Chapter 4: Still in the Library.
AN/:Thanks Guys for waiting so patiently for this new chapter. and for the reviews thank you!.. I still need more. Chapter 4 Still in the Library.
“Buffy was married?” Xander squeaked, his voice rising in surprise.
“Oh dear,” said Giles, shooting Buffy a hard glance. More surprises he thought. Am I still alive? I must be dead, because my heart seemed to stop along time ago.
“Was?” queried Duncan. “When did he die? The way you were speaking of him, he seemed to be alive.” For the first in years, he was feeling out of step. He knew of course that the old man had secrets. Who could live so long without a secret or two? No one, that’s who. After coming back from his trip to Paris, he had seen an opportunity for adventure with Methos. Now they were in a little town that is barely on a map. Methos had explained about the town to him on the way there. Not wanting to frighten Joe, they hadn’t told him anything.
But, he wasn’t told everything. At first, he had thought that Adam was protecting Joe, but no, he had been protecting the young woman in front of them. Suddenly, the information that Joe had just let out in the room, registered in his brain. “You are ten thousand year’s old” Mac shouted, looking at his friend in disbelief.
“Uh,” said Methos, his mouth hanging open, looking at Mac askance.
“You are ten thousand years old,” he repeated softly, with an edge to his voice.
Methos hesitated, seeing the hurt in his friend eyes. He sighed. “I’m sorry Mac. The Watchers Council has been looking for me because I was reported to be 5000 years old, imagine what they would do if they found out that I was older than that. It is not something I want to advertise.”
“I thought we were friends.”
“We are,” Methos said firmly.
“But you choose not to tell me.
Methos’s response held a note of impatience. “Mac, you know as an immortal each of us has secrets, if I chose not to tell you a secret that does mean that I am not your friend. Man, we have been through a lot. Only two other people knew this secret until Joe. And Joe only found out a couple of months ago, when I was feeling introspective and I got drunk. Can you forgive me,” he said, offering Mac a forgiving smile.
Duncan hesitated; he didn’t want to look foolish over something as inane as a secret, so he just nodded.
“Uh,” said Xander, putting his hand up. “I don’t mean to interrupt or anything, but can you answer Duncan’s question, about what happen to Buffy husband. Is he dead?”
“Jack’s not dead,” said Methos a taken back. “He very much alive, he’s one of the old ones. He paled. “I am sorry Isabella; I didn’t mean to say anything about Jack.” He said, clearing his throat awkwardly.
“That’s okay Adam. I’m here to tell them everything,” said Buffy her eyes haunted by inner pain.
“Is he older than Buffy?” asked Willow, eying Buffy nervously.
“No he’s ten years younger,” said Methos with a forced smile.
“Way to go B, robbing the cradle,” said Faith, admiration in her voice.
“So what happened?” asked Joe, intrigued. “When did you get a divorce?”
“We never got around to a divorce,” Buffy mumbled.
“What?” said Giles, his voice rose an octave. “I didn’t hear you.” Did he ever know Buffy Summers? It had being one surprise one after another. He didn’t know if his heart could take anymore.
“I said,” Buffy said loudly. “We are still married, technically. Looked,” she said exasperated. Her friends were looking at her in disbelief. “I don’t want to talk about my marriages right now.”
“Marriages?” said Giles in incredulity.
“Yeah B. How many times have you being married?” said Faith dubiously.
“About three times,” said Buffy defiantly. “With my first marriage, I didn’t have a choice. I was forced. The second time I got married, it was for political reasons. During that marriage, some fraction wanted me dead. My third and final marriage was to Jonathon O’Neill. Him I married for love,” she said softly.
“But, Buffy how are you an immortal and the Slayer at the same time,” asked Willow, regarding her with somber curiosity. “Isn’t that contradictory?”
Willow wasn’t the only one that was curious, Buffy looked around the room at the eager looking faces, and sighed. “I know that you guys have a lot of questions and I will answer them in due time, but something important came up, and I have to deal with it. “
“Like what?” asked Giles skeptically.
