Additional note: all the stories in this series have been posted in 2017.
TITLE: Return of the Watcher; Scene 116, INT Slayer's Office
AUTHOR: kerk hiraeth
FANDOM: Buffy the Vampire Slayer (set in the 22'verse)
LENGTH: 1,089 words
A/N: This is pretty much from Giles' pov; set more than twenty years after he fired by the watcher's council and at a time when he is increasingly paying the price for all those bangs on the head; not to mention his youthful indiscretions. Felt also that it was time to clue peeps in to why it is that Buffy is so personally invested in this new Slayer that I've been writing about. Finally, if there aren't enough clues into the title; go hunt down the script for Return of the Jedi and there you will find, during scene 116, my favourite exhange between Leia Organ and Han Solo.
“Are you sure about this?”
He was only just out of the hospital for fuck's sake; again, with his future prognosis bleaker and less optimistic than ever, but he was here; Willow having found another combination of herbs that would let him function more or less normally; which the drugs he had to take would not.
He wanted to yell at her, “Of course not! I'm in fucking agony every time I move and think and piss, and I have to be reminded who I am and what I'm about at least five times a day, but...”
But he pretended he was still Rupert Giles officially Head of the Watcher's Council and technically still Watcher to THE Slayer and just kept his irritation to a barely detectable level.
“I am quite capable of running this place... still,” the last wasn't as under his breath as he would have liked, but Buffy seemed to miss it anyway; irritatingly checking with Olivia and Faith, which perked up his mood no end.
Somehow he kept Ripper contained; let him loose and he'd never get her out of here. Distracted he missed a bit of their exchange; not that he could always follow what was going on on his best time.
“... besides we can always play naughty secre... “ Fortunately his self-esteem by Buffy's still sometimes extant prudish streak.
“I really don't want to know!”
Rupert found his mind fondly drifting back to the days when she saw his youthful; no self-delusion there, middle-aged self as ancient. “No... because you're old, and it's gross.”
Wickedly he wondered what she'd say if she knew just how active his and Olivia's sex life still was, even with him in a wheelchair virtually the entire time he was out of the house.
His face must have betrayed him because Olivia flicked his ear in warning; deciding to note that for later when they were home, he leant forward.
“Even you need a break once in a while Buffy; remember when you actually used to take a holiday?”
He thought to himself that the last actual break from Slayering she'd taken had been after the demise of The Master. Even this personal search, which they'd played on for weeks when she'd mooted the idea herself was a busman's holiday.
He settled back in his chair when Olivia placed a gentle hand on his shoulder; knowing how he would be plagued later if he didn't sit properly.
“I'll have more than enough assistance, and assistants fussing over me, “ every bloody moment of the day and night, which he kept to himself “so go find this new Slayer who's filling up your dreams.”
Lord knew she had to be important if Buffy was dreaming about her; especially talented as well if the best Slayers; demons and watchers they'd put on the task had only been able to find her after she'd been somewhere. At least now they knew where in the world she was likely headed, and a good idea why as well.
Buffy bloody well still looked over again at Faith; privately he cursed at Olivia for persuading him to have her here as well.
Ripper gritted his teeth while Giles watched and pretended to be calm.
Bloody-actual-Slayer Faith just shrugged; blowing smoke out of an open window, then walked over and bloody patted him on the head before Olivia gratifying kicked her shin.
“G-Man and me can keep a handle on things while you're gone and, “ fucking bitch winked at Olivia, “the Big O there can keep him happy. What'we need you for? Take a few B; you've earned it.”
Actually, when he reflected on it later, he had to admit he liked Faith's way of expressing that, as insulting as he found it at the time.
Of course it wasn't really anyone's words that clinched the deal; after all Buffy's own instincts would have driven her to go in the end.
After she'd driven everyone insane.
No, it was your basic act of naked bribery that did it.
Something metallic glittered in the sunlight as it was shaken; dangling from Faith's smoke-stained fingertips.
His Slayer's eyes were almost ravenous as his at the thought of riding the first bike Faith had rebuilt; almost from scratch, back at their first HQ after Sunnydale's destruction; still the official organisational HQ actually. Giles remembered being told; threatened actually, that, No man; especially a watcher, G-Man, is ever getting their ass on her.”
He'd never wanted to be a woman, so had never mentioned the idea again.
Never stopped him dreaming about it though; once in a while.
Faith had done a beautiful job; damned thing looked almost as it must have done when someone would have driven it out of the shop sixty, or seventy years before.
To his Slayer's credit she actually hesitated... for all of about two seconds before almost taking the tips of Faith's fingers off. Three pairs of eyes followed her as; to them, almost in slow motion, she turned and walked out of her own office.
“Wow, our General...” Faith stopped as Rupert held his hand up, grimacing at the sudden movement.
“Not a jinxing word until she's on that flight to New York,” Faith muttered his own words back to him, as they turned to the window and watched Buffy; their General who, to their collective knowledge, not willingly taken an actual vacation day since college, slowly walked; seemingly talking; trying to convince herself?, aloud as she walked over to where Chao-Ahn was waiting to drive her.
'Bike's I can trust her with; cars? Not so much,' Faith's husband had once said. Giles made a note to call Xander to tell him he'd lost his bet; wondering to how much satellite calls to the Namibian desert were likely to cost these days.
Lowering his hand he made to say something to Faith, but she was already walking. “Don't worry, Roller Boy; I'm on it.”
“Fuck off,” he told her as she closed the office door behind her, politely snickering as she did so. Olivia was already there at the drinks cabinet.
Exasperatedly, he said, “You know perfectly well... “
Stopped by the hand palm faced toward him, he had to grin when she replied, “Who said it was for you?”
Returning with a half full tumbler she hunkered down in front of him affectionately brushing his cheek with that same palm.
“Leia, “ he said softly.
She stood and stepped behind him; kissing the nape of his neck.
“Han, “ she whispered back at him.
Goddess watch over us in these dark times,