Previously posted on the_fund, now posting on my journal.
Title: Somewhere In Time
Pairing: Buffy/Giles (Duh)
Rating: FRM - Mature
Disclaimer: I do not own the characters, nor am I making a profit. This story is for the enjoyment of those of us who believe this couple belongs together.
Summary: Take Giles from season one or two and Buffy from season five or later. They are from different dimensions, but they are both the only survivors from their timeline after a big disaster and somehow manage to escape. The are both sent to a dimension where Buffy and Giles have died. How does an older Buffy and younger Giles deal with being thrown together?
This has not been beta'd. Any mistakes are mine. Sorry.
Chapter Five - Dream a Little Dream
Willow and Tara quietly approached the little courtyard in front of Giles’ apartment. As they reached the top of the stairs they saw Xander and Anya standing in front of the door, arguing.
“I still say we should leave them alone for a couple more days.” Xander said.
“But Buffy called us yesterday and asked us to come over this morning. They want us here.”
“Hey, guys,” Willow interrupted. “Did you knock yet?”
“No, Xander stopped me,” Anya pouted. “Besides, why are we knocking? We’ve always just walked in before.”
“But this isn’t our Buffy and Giles. Maybe we knocked in his world.”
Anya snorted. “I doubt that. They didn’t seem to think we were different.”
Willow looked at Xander and they both shrugged. Willow opened the door and the four entered.
Buffy was asleep on the sofa and Giles was asleep in a chair facing her. It was evident that their sleep was not restful. Buffy’s face was contorted in a frown and her hands were clenched into fists. Giles’ face was the picture of despair. As they watched, he sat upright, shouting “Buffy, no! Dear god, please, no.” His eyes franticly searched the room.
Buffy, having been awakened by his shout, bolted off the sofa and knelt beside his chair. “Rupert, it’s alright. I’m here.” She grabbed his shoulders and shook him gently. “I’m here.”
Rupert took several deep, gasping, breaths. His hands skimmed over Buffy, coming back to cup her face. He leaned forward and touched his forehead to hers’. They sit that way for a long moment, then Rupert moved back, his hands caressing her face as they slid away. He sank back in his chair, eyes averted. “I’m sorry. It was a bad dream.”
“It was bad enough to live through it the first time, but to dream about all those people dying again, wow, harsh.” At the sound of Willow’s voice, the pair jerked and looked around, obviously not realizing that they weren’t alone.
Rupert drew another breath, glanced at Buffy, then away again. “The dream wasn’t about what happened. It was something different.”
Rupert sat staring into space, silent.
Buffy rose from where she was still kneeling and went into the kitchen. She filled a kettle and put it on the stove. The others looked at each other awkwardly, then quietly sat down. The kettle whistled and Buffy made tea. She carried out a tray, placed it on the coffee table and handed Rupert a cup.
He took the cup automatically, then looked at it as if he didn’t know how it came to be in his hand. He took a sip, and without preamble began to speak. “It was night. Downtown Sunnydale. There was a tower made out of metal, like construction scaffolding. There were two people at the top, a young girl with long brown hair, and a man.” Rupert looked at Buffy. “You were climbing up. I was trying to reach the tower, but it was like I was moving in slow motion, I couldn’t seem to get there.” He looked away again.
“The girl was crying and the man took a knife and cut her legs. Her blood dripped on the boards, then off into the air. When the blood hit the air halfway to the ground, a portal opened. Demons began to come through. You reached the top and threw the man off. Then you hugged the girl, turned, and jumped off the tower. When you came to the place where the portal was, you floated in the air, lightening crackling around you. I ran faster, trying to get under you, but the portal closed and you fell.”
Buffy paled and sat back on the sofa. “That’s what I was dreaming about too. But it wasn’t just a dream. It happened.”
“Dear lord, it really happened? But, you fell so far. Even with Slayer healing it must have taken you weeks to recover.”
Buffy gave a little sobbing laugh. “Yeah, death is tough to recover from.”
Rupert’s pallor matched hers. “Death?”
“I died. Second time. That’s when we found out that I was out of the loop. No new Slayer was Called. Travers and the Council never knew.”
