Buffy and her had never really seen eye to eye. There can be only one queen bee. Now she felt guilty and selfish.
“I did,” said Giles. He sighed heavily, his voice filled with anguish. “After I called you guys.”
There was a heavy feeling in his stomach. Looking down at Buffy’s still form, Giles said absently. “I can’t believe she is dead. She looks so peaceful, like she’s sleeping. I thought I would have more time with her.”
“Yeah,” said Xander looking down at Buffy, his face bleak with sorrow. “It’s weird that a guy would kill her with a sword. I thought she would have gone down fighting a gang of vampires,” he said, shaking his head regretfully.
“Yes,” said Giles thoughtful, his mind a tumult of confusion. “She should have been able to handle one guy. You said he was human,” he asked Willow more puzzled about that fact than anything else.
“He looked like it,” she said, looking at Faith for confirmation.
Ignoring the question, Faith said venomously to Willow. “Buffy wouldn’t have died if you didn’t start screaming. You distracted her.”
“I didn’t mean to,” said Willow, her face twisting in pain as fresh tears ran down her cheek. “I just saw Buffy with a sword swinging like she was going to kill him. I didn’t know what to think.”
“Are you sure?” demanded Giles, his eyes blinking owlishly behind his glasses. That was different kettle of fish, although it doesn’t justify what Willow done.
Surprised, Willow thought back to the moment when she had first seen Buffy fighting that guy. “Well yes,” she said, but to her dismay, her voice broke slightly.
“He called her Isabella,” said Faith, her thoughts dull and disquieted.
“Who?” said Giles, his voice apologetic. He knew that he was intruding on her grief. Even in his own grief he recognizes that the slayers had been close.
“The guy,” Faith said, turning torture eyes towards Giles.
“Isabella?” said Giles. “Are you sure?” he asked, his voice held a rasp of excitement.
“Yes,” she said her voice breaking. She cleared her throat and continued. “But, Buffy didn’t deny it. He also said he knew her a long time. Looking, back I think Buffy was surprised to see him, but she seemed to get over that. She told him it was holy ground. Whatever that means.”
“Mmm,” murmured Giles. For the first time, since Willow brought the news that his Slayer was dead, he felt that here was something he truly could do. Research. He turned to suggest that, when he saw Angel at the door. He hesitated briefly before inviting him in.
“What happened?” he asked, his voice carrying a unique force. He walked quickly towards the couch, where Buffy was lying still as death.
“Willow killed Buffy,” Cordelia responded matter-of-factly. Her sense of loss was beyond tears.
“Cordelia!” said Giles, wincing. He closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose. What a tactless way to put it, he thought.
She shrugged, closing her eyes.
“What?” Angel questioned, first looking toward Willow, then around the room at the rest of the Scooby’s. When he had last seen Willow, she was determined to have it out with Buffy. Now to find out that she had killed Buffy. Buffy was the strongest slayer alive and immortal. Immortal. Buffy was not dead, she just resting. ‘Oh, he thought, looking around at the grief stricken faces. They don’t know.
In the intervening silence, Buffy Summers awoke with a gasp.
Startled the gang could only stare as she slowly and gingerly sat up.
“Wait, what?” gasped Xander as his eyes rolled back into his head as he fainted on the carpeted floor with a thud.
Giles felt his legs give way and he sat down hard, missing the sofa by a few inches.
“What happened?” moaned Buffy, tossing her head her to clear the cobwebs from her brain.
Cordelia stood, gaping in stunned silence at the newly risen Buffy.
Surprised siphoned the blood from Willow’s face. “You-you,” she said, as she followed Xander to the floor.
“Willow!” said Oz, as he swiftly caught his girlfriend before her head hit the carpeted floor.
The shock of a newly risen Buffy had also had immobile Faith for a few minutes, but she quickly grabbed a stake, then charge Buffy. However, Angel swiftly blocks her path. “Let me go,” Faith yelled. “I don’t want to hurt you,” she said, pushing at Angel’s unyielding chest.
“Yes, well I’d rather that you didn’t hurt me either,” Angel stated dryly. “But I don’t want you to hurt Buffy.”
“Buffy!” Faith yelled, giving Angel a sidelong glance of utter disbelief. “Are you blind? Don’t you see that something has inhabited Buffy’s body? B is dead,” she said with a moan, her body slumped in despair.
