Giles sat alone in the magic shop, checking some last-minute orders, when the doorbell rang. He glanced up, thinking it was one of the Scooby Gang coming in to pick up something they might have forgotten, and saw two strangers instead.
The Watcher stood swiftly, and asked, "May I help you?"
The elderly of the two, stepped forward, leaning on a cane, and said in a low and slightly rough voice, "Yeah, are you Rupert Giles?"
Giles pushed up his glasses, and said, "Yes. I am."
A pleased grin split the man's face, as he said, "Pleasure meeting you, then. I'm Joe Dawson."
Giles' eyes widened, before he moved towards Joe, his eyes on the person beside Joe. He stopped a few feet away, and asked, "And your companion?"
Joe gestured to the other man, who was looking around the shop with interest, and said, "This is Adam Pierson. He's the Immortal that volunteered to come here."
The Immortal shot Joe a look that Giles could not decipher, and turned his gaze to the Watcher. He was surprised by what he saw in the Immortal's eyes. Wisdom. Age.... Pain and sorrow.
It was the same thing that Giles saw every time he looked into Angel's eyes. It disturbed him. Was this what Buffy's eyes would look like in one hundred years? Then with a shock, he realized, this was what her eyes looked like now
. Wisdom and age gained too soon, and pain and sorrow through experiences she should never have had to endure.
All this he saw and realized within a split moment.
The Immortal reached out his hand, and said, once the Watcher had returned the handshake, "It is an honor to meet you, Rupert Giles. I have heard of you and your Slayer through the Watchers Council."
Giles was startled as he took back his hand, and it took a moment for him to speak. "Indeed. And how do you know of the Council?"
There was a twinkle of devilish mischief in the Immortal's eyes, before he said matter-of-factly, "I helped in establishing the Council. I also wrote a good deal of the books the Council has under various pen names during my life."
Giles stood there dumbfounded, unable to comprehend what he had just been told. In disbelief, he asked, "Who are
Instantly, the humor was gone from the Immortal's eyes, as he said seriously, "Someone not to be trifled with. I am older than I seem, that is all you need know, Watcher. Know as well, Rupert Giles, that I am here to help the Slayer understand her Immortality...and to train her to prepare her for the life of an Immortal. Nothing else. I may be a Warrior for the Light, but there are limits to what I'll do. Not even the Powers That Be will push me beyond my limits. One of those limits is my identity."
Giles gazed at the Immortal, knowing that if he pressed further, there would be dire consequences. With a firm nod of his head in understanding, he said quietly, "Then I suppose I should take you to her. To begin her training."
As Joe and Adam turned to head out the door, Giles said softly, "A word of advise, Immortal: She is not your ordinary Slayer."
"How so?" the Immortal asked, not looking back.
A pause, then, "She does not follow the rules. Keep that in mind when you meet her...and the others."