Part Two in the Time Watcher series
Pairing: Buffy/Giles - eventually
Rating: FRT - this chapter is harmless
Disclaimer: I do not own the characters used in this story and am making no profit from their use.
And the Surprises Just Keep on Coming
Buffy heaved a sigh. Spike, Dawn, Xander and Anya were playing cards. The entire counter, except for the translucent square, was covered with various snacks. Xander had kept asking for different foods until he had finally decided that there wasn’t anything he could ask for that the device couldn’t make. Since nothing needed to be refrigerated, it wouldn’t go to waste before Xander got around to eating it.
Buffy heaved another sigh. Willow looked over at her, annoyed. “What is your problem?”
“I want to know what’s going on. This just sitting around is driving me nuts. What about the Knights? There aren’t any windows, so we can’t see if they are coming. There isn’t a door, so I can’t get Dawn out of here if we need to run.” She lowered her head and whispered. “And what about Giles? Is he really going to be okay?”
The beautiful voice floated through the room. “I assure you, Slayer, the Knights will not find you here. The Key is safe, as are you all. Watcher’s repairs have been completed and he is currently in recovery mode. He will be joining you soon.”
“See,” Willow said, brightly, “Giles will be fine.” She looked over at Tara, frowning to see her crouching under a table. “Tardis?”
“Is there anything you can do to help Tara?”
“I apologize. I would have offered, but I did not see any injuries to her. What is the problem?”
“Glory invaded her mind.”
A chair across the room was lit by a soft golden light. “Have Tara sit in the chair.”
It took a few minutes, but Willow coaxed her out from under the table and led her to the chair. When she stepped back, the light intensified. After a few minutes the voice said, “I’m sorry. The damage was psychic, not physical. There is nothing for me to repair. However, her mind will repair itself. In fact, it has already begun. It will just take time.” There was a brief flash of light nearby and a bed appeared. “Sleep is the best medicine for her now. If you wish, I can induce a sleep state.”
Willow urged Tara to lie down on the bed. “Yes, help her sleep.” The light around the bed glowed golden for a moment, and Tara’s body relaxed on the bed. The area around the bed turned a little darker, as if it was being seen through sun glasses.
“I have placed a sound barrier around the bed. It will allow her to sleep. When she awakens, it will dissipate.”
Willow sighed in relief. Her eyes traveled around the library, noticing things for the first time. She frowned slightly. “What do you think those are for?”
Buffy followed her gaze to the upper level. Against one wall, instead of the book shelves that have been in the other library, there were a series of display cases. “Let’s find out.” She crossed the room and climbed the stairs, Willow close behind her.
The first case contained something that looked like a short dress made of leather and fur. Beside it were various weapons; a stone knife, a spear with a stone tip, several wooden stakes, and a sword that looked too modern to be with the other things. There were two pairs of fur boots, one much larger. There was also a large fur cape.
“How weird.” Willow said. She looked over at Buffy, who seemed to be mesmerized by the items. “Buffy? Maybe you’re right and this is a shared dream, cause that looks like something that might have belonged to the first Slayer.”
“No,” Buffy said slowly, “these didn’t belong to her.” She turned a troubled gaze to Willow. “They look familiar, like I’ve seen them before.”
“Maybe you saw a drawing in one of Giles’ books.”
“Maybe.” She moved on to the next case.
This case contained two outfits, one large, one small, that looked like the clothes people had worn in ancient Rome. Again there were weapons in the case, daggers, swords, and stakes. Buffy momentarily laid a hand on the glass, as if she was trying to touch the clothes. Without a word, she moved on.
This case contained clothes that were Oriental in style. Two sets of jackets and pants; large and small. The dagger and sword had matching inlay of turquoise and ivory. The stakes were polished ebony. Willow saw Buffy swallow hard, and blink tears away. “What is it?”
“I don’t know, but looking at these makes me feel sad.” She shook her head angrily and rushed to the next case.
The clothes in this case were almost modern. Probably from the late 1800’s. A long dress, gloves, and matching hat. The man’s suit was made of tweed and there was a deerstalker’s hat, the kind Sherlock Holmes was said to have worn. Two swords, matching daggers, and more stakes rounded out the display. Buffy stood looking at it for a long time before drawing a deep breath and going to the last case.
She gasped and turned shocked eyes to Willow. “How did this get here?”
Willow looked, puzzled. The items in the case were practically new, but she didn’t see what had shocked Buffy. “What?”
“That’s my cheerleading uniform from Henley. And that coat,” tears were flowing down her face, “that coat belonged to Merrick. He was wearing it when Lothos killed him. How did it get here?” She angrily wiped the tears away, turning around to shout at the room. “Tardis!”
The others looked up from their card game, staring at Buffy in surprise. “Yes, Slayer?”
“What is this doing here?”
“It belonged to Watcher.”
“I know, it belonged to Merrick, my first Watcher. How did it get here?”
“Watcher was wearing it when he died. After he regenerated, he no longer wished to wear that style of clothing. He placed it in the case with a symbol of your life at that time. This is a unique situation. Watcher has never had more than one life during your times together. You were always the one who died first, Slayer.”
Buffy and Willow looked at each other in shock. Buffy sat down abruptly, leaning against the case. “Always?”
“This is the fifth life that you and Watcher have shared.”
“You were bonded during your first life together. When you are born, he is drawn to you to prepare you for your Calling. The cases contain reminders of your lives.”
“Lives?” she repeated helplessly. She shook her head. “Wait a minute. You’re telling me that Giles used to be Merrick? But, they don’t look anything like each other. Merrick was old.” She got angry again. “He died. I saw him die! Giles can’t be Merrick.”
“Watcher is a Time Lord. Time Lords can regenerate eleven times, giving them twelve lives, and their life spans are much longer than that of a human. He became Merrick shortly before your last lifetime, the one in Victorian England. Watcher is currently living his fifth life.”
Before Buffy could comment, Giles’ voice cut through the room. “That’s enough, Tardis.” He walked out of the office area. In silence he crossed the room and climbed the stairs. He knelt next to Buffy, cupping her face in his hands. “I think I should start from the beginning.”