But it wanted to get out there and see if anyone is interested in reading the rest of it.
So, here's my newest baby.
Title: Blind Date -Part 1
Rating: FRT (harmless so far, maybe a few words later)
Pairing: none right now, B/G maybe later. Maybe.
Disclaimer: I do not own the rights to the characters used in the following story. No profit is being made from their use.
Synopsis: Willow sets Giles up on a blind date. Trouble follows.
This is in response to a challenge from mrsdrake. The challenge was to have any two characters from the BTVS/Angel universe who had never met, go out on a blind date. For those who want to know now, it's Giles/Illyria.
Willow walked briskly down the hall towards the rectangle of light. Reaching the doorway she paused before going through into the inner office and the man sitting behind the desk. “Giles, what the hell are you doing?”
Giles’ head jerked up in surprise. “Willow! You startled me.” He frowned at her. “What do you mean? I’m working of course, what does it look like?”
“I can see that you’re still working. I want to know why. It’s after 10:00. You should have gone home hours ago.” As she spoke, Willow walked over to the desk and began picking up the folders.
Giles struggled with her, placing the folders back on the desk. “The work needs to be done.”
Willow planted her hands on her hips. “It doesn’t all need to be done by you. Delegate the work. Hire more people. Something.” Her voice gentled. “Giles, you’ve lost weight and you have dark circles under your eyes. If you keep up this pace, this job is going to kill you. Please, go home.”
Giles sighed and looked at her. Willow’s breath caught at the depth of sadness in his eyes. “Go home to what? The silence, the lack of a life? At least here I can keep my mind occupied.” He looked back down at the folders, opening one at random.
“Damn her! Even if she is my best friend, the next time I see her I’m knocking her into the next week.”
Giles froze, then asked, “What are you talking about?”
“Giles, please, we’ve know each other for over eight years. I’m not stupid; I know you love Buffy.”
Still not looking at Willow, Giles answered carefully, “Yes, I love Buffy. I love all of you children.”
Willow shook her head. “No. Not children. Haven’t been for quite a while. Yes, you love me; you love Dawn and Xander too. But not the way you love Buffy.” She stopped, watching him in silence until he lifted his face to hers.
Giles gave her a rueful smile. “How long have you known?”
“I was suspicious when you didn’t get along with Riley. I found out for sure when I drained your life energy. Your mind was an open book.”
“Ah.” He fumbled with his glasses. “Why haven’t you said something before now?”
“It wasn’t my place to say anything. Besides, I kept hoping she would come to her senses and stop chasing after the illusion of love. That she would open her eyes and see what was in front of her.”
“Perhaps she did and that is why she left. She didn’t want to bother with an old man.”
“Cut it out! So you’re older; you can still whip most of the trainees, Watcher or Slayer. Dozens of women who work here would love to go out with you.”
“Can’t go out with an employee; it only causes problems.”
“Okay, that’s it. Time to go home.” Willow grabbed all the papers that were on the desk. “You need to get some sleep and look at things with a new perspective tomorrow. I want you out of here right now.” Willow purposely assumed her ‘Resolve’ face. “I’ll go grab a change of clothes and meet you there.”
Giles looked up, startled again. “What?”
“You are going to have a room mate for a couple of weeks. I’m going to make sure you eat and get plenty of rest. AND, I’m going to make sure you have a life outside of this place. If you won’t date someone from here, I’ll just have to find someone else.” She circled the desk and pulled his chair out. Giles sat blinking at her in confusion. “On your feet and out the door, mister.”
Giles allowed her to pull him to his feet. “But, what about Kennedy?”
“We had an argument earlier. It wasn’t the first.” Willow sighed. “It seems that all we do is argue anymore. I think that maybe we should spend a little time apart. Get a new perspective. That’s why I was looking for you. I was going to ask you if there was an out of town assignment I could take. Something lasting a couple of weeks, or even a month. But this will be better. I’ll move in with you and nag you to sleep and eat.” Willow grinned.