“But, I don’t understand,” Willow began slowly, “if you died, how are you here?” Her face brightened. ‘Oh, I get it. Giles or Xander did CPR until the paramedics got there.”
Buffy gave her a strange look. “Yeah, something like that. But we’re getting off track. I asked you guys to come over to help bring us up to date on what our counter-parts in this dimension were doing, and to tell you about things that happened in my dimension so we can see if we can keep them from happening here.”
“But isn’t that messing with the timeline? Don’t they always warn against doing that in the movies?” Xander asked.
“This is different. We’re not from your dimension, and some things are already different here, so the not messing with the timeline thing doesn’t count. I only know what happened in my dimension, and there were some uber bad things that I don’t want to go through again. I’ll do whatever I can to keep them from happening here.”
Tara said quietly, “You never mentioned me or your Mom when you were talking about the people who died. Does that mean we were already dead?”
"Yes, you and my Mom were already dead before the battle with the First." Buffy looked away, gathering her thoughts. “Mom starting have bad headaches, but thought it was stress from the business and my life as a Slayer so she didn’t go to the doctor. One day she passed out at the gallery and the doctor ran a CAT scan. He discovered a tumor, but it was too big to try to do chemo, so they did surgery. Mom came through the surgery just fine, but it had weakened a blood vessel that caused an aneurysm a couple of weeks later. I came home from school and found her dead on the sofa in the living room.”
The others gasped. Buffy turned to look at Tara. “As for you, there were these three guys we went to high school with that for some weird reason decided they wanted to be master criminals. They felt the only thing standing in they’re way was me, so they tried various ways to get rid of me. After the other things didn’t work, Warren gave up on being sneaky and came after me with a gun. Xander and I were in the back yard at my house. Warren came through the bushes and shot me. When Xander started chasing him, he took off, shooting wildly at Xander as he was running. One of the shots went into the house and hit you, killing you instantly.”
Willow gave a little moan and clutched Tara’s hand.
“So you see, these are things we can change. Mom can go to the doctor and get diagnosed sooner, so she won’t need the surgery. And since we know who the three geeks are, we can stop them before things go as far as they did in my dimension. Tara doesn’t need to die by mistake here.”
Willow sat up straight, her Resolve face on. “I’ll do whatever it takes. It’s not going to happen here.”
“Good, but that was a couple of years from now. There are more urgent things I need to talk to you about.”
Buffy was silent a moment, as if trying to decide what to say. “I guess the first thing is Riley. How involved with him was the Buffy from here?”
Willow looked puzzled. “I thought you said you were going to read the diaries. Didn’t you?”
“Yeah, and her diary said that she had been trying to break off with him, but that he wasn’t taking the hint. Then I saw him at Mom’s with the rest of you when we fell in.” Buffy sighed. “I guess what I really want to know is what else do you know about him, and do you think his knowing that we’re not from here is going to be a problem.”
Xander looked at her curiously. “Wasn’t there a Riley where you came from?”
“Yes, there was, and that’s why I need to know what you know about him. My Riley wasn’t what he appeared to be.”
Xander’s eyes widened. “You mean he’s a vampire? No wait, we’ve all seen him in the daylight.” He thought for a moment. “Is he a demon in disguise?”
“No, he’s human.” Buffy paused. “Is he in the ROTC? And is Professor Walsh an instructor at the university?”
“Yes and yes.”
“I don’t want to say anything else until I can check something out, but this may not be good. At least, it turned out not good where I came from. Damn, I was really hoping that we wouldn’t need to go through this part too.” Buffy sat thinking for a few minutes. “That will have to wait. I want to get back to the original reason I asked all of you over. There are things that we are going to need to know to be able to take the place of your Buffy and Giles. I fell asleep while Rupert was reading the diaries, so he probably has some questions for me too.”
“Rupert?” Willow asked hesitantly.
Willow shook her head. “No, I mean, Buffy, why are you calling him Rupert?”
“Because we thought it would be easier. I had my Giles, and you had your Giles, but he isn’t them. He didn’t go through the same experiences that they did, but if you keep calling him Giles you might forget. Calling him Rupert will remind you that he’s not the man you knew.”
“But, won’t it sound strange to other people if we start calling him Rupert all of a sudden?”
