My muse, Bunny, has come home and I am writing again.
So for those of you who may be intersted, here is the (I hope) long awaited chapter 7 of Somewhere In Time.
Coming soon, maybe tomorrow, the next chapter of Watching Atlantis.
Title: Somewhere In Time
Pairing: Buffy/Giles (Duh)
Rating: FRM - Mature
See Chapter 1 for disclaimers
Chapter 7 - Creating Changes
Oz listened quietly as Buffy explained the last few days. She ended with the events of the evening before. When she finished he shook his head. “I knew that something wasn’t right. The scent you give off is different from the last time I saw Buffy. So is his,” Oz nodded back towards the apartment, ”but I could smell the other scents as well, and they were mixed together.” He shook his head again. “Married. It makes sense, no one else could ever really understand their lives, but at the same time it feels a little weird.”
“I know. I understand it totally. Because of things that happened my Giles and I didn’t have that kind of relationship either, but if we had had the time it would have developed. I had admitted to myself that I loved him in a woman/man way and as he was dying he told me he loved me too. Rupert is having a hard time wrapping his mind around it cause his Buffy was just 16 years old. To him the name ‘Buffy’ is attached to someone who is still a child. It would be easier for him if I could use a different name, similar to the way he wants us to call him Rupert instead of Giles, but I can’t do that. I’m Buffy, always have been, always will be.”
Buffy hesitated, looking at Oz briefly before again looking away. "Did you know about Willow?"
"If you mean that she's involved with someone else, yes I know."
"Then why did you come back?"
"I needed to see her again. To know that she was happy. Things were all wrong when I left."
"You don't have to answer this, but do you still love her? Really love her, not the 'she was my first love so I'll always love her' way, but really love her still."
Oz looked down at the table for a long time. Buffy sat patiently. He finally lifted his head and said, "Yes, I still love her. Enough to let her go if she's happy now. I don't want to ruin things for her."
Buffy bit her lip, thinking carefully about what she was about to say. "I can't speak for the Willow here, but my Willow still loved her Oz. You have to understand; she really loved Tara as well. Not more, not less, just differently. My Willow had such a loving spirit. She was crushed when she lost you. Tara helped her get over that, and when Tara was killed Willow totally lost it. She literally almost destroyed the world in her grief."
Buffy looked away, took a deep breath and looked back. "I want you to think about what I'm going to suggest. Don't reject it immediately." She stopped, unsure of how to continue.
Oz looked at her in alarm. "What?"
"I think if the Willow of this world is to be kept from going down the same path that the Willow of my world traveled, you need to be in her life. Are you willing to share her love with someone else, with another woman?"
Oz blinked rapidly. "Do you mean a threesome?"
"That term is usually used when talking about a single encounter. I'm talking about a triad. Two people of one sex and one of another living together in a mutually loving relationship." Oz started to speak, but Buffy cut him off.
"Like I said, don't reject it right now, just think about it. I don't know if the Willow here would go for it, but my Willow would have. Tara will be the difficult one. Her whole life she has been told that she is worthless. It will take a lot of love and attention to show her that she isn't being pushed aside. So don't approach Willow unless you really feel you can love both of them. I think that the relationship would benefit all of you, and maybe keep Willow from dabbling in the Dark Magic's."
Oz could hear the capital letters she used at the end. "Really tried to destroy the world?"
"Would have too, except that Giles let her suck out his magic, along with most of his life force, so it would connect her to humanity and allow Xander to get through to her."
"Dear lord." The voice behind her had Buffy spinning around. Rupert was standing in the doorway. "I take it that this is one of the things we need to discuss."
"'We' as in you and I? Yes. I hadn't planned on telling Will about it. At least not any details. The idea is to keep her from getting to that point." Buffy slumped forward in the chair, resting her face in her hands. "I'm just afraid that even if we do keep Warren from shooting Tara that something else will kill her."
Rupert walked over and placed his hands on her shoulders. "We'll find a way. We have time. You said that in your world that didn't happen for another couple of years. Everything doesn't need to be fixed today."
Buffy sat up, leaning back against him. "Right. One problem at a time." She noticed a car pulling into the parking lot. "And speaking of problems, here comes trouble." Travers and his entourage climbed out of the car and headed for the stairs.
