Author: Kat Lee
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Character/Pairing: Buffy, Giles, Faith
Challenge/Prompt: 1_million_words August Rush Day 4:
Warning(s): Future Fic, Light Spoilers
Word Count: 923
Date Written: 14 August 2018
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to Whedon, not the author, and are used without permission.
“Bloody Hell!” Giles moaned, covering his eyes with his hand. “This can’t be happening!” He had to be dreaming, having the strangest nightmare he’d experienced in quite some time. This couldn’t possibly be real!
“I’m sorry, Giles,” Buffy said as gently as she could, “but this is real. Look. I don’t know how any of this happened. We didn’t think we’d be lucky enough to get you to travel forward in time to be with us.”
“It’s not as though I exactly planned it,” Giles muttered. “I just touched that old journal, and when I opened my eyes again, I was here -- looking at myself! Or at something that appears to be me at any rate.”
“He’s the real deal,” Buffy assured him. “He’s not a Demon or any kind of monster. We checked. Believe me. We checked, like, a thousand times. But he really is you. Or a younger you at any rate.”
“Did I . . . Did I travel in time from another time period?” he asked.
“No. It -- It’s a lot more complicated than that.”
He finally raised his eyes above his withered hand and looked at Buffy. In his eyes, she could see how old he was and how much older he felt. She felt a pang of regret and knew the question that was coming even before he posed it, “Did they resurrect my younger self?”
“Yes,” she answered, lowering his head. She wished she could lie to him, but she’d never been very adept at lying to her Watcher. She remembered how much she had hated her friends for a while when they had brought her back from Heaven. What Angel and Faith had done wasn’t very different at all from when Willow, Xander, and the others had forced her to return from her own peaceful afterlife. “I -- I guess I should apologize.”
“Did you do it?” he demanded.
“No,” she admitted in a meek voice.
“Then you have nothing to apologize for. Did Willow?”
“Then who -- “
“Angel and Faith.” Her eyes flashed up to his face just in time to see his look of surprise.
“I . . . “ He was humbled. “I never knew they cared so much.”
“Well, Angel kind of killed you,” she admitted, “but Faith -- “
“I finally reached her,” he breathed. “I must have!”
“Yes.” A grin caught at Buffy’s downturned mouth. “So . . . not all bad?” she asked hopefully.
“No,” he agreed. “It’s not all bad at all!” He had finally reached Faith. Of all the young ones he had tried to reach out to and help, of all those he had failed, she had finally not been one of them. She had resurrected him, because she needed him. She loved him. She missed him. Tears brimmed in his eyes, but he looked back over at his own, younger self who was watching him just as carefully. “I take it something went wrong?”
Buffy did grin fully then. “When does anything ever go right for us?”
He reached out and took her hand in his. He gave her a little squeeze. “In finding each other,” he told her with a warm smile.
“So you’re not mad?”
“No.” He shook his head. “In fact, I’m glad.”
“For what?” she puzzled aloud.
“I am glad, thankful, and honored that you all cared for me as much as you did. You and Willow argued against my resurrection, but Angel and Faith could not leave me dead. I suppose you might say I am both mad and secretly glad and touched as I was when Willow restored you to life.”
“It isn’t all bad, is it,” she asked with a grin, “coming back?”
“No. Not as long as it’s to family and friends, it’s not.” He reached over, wrapped his arms around his surrogate daughter, and hugged her tightly. Travers had had their relationship penned down perfectly when he’d accused him of loving her like a father. She and Faith were the daughters he’d never had, and he was thankful for them both. She hugged him back just as tightly.
They both wished they’d never have to let go, but they knew they would. The world would demand it as it always demanded things of them they did not wish to give but, in the end, always did.
“Hey, B, G -- “ Faith’s voice died in her throat as she saw Buffy hugging a Giles who was his rightful age. Her dark eyes darted ucertainly in between the teenaged version and the old man.
Giles rose from Buffy, walked over, and hugged Faith just as tightly as he had Buffy. She knew the moment he touched her that he was the genuine Watcher, her own genuine father figure for which she’d searched so long and hard. Tears caught at her eyes, but she didn’t allow them to drop, not there in front of others. Instead, when he released her, she looked away and, for once, didn’t ask any questions save one. “So are we ready to kill this thing,” she asked, referring to their current Big Bad, “or what?”
She was ready to kill. But she was also ready to live and to love. That was something to which she was still getting used to.
“Faith?” Giles queried gently.
She flashed him a big grin. “I’m five by five, G-man,” she said, but when the others weren’t looking, she reached out and hugged him again swiftly. She didn’t know how the world was going to handle two Giles, but she had no intentions of letting either of them go ever again.