Characters: Giles, Buffy
Setting: Three weeks post Chosen
Word Count: 1001
Prompt: Getting On
Disclaimer: Just playing in Joss’ sandbox.
The first class lounge was filled with suits and VIPs, some looking to get noticed, others performing last minute business deals, and still others seeking anonymity and preferring to keep their own company. Rupert Giles was one of the latter. His work was now done, for better or for worse. Maybe a little of both.
It had been his gentle comfort around the desert campfire that finally set the battle weary newbie Slayers at ease, his tireless efforts of working with his contacts around the globe to get them back to their homes or to provide them with new ones, and it had been his private financial reserves that had taken care of it all in the aftermath.
Everything had gone so seamlessly and every obstacle that had once felt like Mount Everest had been summited until there were only five Sunnydale Survivors left. The original four and a somewhat newly minted teen sister of two years. And one by one they’d slipped away too: one to the Coven in Devon, one finally making good on his cross country road trip, and two to a father who barely knew them anymore.
He picked up the tumbler of scotch from the bar and swirled the amber liquor around the glass, mesmerized by the soft light reflecting off the liquid. It was time to be getting on. He had fulfilled his duty and they’d all gone their separate ways.
The world had changed. No more Hellmouth. The First Evil had been repelled back to… the depths of hell, he supposed, locked away until some other catastrophic event would allow it to seep back into the world… and should that time come, it would be met with an army of Slayers, not just one.
There was hope.
Giles took a sip of the scotch, allowing the peaty warmth to provide a comfort he didn’t necessarily feel. Time had moved on and everyone he’d ever loved along with it. And in a world full of Slayers, he was a Watcher without anyone to watch over… again. Only this time was different.
The irony was not lost on him.
He’d started his career in the Council isolated from others and here he sat at its end alone again. The Slayers didn’t need an antiquated framework to work within. They needed something new. He’d gotten them past the uncertainty of the last three weeks since they’d destroyed Sunnydale… and that was…
Who the fuck was he kidding?
“Cheers,” he stated bitterly to himself, taking a large enough swig of the scotch to finish the glass and allowing it to burn down his throat and into his belly. He tossed a twenty onto the bar and got up to find a quiet corner to wait until boarding. He grabbed his duffle and his satchel. There hadn’t been a whole lot to pack. Just a few sets of clothes, toiletries, and his newly obtained electronics. He’d been a man with no address, no home for the better part of a year.
He knew he couldn’t face his flat in Bath. It had been trashed by the Bringers on their quest to wipe out the Council and the Slayer line. The family home was protected though. Centuries old white magic wards had guarded the Giles family through countless generations, would continue to do so if he weren’t the last. He supposed he would eventually return there, even if the old ghosts didn’t seem to want him, just to hang his hat for a while anyway. And now that he thought about it, home wasn’t a place anymore and hadn’t been for quite some time.
But something that had once been very simple was now so very complicated. No one had prepared him for his mission’s end. Not the first time when she died, and certainly not this time around.
A Watcher without a Slayer was a very pathetic thing indeed.
But that was only part of it, wasn’t it?
He wandered over to an overstuffed chair in a quiet corner of the lounge and sat down heavily, placing his bags between his feet. Fewer outlets in this area meant less noise from the businessmen and those wishing to be noticed. He closed his eyes to disconnect from the world while he waited for the boarding call.
“So, tell me…” Her voice was gentle as though in a dream and he savored the melody of it. “Who watches the Watcher?
“Buffy?” he breathed, sitting up and opening his eyes to the vision of his Slayer sitting on the ottoman before him.
“Right in one,” she answered with an enigmatic smile.
“What-?” The words wouldn’t come and his Adam’s apple rose and fell as he swallowed thickly.
“Am I doing here?”
His head tilted to the left. “Erm… yes.”
“Well, domesticity is predictable and overrated, and life with Dad is seriously chafing. So I thought, Dawn is safe and happily taking advantage of his guilt-ridden years of neglect, and I could use a real vacation. And then I thought, you know who else could seriously use a real vacation? Giles. So here I am, making sure we do the vacation thing.”
Giles just stared at her dumbfounded, his mouth agape.
“Don’t want to catch flies there, Rupert,” she said with a wink.
He quickly closed his mouth then finally found his voice again, but only for a second. “How?”
“Kinda simple when one of your best friends is a white witch and a gifted hacker.” Buffy grabbed her boarding pass from her back pocket and waved it before him. “My seat is next to yours. Gotta admit, though, you threw me for a loop. I thought you were going back to Old Blighty. Why Mallorca?”
Damned if he knew, really. It was just somewhere to go.
“No reason in particular,” he answered with a shrug of his shoulders, however there was the promise of smile tugging at the corner of his lips.
Buffy smiled widely at him. “Good enough for me.”