Oz stood up. "I think it's time for me to make myself scarce. Buffy, I'll think about what you said." He took a few steps, then turned back. "If you wouldn't mind, I'd like to come back here before sunset. This is the last night of the full moon and I don't really have anyplace else to stay. With the tranquilizers you could keep me out of trouble." Oz shrugged. "If you want to."
"We'll see you later." Rupert said firmly.
Oz gave a little nod, and headed down the stairs, passing Travers and his men.
Buffy stood. "I'm guessing that you don't want the neighbors to hear our business. Come in." She tuned and led the way into the apartment. Travers sat down on the sofa, his men ranging themselves behind it. Rupert raised an eyebrow at the rudeness of the actions, but said nothing. He and Buffy stood beside each other in front of the fireplace.
“Why did you come back, Quentin? We told you last night that we weren’t going to jump through any of your hoops.”
Travers sat up indignantly at her use of his first name. Rupert decided to push things along. “I wouldn’t upset her, if I were you. She is the only Slayer you have.”
Travers glared at him. “What did you do with Faith?”
Rupert smiled. “Us? We did nothing. However, some friends of ours in Los Angeles were kind enough to take her to a more secure location. Allowing a Slayer to remain so vulnerable wasn’t very wise. Since you didn’t seem to care, we felt that you wouldn’t mind if we saw to her well being.”
“Where is she?” Travers growled.
“We don’t know. We felt she would be safer that way.”
Travers settled back into the sofa cushions. He looked at the pair standing in front of him with a slight frown. They were up to something. The frown eased. Whatever advantage they imagined they had, he was about to burst their little bubble. He smiled at Buffy, a very unpleasant smile. “Faith isn’t important, and as for what you do or don’t want to do, you have no choice Miss Summers.” He turned his gaze to Rupert. “She will do as I say or I will have your green card revoked, Rupert.”
Travers was confused when, instead of the anger or panic he was expecting, Buffy just looked at Rupert and held out her hand. Rupert took a piece of paper from his inside coat pocket and handed it to Buffy. She held it out to Travers. “I think not, Quentin.”
Travers snatched the paper from her hand. He stared at the words, not believing his eyes. When he looked back up at Buffy she had moved over in front of Rupert.
Rupert encircled Buffy’s waist with his arms and she rested her left hand on top of his. The gold bands gleamed faintly.
Travers muttered a curse. “Don’t think that just because you flew to Las Vegas last night you can stop me from having you deported. It only proves that the marriage is a fraud.”
Before he could continue his threats Rupert interrupted. “Check the date, Quentin.”
“This isn’t possible.” He scowled. “You couldn’t have known two weeks ago that we were coming. I didn’t made plans to come here until two days ago.”
“The world doesn’t revolve around the Watcher’s Council. Buffy has been living here for two months. It seemed foolish to just live together, considering how we feel, so we married.”
Travers looked at the pair in horror, and several of his assistants gasped in shock.
Rupert huffed. “Oh, please. It’s not like it never happened before. The older Watcher diaries make that quite clear. It used to be normal for a Watcher to marry his Slayer.”
“And I know of at least one Slayer who had a baby.” As soon as she said the words Buffy wished she could call them back.
Travers surged to his feet. “What are you talking about? There has never been a record of a pregnant Slayer.”
“Well, technically, no. She was still a Potential when she gave birth. But she was called after.”
“Who, and how do you know?”
“Nickie Wood, the Slayer in New York during the 70’s. Her Watcher raised the baby after she was killed. As to how I know, the vampire that killed her told me. He bragged about how he had killed two Slayers and I was going to be the third. He was wrong.”
"Where is this vampire?"
"Dust in the wind."
"So you have no real proof."
Buffy shook her head. "You are so blind to whatever doesn’t fit into your vision of things. Nickie's baby was named Robin. He's 30 years old and a vice- principal at a school in Boston. I looked him up."
Travers sank back onto the sofa. "A baby. How did that happen?"
Rupert gave a snort of laughter. "At your age I would have thought you knew the facts of life. Obviously he was another Watcher who believed in letting his charge have a life."
"Little good it did her. She only lasted a little over two years after she was called." Travers sneered.
"And Kendra, the perfect Slayer by your standards, didn't last six weeks on the Hellmouth. You need to revise your training methods." Buffy pulled away from Rupert. She glanced at him and he nodded. Buffy went to Rupert's desk and picked up a paper. She crossed the room and handed it to Travers.