“It’s nothing to do with me as a Slayer. She looked toward Adam, and said. “It’s about something that happened a long time ago. Something in Egypt.”
“What?” said Methos, his eyes guarded. “You said something about Jack, what has he done?”
“He opened the Chappa'ai.”
“What!” said Methos flummoxed.
“He opened the Chappa'ai,” Buffy repeated.
“I heard you the first time,” he said gruffly. “I can’t believe he would have done something so irresponsible.” He spoke with light bitterness.
Buffy managed to shrug and say “Well you know Jack.”
“Yeah, I know him,” Methos said resigned. “But when will he grow up!” he asked frustration in his voice
“I don’t know,” Buffy said shaking her head sadly.
“When was the last time you saw him,” Methos demand.
“I haven’t heard from Jack in about fifty years, and the last time I heard about him, he was getting married,” Buffy said, her voice shaky.
“Isn’t that bigamy,” asked Willow, uncertainty in her voice.
“Yeah it is,” said Buffy thoughtfully. “Since we both had other sexual partners, I’ve never been jealous of Jack’s other women even when we were together.”
“Whoa B, I use to think that you were square, but you are like a big ho,” said Faith, gazing at the petite Slayer in disbelief.
“You’re wrong,” Buffy said flatly. “I didn’t care that Jack was dating or seeing other women, but I cared that he married someone else. Jack and I have been married for four hundred years. Of course I know it’s bigamy. But I have my life and he has his, right,” she insisted, looking at her friends for support. But thinking about Jack’s marriage after all this time tore something inside her.
A tense silence enveloped the room.
“From the way, you guys talked about this Jack character,” said Duncan suddenly, breaking the tension. “It seemed that you cared about him, even loved him. Why did you break up?”
“Uhmm,” Buffy said, avoiding everyone’s gaze.
“Me,” said Angel walking around the stacks.
“Angelus!” Adam shouted shocked to see his nemesis.
“Methos,” said Angel mockingly.
Buffy rolled her eyes in annoyance. “Stop you it you two,” Buffy said, walking to stand between the two men.
“Angel, what do you mean, when you said it was because of you?” asked Willow puzzled.
“I mean,” said Angel, caressing Buffy face gently as he moved her out of his path.
Flustered, Buffy let him.
“Jack didn’t want Buffy spending time with me, said I was a bad influence. She had to choose between him or me.”
“And you choose Angel,” Xander asked in disbelief.
“No,” Buffy said, blinking in surprise. “I didn’t choose Angel. What I had chosen was not having another man tell me what to do. I said something to that effect to Jack, who in turn told me, that if I don’t want a life with him, he guessed that we should go our separate ways. I haven’t seen him since,” she said shrugging, as if that hurt still. “I didn’t even know he was in the U.S.”
“If you never kept up with him, how did you know he was in the U.S?” asked Xander with a stony expression.
“Me,” Willow squeaked. “How, what,” she asked, her mouth dropped open in disbelief. “I didn’t do anything,” she protested, and then her eyes turned inward. “Oh,” she said. “The computer.”
“Yes the computer,” Buffy said, sighed relieved that Willow got it.
“But I didn’t see anything on it about any person named Jack,” Willow said, two deep lines of worry appeared between her eyes.
“Yes you did,” Buffy said. “I saw the same thing you saw.”
“No, I didn’t I would remember. It was a web site,” she said wrinkling her nose in thought. “About a group of people called SG-1 under the command of a General Hammond. And Colonel Jonathan O’Neill. Jonathan!” Willow said beaming. “Jack, Jonathan. People use the diminutive form for Jonathon as Jack.”
“Yes,” said Buffy, grinning. “And the shiny apple goes to the lady in the front seat who got it in one easy step.”
“Are you sure that your Jack and this Jonathon O’Neill is the same person,” asked Giles, eying Buffy with a dubious expression.