“I’ve always wanted a chance to let my inner yenta out. So! Home, Giles. I’ll run back to the apartment, pack a couple of bags, and let Kennedy know where I’ll be.” As she was speaking Willow was pushing Giles out of the office door. She closed it with a snap and made a gesture. “You can’t get back in until 9:00 tomorrow morning.”
Willow continued to chatter as they walked down the hall. “What would you like for supper? I can get some carry out on the way to your place.”
Giles stopped her. “I’ll buy supper.”
Willow looked at him for a long moment, then smiled. “Okay.”
They proceeded to the elevator in silence. As they waited for it to reach their floor, Giles leaned over and kissed her cheek. “Thank you.”
Three weeks later.
Willow sat in the upper level viewing area watching the trainees. For the most part they were doing well, but there were a few problems. A couple of the new girls were so convinced of their superiority that they refused to listen to instructions and kept disrupting classes. Maybe Faith or Buffy could have set them straight, but Faith couldn’t leave Cleveland due to an increase in the activity there, and as far as Buffy was concerned London didn’t exist.
The situation had become so severe that Giles has asked her to research to see if there was any way to permanently strip a Slayer of her powers. If only there was someone strong enough to put those two in their place.
“Why so glum, Red? Someone steal your dolly?”
Willow spun around in surprise. “Spike! What are you doing here?”
“Got fed up with Peaches. He’s in Rome brooding over Buffy being with the Immortal. That ship sailed a long time ago. He needs to get over it.” Spike shrugged. “Anyway, Blue and I’ve had it with him. Thought we’d come see how the new Slayeretts are doing.”
Willow looked over at Illyria and saw that she was watching the trainees intently. After a few seconds her face settled back into its usual blank mask and she turned to Spike. “None of them are worthy.” She spun away and stalked to the far end of the viewing area.
Willow looked at Spike in inquiry. He shrugged again. “I think she’s looking for a replacement for Wesley. There’s a lot of Fred in Blue, although she doesn’t want to admit it.”
Willow looked back at Illyria, the germ of an idea taking root in her mind. Maybe their arrival could be the solution to both of her problems. “Spike,” she began slowly, “how would you like to show the newbies what fighting a vampire is really all about?”
Spike looked intrigued. Willow quickly explained the situation. He looked back down at the trainees.
“Which two?” Willow pointed them out. Spike snorted. “I could take out both of them at the same time. Piece of cake.”
Willow hesitated for a moment. “Um, about Illyria. Isn’t it kinda hard traveling with her? I mean with her being all blue like that.”
“Not really. She can change her appearance. Go back to looking just like Fred. It’s a little spooky, but she understands the importance of a low profile. Especially since she’s not a god anymore.”
Willow thought for a few more minutes, while Spike watched her with curiosity. Finally she made up her mind, walked over and said, “Illyria, would you be interested in going out to dinner with a Watcher?”
Illyria looked back at the trainees, looked back at Willow and tilted her head. “They are not worthy.”
Willow waved at the glass. “Oh, not one of them, someone else. He’s the only original Watcher left. He and Wesley worked together for a while, before Wes quit the Council and went to work for Angel.”
“Wesley did not quit, he was fired.”
“Well, maybe, technically. Buffy quit the Council when they refused to help her against the Mayor. When Wes chose to help Buffy, he, in essence, quit. They just didn’t acknowledge it.”
Illyria stood silently for a few moments, then morphed into Fred. “Will these clothes be adequate?”
Even though Spike had told her, the change startled Willow a bit. “Ah, those are nice, but for going out you should wear something a little more special. After I make the arraignments for dinner, I’ll take you shopping.” As she pulled out her cell phone, Willow caught sight of Spike’s incredulous face. “What?”
“You’re going to set her up on a date with Giles? What would Buffy say about that?”
Willow gave a little huff. “She wouldn’t care. She hasn’t called or written to him since we all left Sunnydale. If I hadn’t moved in with him to make sure he ate at least two meals a day and got at least six hours of sleep he would probably be dead by now.”
“Come on, you’re putting me on.”
