Chapter 10 - Clash of the Titans
Chapter 10 - Clash of the Titans
Sunnydale General Hospital
Saturday, March 6, 1999, Afternoon
Dr. Matthew Russell has finished his examination of Xander and given the green light on his move into a regular hospital room. Everyone is gathered in small groups quietly talking while they wait for Xander’s new room to be prepared and the actual move to take place.
With a tired yawn, Giles tells Buffy and Faith "I’m going to find some caffeine before someone has to pick me up off the floor. I’ll be back shortly." With that he heads down a hallway he knows has a vending machine that sells coffee.
Jack looks at Daniel silently communicating his intent, then moves to follow Giles down the hallway. As he turns a corner, he sees Giles pulling a steaming cup out of a vending machine. Jack quietly walks up behind him.
"Got a minute?"
"Oh! Col. O’Neill, you startled me," Giles says as he jumps, just barely managing to not scald himself on the awful, but very hot, coffee. "Uh, yes, of course. What may I do for you, Colonel?"
Jack takes a look at the people passing by in the hallway. "Actually, I was hoping for someplace a bit more private."
"Very well. After you," Giles replies, after a moment’s hesitation.
Jack takes another quick look around the hallway, then heads off in the opposite direction from the ICU area. Giles follows behind Jack thinking ‘what have I gotten myself into now?’
Jack finds a medium-sized empty room that appears to be used to hold meetings. There is a long conference table in the center of the room surrounded by inexpensive but comfortable chairs and against the wall opposite the door is a projector screen. They enter the room and Jack shuts the door behind him.
Giles takes a seat in the chair closest to him and turns back toward Jack sipping his coffee, waiting for him to begin. Jack looks at Giles for a few minutes assessing him silently.
“I wanted to discuss Xander with you,” Jack begins.
“What about him?”
“I’m going to be honest with you. I’m worried about him.”
“That’s only natural. After all, the boy is in the hospital.”
“Yeah, see that’s the thing. I’m not so much worried about Tony as others in Xander’s life.”
Giles tenses and warily asks “What exactly do you mean, Colonel?”
“I’ve been hearing some of the damnedest things around here.”
“Oh. Such as?”
Jack’s getting tired of this little dance their doing and decides to lay it out and see what happens. He’s hoping that by being blunt, he’ll shock some answers out of Giles, since being diplomatic isn’t working.
“I want to know why Xander’s been fighting for the past two years. Are these death matches? Who sets them up and why you haven’t done anything to stop them?!”
"Excuse me?!" Giles says as he springs to his feet.
“Is it for money or do you just get a cheap thrill from watching kids kill each other?”
“I have absolutely NO idea what you are talking about. I don’t know what you’ve heard, but there is certainly nothing like that going on here.” Giles is truly shocked. Of all the possible things Giles was expecting Colonel O’Neill to say, this is in a completely different universe. Death matches?
“Oh, for crying out loud. Don’t play innocent with me. I HEARD you.”
“You heard me? Heard me say what and to whom?” Giles asks clearly confused.
“I heard you talking to Xander when you thought I was asleep. You talked about him facing opponents stronger than himself and about how he managed to survive. You said he got the job done.” Giles stares at Jack stunned. “So, still want to maintain you don’t know what I’m talking about?”
The look on Giles’ face slowly transforms from one of shock to one of anger. "Most would consider it good manners to make their presence known when they come across what is obviously a private conversation," Giles says heatedly.
"Yeah, well, most would consider it bad manners to encourage a teenage boy to get into deadly fights on a regular basis," Jack throws back in Giles’ face. "What exactly is your relationship with Xander? What the hell have you done to him?!" Jack all but yells at Giles.
"Are you implying that my relationship with Xander is in any way...UNTOWARD?!" Giles responds, each word increasing in volume until he is shouting and can clearly be heard down the hall.
"YOU’RE DAMN RIGHT I AM! I’LL ADMIT I HAVEN’T BEEN HERE LONG–"
"NO, you have not," Giles angrily spits out. "In fact, as I understand it you haven’t been involved in Xander’s life for the past ten years! Now suddenly you appear out of nowhere and yet it is MY relationship with Xander that is called into question?!" Giles’ voice has lowered slightly in volume and taken on a dangerous edge. The two furious men menacingly eye one another, each seriously considering doing physical harm to the other.
“They’re moving Xander now.”
Two heads quickly swing to the meeting room’s door which is now open with Daniel standing in the doorway nervously looking at the two men.
Giles turns back to Jack. “I love that boy as if he were my own son. I’ll not let you tarnish what is good and pure into some sort of perversion. You will not speak of this to Xander; I’ll not have you upsetting the lad with your foolish nonsense!” Giles snarls at Jack in full Ripper glory, then storms past Daniel.
“Well, that looks like it went well” says Daniel sardonically.
“Oh yeah, peachy. I don’t get it. I don’t think he was lying but I’m still no closer to knowing what the hell is going on around here. He didn’t say anything that would explain his earlier conversation with Xander.”
“Jack, you’re tired. Why don’t we go back to the hotel for a little while. You can grab a shower and a nap. Then we’ll have some lunch and come back.” Daniel can see that Jack’s about to argue with him, so he continues “Jack, I don’t think it’s really a good idea for you and Mr. Giles to be around each other right now. Harsh words were spoken and you both need some time to calm down. I think he was right about trying to not upset Xander at the moment.”
Jack sighs in defeat and nods his head. “Yeah, okay. But this isn’t over.”
As they’re heading for the hospital’s exit, Jack glances at Daniel sideways with a smirk “So, you heard us, huh?”
Very seriously Daniel answers “Teal’c heard you and he’s visiting Rya’c.”