“Not really. There aren’t that many people who are that close to us.” Buffy frowned. “As least not in my world. Are things different here?”
“No, Giles didn’t start teaching until the second semester and his students call him Professor Giles. Our group are the only people he’s really been close to since Miss Calendar.” Xander shrugged. “I might forget from time to time, but I’ll try it. Rupert,” he said in an experimental way, “Rupert. Has a nice ring to it. It’ll be cool.”
Rupert and Buffy exchanged looks and smiled. Nice to know that some things didn’t change; Xander was Xander. Rupert cleared his throat and said, “Very well, now if you don’t mind, I do have some questions. This may take some time, perhaps you should all get comfortable.”
Xander raised his hand. “Uh, how long? Just asking, cause breakfast was a while…..”
Rupert interrupted. “Call and request whatever type of pizza you wish; I’ll pay for it. Buffy if you will fix more tea? Willow, we will begin with you, if that is convenient. I want you to start telling me your point of view of all the events that have occurred since the Master.”
Xander moved to the phone, Buffy went into the kitchen, and Willow frowned in concentration. After a short silence, she began to talk.
Seven long hours later, Rupert leaned back in his chair and closed the notebook that he had been writing in. Willow and Xander exchanged looks and sighed in relief. It had been worse than a research session. During those Giles had always led the discussions, but this time they had been the ones talking.
Rupert looked at the window and saw that the sun was beginning to set. “I think that’s enough for today, you should be getting home before dark. If you can possibly meet with us again tomorrow, we’ll go over the event’s that happened to Buffy in her world from this time onwards.” Rupert looked over at where Buffy was dozing on the sofa. “That is if Buffy agrees after she wakes up.”
“I’m awake,” she mumbled.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to wake you.”
“Wasn’t really sleeping.” Buffy sat up and stretched, wincing slightly. “Just drifting in and out. Don’t remember the last time I felt rested. It’s been a hard couple of years.”
Willow looked at her in concern. “Buffy, is something wrong with your Slayer abilities? That cut on your forehead hasn’t healed yet, and it’s been two days. The last time it took so long for you to heal was when Giles gave you the test on your 18th birthday.”
Buffy raised the hem of her shirt and peeled away the bandage on her side. The wound was gone, leaving a red scar. “No, healing coming along fine. This was the worst so it had to be fixed first. It still feels a little sore, but no pain, not really. I bet the cut will be gone in the morning.”
Rupert rose and went to her side, turning her slightly so he could remove the bandage on her back. “Yes, this looks the same.” He pulled back. “If it were up to me I would have you skip patrol again tonight, but I know that wouldn’t be a good idea. The vampire population must be kept in check. I think I should go out with you, just in case.”
Buffy smiled. “Sounds like a plan, Watcher-mine.” Her face crumbled briefly and Rupert saw pain in her eyes, then she smiled sadly. “You don’t mind if I can you that, do you?”
Rupert pushed the hair away from her face. “No, I don’t mind at all.”
Xander spoke up. “Maybe we should all go. You know, strength in numbers and all that.”
Buffy shook her head. “Thanks for the offer Xander, but not tonight. I need to check something out, and the fewer of us the better.” Xander nodded.
Rupert stood. “Very well then, if everyone agrees, we meet back here the same time tomorrow.”
The others nodded and rose to leave. The telephone rang. Buffy, being the closest, answered. “Giles residence.”
She listened. “Hi, Wes. What’s up?” As she listened her face first registered disbelief, then anger. “Oh that’s just great. Really great. When?” After a few more moments she said, “Thanks for the warning, we really appreciate it. I’ll call and let you know what happens. Bye.”
Buffy placed the receiver back on the cradle and began swearing under her breath. Rupert, who was near enough to hear, blinked in surprise. Where had she learned those words? “Buffy, what’s the matter?”
“That was Wesley. It seems that even though these guys didn’t call the Council," Buffy waved at Xander and Willow, "and Wesley didn’t call the Council, the Embassy did. They then informed the Council of our miraculous return. Travers decided to check it out for himself. Wes has a friend on Travers’ team who called to let him know. They just landed at LAX and will be here in a couple of hours.”
Rupert looked at her in disbelief. “Bloody hell.”