“Have you gone to see him yet?” When Spike shook his head she said, “Go on up and see him. And keep in mind that I’ve been living with him for the past three weeks, so he has gained some weight.” Spike turned to go. “Oh! Wait. Don’t tell him who his date is going to be. I want it to be a surprise. And maybe you should talk to him about you sparing with the trainees. Although I’m sure he’ll go for it, he does have the final say.”
Spike nodded, and as he left he heard Willow on the phone making a dinner reservation.
Spike walked into a busy outer office full of people. He strolled over to the receptionist. “I need to see the Watcher.”
The woman gave him a puzzled look. “Which Watcher? The building is full of them.”
“THE Watcher. Giles. Let me in.”
“Mr. Giles is very busy. Do you have an appointment?”
“No, but he’ll want to see me.”
The woman gave him a nasty look. “That’s what everyone says. Call for an appointment.” She turned back to her work.
Spike vamped out. “I said I want to see the Watcher.”
The woman screamed and several of the people in the room scrambled for the door.
The inner door opened and Giles rushed out, sword in hand. “What is going on?” He stopped, looking at Spike in surprise. “Spike? Good lord, what are you doing here?”
“Trying to get in to see you.” His face went back to normal. “Can’t say much for the people here if the sight of one vampire can cause such a ruckus.”
“I dare say that no one expected to see a vampire in Council headquarters.”
“Well, we don’t usually announce ourselves. Surprise is part of the package. If I had been really evil, this lot would be dead by now.”
Giles looked around the room at the mess created by the panicked stampede for the door. “Yes, I can see that we’ll need to improve security around here. Come on in. What brings you to London?” The two men entered his room, followed by the stares of the people remaining in the outer office.
Spike was a little shocked at Giles' appearance. The man had aged since he had last seen him. It had been two years, but Giles looked at least ten years older, and much too thin. And Willow said he had gained weight.
Spike felt a surge of anger at Buffy. How like her. She still took Giles for granted. Sure that, if she needed him, he would drop everything to help her, regardless of how she treated him. Before the men could begin to talk, the phone rang.
Giles sighed, looking at Spike. "Do you mind?" He gestured towards the phone.
"No, go ahead, it could be something important."
"Rupert Giles speaking. Oh, Willow, you'll never guess who just arrived." He stopped to listen, glancing at Spike. "Oh, I see. Well then, why are you calling? I promised to be home on time this evening," he paused again as she cut in.
Giles suddenly sat up straight in his seat, a panicked look on his face. "No. Willow, I must protest! I'm too old for a blind date. Since you hadn't mentioned it again I thought that you had given up on that idea. I told you, I won't date anyone who works here. It only causes problems." He listened again. Spike could hear Willow's voice babbling faintly from the receiver
"Willow, I don't think"
Giles heaved another sigh. "Yes. Alright, I said yes, didn't I? Where do I meet her and what is her name?" He picked up a pen and scribbled down some information. "We will discuss this when I get home tonight. This will be the only time that I will do this for you, Miss Rosenburg."
More faint babbling.
Giles smiled tenderly. "I know, Willow. Thank you. See you later." He placed the receiver on the cradle and leaned back in his chair. "That girl will drive me crazy."
Spike chuckled. "Red can be quite the irresistible force when she puts her mind to something."
"Yes, she means well, but sometimes I feel like one of those people that families hire keepers for because they can't take care of themselves."
Spike looked at him frankly. "Well, you have looked better. Doing too much on your own, no doubt. Need to start delegating."
"Now, don't you start. Willow says that at least once a day." Giles frowned at him suspiciously. "Did she send you here to nag at me?"
Spike started laughing. "No, actually, she seems to think I might be the answer to one of your problems." He told Giles what he and Willow had discussed.
Giles smiled. "I think that would be a wonderful plan. Would tomorrow be too soon for you?"
"Tomorrow is fine."
"Do you have a place to stay? I have a large flat with several spare bedrooms." His smile dimmed briefly. "Never know when company might drop by."
Spike could see that he was thinking of Buffy, and again felt the surge of anger. He made a mental note to speak to Willow. Now that his obsession with Buffy had faded, he wanted to get back at her for the way she treated the men in her life, especially Giles.
"If you're sure I won't be a bother."