He sighed heavily. “No she’s not,” Angel said softly. He understood the other woman’s pain. “This is Buffy,” he said turning her gently towards Buffy who was feeling her tender stomach.
“No I am not dead,” Buffy said grimacing. How to explain what happened? She had planned to tell them, but fate chose a different time. ‘Each of us has to play the cards we were dealt,’ she thought. She continued to touch the hole in her favorite shirt reflecting on how lucky she was. It was a mistake, next a time a mistake like that could take her head. She had gotten complacent, and cocky. It was a rookie mistake allowing outside interference to distract her from a fight.
She and Faith had almost finished patrolling Leigh-Hall cemetery when she had sensed an immortal. Knowing that she couldn’t hide, she decided to confront him and as she was about to deliver the killing blow, she heard Willow scream. She had thought that something had captured Willow, only to find her looking at her like she was some sort of monster. Oh Willow, she thought, remembering that her friend had fainted. Friends were a human liability. Ignoring the other Slayer and Angel, she walked over to Willow, cradled in Oz’s arms.
Oz looked at Buffy briefly for a few minutes, breathing in the scent of her. He nodded this was indeed Buffy. “Fainted,” he said, in his monosyllabic way.
For a minute or two, his brain had doubted what his eyes had seen. Giles shook himself out of his stupor and stumbled towards Buffy, rubbing his weary eyes. “Buffy?” he gasped; uncertainty lent a rasp to his voice.
“Yes it’s me,” she said, giving him a tentative smile.
“Oh, my dear girl,” he said rushing to gather her up into his arms; tears running unashamedly down his cheek. His Slayer was alive. Alive. His arms tightened in reaction to his thoughts.
“Giles? Giles, you are squeezing the life out of me,” Buffy said, wiggling out of his arms.
“Sorry,” he said, holding her apart from him, his eyes glowing as they drunk in her loveliness. “How?” he asked puzzled.
Sheepishly she just smiled.
“B that’s really you?” Faith breathed, her arms dropping dejectedly to her side. Suddenly she was angry. How dare Buffy Summers put her through this hell. She had never thought she could care about anyone again ever since her Watcher had died. She had been living on the street since she was twelve years old, after one of her mother’s boyfriends had thought that she would be an easy lay. It took persistence and a couple of cops before she was found and went to live with her Watcher. But her idyllic life with her Watcher had changed one fateful night, when she was force to run while Kistano, a demon, killed her Watcher. However, there was one valuable lesson she had learned living on the street. Always look out for number one. Número uno
She knew that the Scooby’s didn’t like her, but that was their lost. As long as she and B were together, they could rule the world. The Chosen two.
Since the fight had gone out of Faith, Angel dropped her arms and moved away to sit at the same chair that Buffy had lain in.
“Mmm,” Xander moaned as he got off the floor. “Who hit me?” he asked. “Let me at him,” he said, holding his head to his shoulder.
Coming out from her catatonic state, Cordelia rushed towards her ex-boyfriend. “Are you okay?” she asked concerned, giving Buffy a wide berth. If that wasn’t the real Buffy, she didn’t wanted to be the first to be taken hostage. Bad guys always took the pretty one.
“Who hit me?” Xander asked, groaning softly. It felt like several little men were hammering on his skull.
Relieved that he was going to okay, Cordelia said. “No one, you fainted.”
“No I didn’t,” said Xander appalled. “Real men don’t faint.”
Rolling her eyes in exasperation, Cordelia said, “Then you must be a girl, because you fainted.
“Yes, you swooned like a little lady,” Angel said, mockingly.
“Who asked you anyway dead boy?” Xander retorted contemptuously.
Eyes narrowing menacingly, Angel growled, “Watch it boy, keep it up. If you keep calling me dead boy, you’ll find out what I am capable of doing.”
“What are going to do, turn into Angelus?” he said sarcastically. “To do that you must have perfect happiness, and I know Buffy isn’t dumb enough to try again.”
Angel growled, breathless with rage, pushed up from his chair. Someone had to teach that a boy a lesson.
“You stay over there,” Xander retorted a shadow of alarm touching his face as grabbed the cross around his neck. He held it up in a warning manner.