"We were talking last night while we were on patrol. This is a list of items we would like you to consider. And before you reject all of them, think about this. WE don’t need YOU. I think the last three years have proven that.”
Rupert stepped closer to Buffy, putting his arm around her again. “This is the way things are going to be. The Slayer protects the world by guarding the Hellmouth. Her Watcher protects her. The Council will support them while they continue to gather information and train Potentials, with a few changes in their training regimen."
Travers flipped the paper, unread, onto the seat beside him. “Out of the question. The Council will not bow to blackmail demands.”
Buffy could feel change come over Rupert. ‘Hello. Ripper’ she thought and gave a little smile. Rupert lifted his hands to her shoulders and gently moved her to one side. He took two steps and leaned over Travers.
“You are not the Council, you sanctimonious little prick; you are merely the voice of the Council. You will go back to your hotel room, call the board and relay our REQUESTS. If they don’t call me by 5 o’clock this afternoon, I will call them. Now, take your flunkies and get out of my house.”
Buffy could see fear in Travers’ eyes, but he gave no other sign. When Rupert didn’t back away, Travers picked up the paper, slid along the sofa to the far end, and stood up. Without a word he left the apartment, signaling his men to follow him. Rupert and Buffy walked out onto the terrace, watched them get into the car and drive away.
Rupert sighed. “I’m afraid I didn’t handle that very well. I may have ruined things.” He turned to go back into the apartment, then stopped abruptly and turned to give Buffy a strange look. “You really think Oz should form a triad with Willow and Tara?”
Buffy blushed and walked on into the apartment. “Yeah. My Willow was so powerful, and I’m sure this one is too. She really needs to have a solid grounding, much more than Tara can give her. Although,” Buffy paused, considering, “maybe my knowing things that could happen can keep them from happening.” She sighed and shook her head.
“Tara loves Willow, but in my world she didn't stand up to her until it was too late. Her upbringing made her afraid to rock the boat and Willow walked all over her. She wouldn't be able to do that with Oz and his gentleness would help give Tara the sense of belonging that she needs. They really would be perfect together. After our Oz left Willow started getting into magic more and more. That’s how she and Tara met. The two of them magnify each other’s abilities and Willow got off on it. Giles told me, back when Eyghon returned, that the high created by magic was incredible, better than any drug he had ever tried.” Buffy turned and lifted an eyebrow in inquiry.
Rupert blushed. “Yes, well,” he paused.
“It’s cool, I’m not asking for details.” She grinned. “Ripper.” Rupert started sputtering. “No, really. The thing is that you understand. Giles did too, but he never did anything to try to stop Willow. I guess he felt she needed to learn from her own mistakes. This was all well and good, except that with her level of power her mistakes hurt more than just herself.”
“As did mine. Four people died because I gave them the book that showed how to raise Eyghon. Randall then and the others three years ago.”
“But that was an accident. Willow murdered Warren. She strung him up in the woods and skinned him alive. She tried to kill Jonathan and Andrew. She terrorized Dawn, beat up Xander and nearly killed me.”
Rupert looked appalled, then puzzled. “I thought the young woman with Xander was named Anya.”
Buffy drew in a deep breath. “She is.”
“Then who is Dawn?” He frowned in concentration. “I remember you mentioning her name the first day. That Xander died protecting her in your world.”
Buffy was silent for a long time. She sat down and patted the cushion next to her. “I’m going to tell you some of the nastier things that happened in the next three years in my world. Get comfortable, cause this is going to take a while.”
Buffy looked deep into his eyes. “If, after you’ve heard about some of the things I’ve done, you want me to go to Mom’s for a few days, to give you a chance to think, that’s cool. Some of them aren’t very pretty.” She looked away. “I’ll understand if you can’t accept them, but I hope you can, cause we’ve pretty much burned our bridges and the Council is going to expect us to be together.”
Rupert looked at her in concern. “Buffy, whatever it is, I will understand. You will always have my support and respect.”
Buffy closed her eyes against the sting of unexpected tears. She remembered her Giles saying that to her, oh so very long ago. She drew a steadying breath. “Hang onto that thought.” Opening her eyes she stared across the room at the empty fireplace and began to speak. “It all started with a Hellgod named Glory who was trapped in my Sunnydale and looking for a way to go home.”