"Not at all. Having someone else there might give Willow another victim, I mean person to concentrate on." Both men laughed. "By the way, what brings you to London? I hadn't heard anything on your whereabouts after that debacle in L.A."
"We were in Rome."
Giles' face tightened. "We?"
"Me and Angel. He's still there. You know my grandsire, always on the look out for a good opportunity to brood. The situation with the Slayer and the Immortal is tailor made for him."
Giles looked down at his desk. "So you saw Buffy."
"From a distance. The spark is gone, didn't see the need to try to start it up again. Spent most of my time with Dawn. Lil'Bit is growing into a fine woman."
Still not looking at Spike, Giles smiled briefly. "Yes, Dawn is quite remarkable. She came for Christmas last year. Buffy didn't want to leave Rome."
"Yeah, well, she'll get tired of him eventually. She always does. Doesn't know what she really wants, that one. Still has some growing up to do. Look at me, it only took 150 years and dying twice for me to finally get it right."
"She's already done the dying twice part," Giles said softly, "and I would rather that she didn't get the same chance that you did to live the 150 years." Giles finally looked up and Spike was surprised at the despair in his eyes. At first he couldn’t understand why Giles would feel that way; then it hit him. Giles was afraid that Buffy wouldn’t get over the Immortal, that she would let him turn her. There was a long silence, and then the men resumed their discussion on how best to humble the two troublemakers.
Spike met with Willow a couple of hours later. “How long has he been like that?”
“He was fine until Christmas. Xander and I came in about a week before and he was all excited, in a Giles kind of way. He had gotten this new place, the entire top floor of a building, and it was all decorated. He had bedrooms designed for each of us, a place we could stay whenever we were in town. He had even found another Mr. Gordo for Buffy’s room. You should have seen his face when only Dawn got off the plane.”
Willow got up and started pacing angrily. “Buffy didn’t call and tell him she wasn’t coming. She didn’t send him a present. She didn’t send any of us a present. Not even a card. Dawn was so angry that she wanted to stay here, but Giles made her go back. She’s not 18 yet, and Buffy is her legal guardian. I’ve kept in touch with her since then and she’s still determined to come to London and live with Giles after her birthday.”
Willow sat back down. “I knew it had hit him hard, but I didn’t realize how bad it really was until Kennedy and I came back from Belize last month. We had been having problems, and I went to talk to Giles about a new assignment. I was stunned when I saw him. No one around here seemed to notice how run down he had become and I saw that it was because it has been happening so gradually. I moved in with him that night. I make him breakfast and dinner and at least once a week I come in to have lunch with him. I make sure he leaves the office no latter than six o’clock, and doesn’t come in before eight.”
Spike frowned. “That doesn’t sound like Buffy at all. I know that she’s always taken the Watcher for granted, but you and Xander are her friends. Are you saying that you haven’t spoken to her either?”
“Hardly at all since the Immortal came into her life. It’s like nothing exists for her unless it’s in Rome.”
“Something’s wrong. She wouldn’t treat you like that if she were herself.”
Tears welled into Willow’s eyes. “That’s what I thought too, until I went to see her last week.”
“You flew to Rome? What did Giles think about that?”
“I didn’t fly. I had Dawn give me a reference point, and I teleported. I did a magical scan of their apartment and her things. Zip. I waited until she came home and scanned her while we talked. Nada. She seemed happy to see me, but told me that she didn’t want to hear anything about slaying, slayers, watchers or the Council. She said all that was in her past; that she was free of it and had made a new life for herself and Dawn. When I asked her where she was getting the money for that new life she said that it came from Giles. That the Council owed it to her for the seven years she had been the Slayer. I slapped her and left.”
Spike laughed. “That’s my girl.” He became serious again. “We have to do something about her. I don’t care if you didn’t sense magic, that’s not the Buffy we know. She’s talked herself into this fantasy life and we need to shake her out of it.”
“Okay, but how?”
Spike’s eyes rested on Illyria, who had been silently observing their conversation. “I might have an idea or two.”
Willow followed his gaze, then looked back to him. “Hmmmm. Interesting.” They both grinned.