“Enough!” yelled Giles, rancor sharpened his voice. “I am tired of all your petty differences.”
Xander opened his mouth.
“Shut up Xander! Just shut up,” Giles said sharply. “Stop baiting Angel. Do you have a death wish?” he asked incredulously. “Don’t you know if you bait a tame lion long enough it will fight back?”
“Yeah Xander. Stop being such an asshole,” said Buffy glaring at him with burning reproachful eyes.
A tense silence enveloped the room.
In the ensuing silence, Willow woke up, “Buffy!” she cried, struggling to get up.
“It’s okay,” Oz soothed, helping her to sit up. “She’s really alive,” he said understanding what she wanted to know.
“Alive?” Willow questioned. “How?”
“Yes how?” said Giles. “One minute you were dead and the next you were alive. I know you were dead, because we checked your pulse and you weren’t breathing.”
“I- I mmm,” said Buffy, indecision in her face. As casually as she could mange she glanced down at her watch, and gasped. “Look at the time,” she said. “It’s three in the morning. Mom’s gonna kill me, I’ve got to go.”
“Not yet, young lady,” Giles scowled, giving her a narrow glance. “Not without an explanation.
“I can’t stay,” said Buffy, watching Giles wearily. “Look at the time,” she repeated. “I got to go.” She shuffled awkwardly backwards toward the front door. “I will explain everything tomorrow. I promise,” she said.
“First thing in the morning,” Giles said, his voice resigned.
“Yes first thing,” Buffy answered, her voice echoing as she ran down the steps and into the night.
“What was that?” Xander said, staring at the closed door, baffled.
“I don’t know,” Giles said, still in the dark about his Slayer’s behavior. “How about you Angel? Do you know?” said Giles, chewing on his lips thoughtfully.
“Why would he?” asked Xander, his lips curled in disgust.
“Xander,” Giles admonished wearily. ‘That boy had to watch his mouth. They couldn’t continue to protect him if he courting trouble.
Angel glanced at his non-existent watch. “Uh,” he said. “I got go, sunrise and all that.”
Giles eyes narrowed at him in surprise. “Sunrise isn’t for another two hours,” he said. “You know what’s going on?” he asked no long surprised. If there were one person Buffy would have confided in, it would be Angel. No matter what had went on last year; there was still closeness between those two. Some times, he begrudged their friendship, especially at times like these.
Angel sighed. “Yes, but it is not my tale to tell. You guys have to wait until tomorrow morning,” he said, nodding his head, and then walked out the door.
Feeling battered and wounded, Willow looked around, then said. “I got go, I guess I’ll see everyone tomorrow.”
“I’ll walk you home,” said Oz softly. He looked at Willow, seeing the shadows under her eyes. He knew she was hurting. First, thinking she had killed her best friend, then to find her alive and hiding secrets. He wished he could take all the hurt away. However, everything would be out in the open tomorrow. No, he thought looking at his watch, later in the morning. What’s going to happen to the Scoobies, he thought looking at Xander and Willow. Everything they had come to rely on might be gone. He sighs.
Willow nodded as her eyes earnestly sought his.
“I gotta book,” Faith said, speaking with a bitter tone. She walked slowly, her foot dragging, behind the couple, not wanting to dwell on what had just happen.
Recovering from what he had just gone through, Xander added lightly, “Yeah G-man, we’ll see you tomorrow.” He quickly followed the others through the door.
“Hey wait up!” yelled Cordelia, her lips thinned with irritation at seeing Xander leaving without her. She muttered under her breath about inconsiderate ex-boyfriends. ‘Is it my fault that Miss Perfect Buffy isn’t who they think she is? How can a person be dead one minute and alive the next? No human does that, unless they are some sort of demon. Who knows who Buffy Summers really is. Is she really a Slayer or do Slayers even really exist? Aargghh.
Giles closed the door softly behind the kids. He knocked his head several times against the doorframe. “I need a drink,” he muttered to himself as he crossed the room to the liquor cabinet. He grabbed a bottle of Scotch, ignoring the empty glass. Walking to a chair, he dropped heavily into it, tipping the bottle to his head, and swallowed a mouthful. “Ahh,” he said as it slid smoothly down his throat and to his bones.