“I am very sure,” said Buffy, feeling her spirit lift. “Jack loved the military. He had been joining them as long as I’ve known him; Plus Jack doesn’t change his name much. He always said he hated answering to different names all the time. In the early 1400’s he was adopted into an Irish clan for saving the leader’s life. He had lived with them for two years before I joined up with him. Although with the computer age, it is getting harder to hide one’s identity like we use to. But we manage. Jack liked to use senior, junior, the first, the second etc. he’s lazy that way,” she said smiling fondly.
“What is this Chappa'ai?” Giles asked curiously, remembering the unusual word Buffy had used earlier.
“It is in the past,” she said warily. “I don’t want to talk about it.”
“Isn’t our past that determined our future,” said Giles, regarding Buffy with a lofty expression.
“That’s a load of crap,” Buffy retorted.
“Sometimes I want to forget the past,” muttered Methos.
“Does this Chappa'ai affect us?” Giles demanded. “We need to know if it going to affect us.”
“I don’t know if it affects us as whole, but Methos and I have to go to Colorado to find out more about it.”
“I will come with you,” said Giles briskly.
“Yeah,” chimed up Willow, enthusiastic. “We’ll make a trip of it.”
“Look,” said Methos, cautiously. “This isn’t a school trip for children. We might encounter danger.”
“Danger smanger, we laugh in the face of danger,” said Xander, doing a goofy laugh. “Aha hah ahh,” he said, choking slightly.
Cordelia pounded on his back several times.
“Enough!” he said embarrassment ebbing on his cheek.
“Look guys,” Buffy said, with a forced smile. “This problem is between me and Adam, I’d rather you guys stay here where it’s safe.”
“You don’t want our help?” said Willow, speaking with a hint of bitterness.
“It is not I don’t want your help, but__,” she said vaguely, looking around the room in helplessness.
“Someone needs to watch the Hellmouth,” said Angel quickly.
“Yes that’s it,” said Buffy eagerly. “Someone has to be here at the Hellmouth.”
“Well I’m going with you Buffy,” said Giles. “There might be a lot of fascinating things I might learn about my slayer,” he said sarcastically.
Buffy gave him a sheepish grin.
“I am going too,” said Willow with a resolved face.
“And I must go with my buddy Wills for moral support,” said Xander sharing a goofy grin.
“And I cannot allow Willow go alone,” said Oz.
“What about the Hellmouth,” Buffy wailed. “Or better yet what about your parents?”
“The Hellmouth will always be here,” said Giles. “This is what we are going to do. Faith will stay to watch the Hellmouth and Angel, if you mind, will stay and help.”
“Sure no problem,” he said with a nod.
“Good,” Giles said. “I will write a note to the parents explaining about a suddenly field trip.”
“But Giles,” said Buffy, with gritted teeth. “We might be gone more than couple days.”
“As long as we are needed, we will stay with you,” Giles said, regarding her critically.
“Well I wish I could come with you guys,” said Cordelia. “But I have that cheerleading championship, and since I’m the captain I have to be there.”
“We’ll miss you Cordy,” said Xander, walking up to his ex-girlfriend to hold her in his arms.
Cordelia rolled her eyes. “You are not moving to the North Pole doofus, you will be back.”
Ignoring them, Buffy said to Angel. “Are you sure you don’t mind staying?”
“I don’t mind, “he said, smiling at her. “Take care of business and say hi to Jack for me.”
Buffy rolled her eyes. “I think the last thing Jack needs from you is a hello.”
She looked at Faith. “Take care of yourself. Faith, I know you are angry with me, but know this: I love you. You are my sister, and I never meant to hurt anyone, including you. I’ll explain everything to you when I came back and Angel will explain some things, right,” she said, looking at him.
“And go to Joyce, she will explain the rest. Take care of each other you two.”
Buffy walked through the doubles doors. She looked back briefly to see Angel and Faith standing together, their silhouettes behind a backlit of golden light.