Disclaimers in part one.
Chapter 8 - Fathers and Watchers and Vampires, Oh My
Helen sat on a stool at the pass through in Rupert Giles' apartment going over her notes while she waited for Buffy and Giles to return. As senior investigator for the INS, she had been given this assignment because her boss had felt that something wasn't right and he trusted her to get to the bottom of things. You see, Helen was the INS's secret weapon. She had a peculiar talent. She always knew when someone was telling her a lie. And this bunch had been telling her lies all day.
Normally that would make the decision easy; deny the appeal and deport the alien. But there was something strange about this case, this group of people. Oh, their stories had been consistent enough, with an acceptable amount of variation due to individual points of view, but the lies themselves were strange.
For instance, if Giles was really writing a book on Native American cultures she would eat it. Oh, she had no doubt that if she asked he could show her notes and reference materials. But really writing a book, no. So why had RCOW Ltd. sent Giles to Sunnydale? Because he had been sent there, it hadn't been his choice to leave his job at the British Museum.
The frequent trips to the hospital explained away as accidents while giving the trio self-defense lessons. He had trained Buffy, that came through as true from all sources, but he hadn't trained the others, so why lie about it? What had really caused the trips to the hospital?
The attacks by the gang that Angel had once belonged to; the truth, and yet not. There had been attacks, people injured and people killed, but not by a gang from LA. Every time Giles had said Angel's name, there had been the slightest hesitation, the tiniest of facial twitches. Almost as though Angel had been the one responsible. But that was crazy. Angel had still been involved in Buffy's life over a year after Jenny's death.
Another point was Zachary Kralic. He had kidnapped Joyce, and had tried to kill Buffy. But he hadn't been the stalker son of a high British official, and he hadn't worked with Giles in the school library. Although, Travers and RCOW Ltd. had been deeply involved in that affair too.
So many lies mixed in with so many truths. Whatever they were trying to hide seemed to revolve around two things: RCOW Ltd, (and by extension Quentin Travers) and Buffy's old boyfriend, Angel.
She had checked on RCOW Ltd. after the first time she had spoken with Quentin Travers, and to her astonishment had found that they were currently sponsoring thirty-two people in the United States. At the time it hadn't raised any alarms, but after what she had heard today,,,,, Something was going on, something the INS needed to investigate further. Technically, Helen was only here to confirm or refute the validity of this marriage, but she couldn't resist a mystery.
Buffy and Giles had given her the perfect excuse to find out more information. In all her years of administering the knowledge quiz to couples, she had never seen such a low score. Nineteen questions with two answers per question for a total of thirty-eight answers. No couple had ever gotten all 38 answers right. When, just for fun, she had taken the quiz with her husband they had missed two, and this was after 25 years of marriage. So, missing a few was to be expected. But Buffy and Giles had only eight matching responses. What had been so amazing was that each was confident that their answers were right.
This couple truly loved one another; that had come through loud and clear. And although Giles was uncertain of Buffy's feelings, Buffy was aware of his. In any other circumstance, Helen would have given her approval and the matter would be finished, but there was still that mystery. Helen almost hated herself for what she planned to do next.
Hank Summers drove down the street, looking for the address where his ex-wife now lived. He was fuming, had been since Buffy had hung up on him last night. Then Joyce had the nerve to hang up on him as well. His evening with his new lover had been ruined, not to mention the business meetings he had needed to cancel to drive down here today. Buffy married. Ridiculous! She was just a little girl. Some boy had obviously taken advantage of her.
His inner musings had taken him past his objective. He turned around, stopping briefly to check the house numbers. As he spotted Joyce's house, he noticed a man and a young woman pulling out of the driveway in a red convertible. When they drove past him he saw that the woman was Buffy. Shock held him immobile for a few seconds, and then he pulled into the nearest driveway, turned around, and followed the other car.
When they turned onto a busier street, Hank let a few cars stay between them. He was thinking about the man driving the car. Man, not boy. He must either be Buffy's new father-in-law, or a friend of Joyce's. He saw the car pull into the left turn lane and followed. The road was momentarily clear, and they went through the intersection. He had to stop for oncoming traffic and cursed steadily under his breath until the turn arrow came on and allowed him to go.
Hank tried to look for the red car, but traffic was busy. He was afraid that he had lost them, until he saw the car making a right turn about three blocks ahead. He followed and saw that it was the parking lot of an apartment complex. He pulled into an empty space, cutting off a van coming from the other direction. Turning off the engine, Hank looked around hoping to see some clue as to where Buffy had gone.
Off to his left, Buffy was climbing a flight of stairs. The man was walking beside her. Hank goggled. They were holding hands. As Hank watched, the couple reached the top of the steps. Buffy said something, the man replied. He brought her hand to his mouth and kissed her palm. Then Buffy slid her hand around the man's neck and pulled him down for a kiss.
Stunned, Hank continued to watch as the kiss gained momentum. The man's hands cupped Buffy's butt and lifted. Her legs circled his waist. His hands moved up under her shirt. Hank was beginning to believe that they were going to have sex right there, when a horn sounded from somewhere in the parking lot. Buffy and the man jerked apart then moved across the patio and into the apartment.
Hank sat. He was aware, in a vague way, of things happening around him. Other vehicles entering and exiting the parking lot. People walking down the sidewalk. He couldn't seem to get his mind around what he had just witnessed. His little girl, his Buffy, kissing that man. But, did that mean that the man she was with was who she had married? No. There had to be another explanation. That man was too old to marry his little girl. That must have been another girl, one who looked like Buffy.
He needed to talk to Joyce.
Unaware that Joyce was in the apartment above, Hank switched on the engine, pulled out of the parking lot and headed back to Joyce's house.
Quentin Travers shifted uncomfortably in the small seat of the commuter plane. At the time, it had seemed like a logical choice. Take the commuter flight to Sunnydale from LAX and rent the car there, saving himself the long drive. But this day had been one problem after another.
After he had received Rupert's phone call, he had called the airport to have the Council's Lear readied to take him to Los Angeles, but found that it was down for maintenance. The engines had been disassembled and it would take at least two days for them to be re-installed. He had called the Council's travel department to get him on the first available fight to LAX. It was with a deep sense of shock that he listened to the woman tell him that all flights from London were booked. The only way he could get to LA was via New York or Chicago.
He hadn't been able to get comfortable on the flight to New York, even though he was in first class. Then he had missed his connection because of delays in customs. He was informed that if he wanted to fly first class, he would have to wait until a later flight, the next available flight had space in coach only. He had taken it, and had been appalled to find he was seated next to a woman with a baby.
Five hours of fussing and crying had put him on edge, only to find that, once again, he had missed a connection. The first of two flights to Sunnydale had left mere minutes before his arrival at the gate. He had to wait three hours for the next one. At that point he had almost rented a car and driven himself, but Quentin was a practical man. He had had very little sleep in the past 30 plus hours and was afraid his concentration would slip in the busy Los Angles area traffic. Best to stay with the original plan and take the commuter flight.
He glanced at his watch. Another twenty minutes before he could stretch his legs. He only hoped that his automobile reservation was still valid. Quentin scowled. This trip had better be worth all of the inconvenience he had endured. He planned to bring Rupert Giles back to England with him today.
Driving past the 'Welcome to Sunnydale' sign, Cordelia said, for at the least the fifth time, "I don't see why we had to drive down here. So they got married, big deal. Ewww, cause Giles is old, but that's her problem."
From the back of the van, well out of direct sunlight, Angel said, "That's the point. Buffy and Giles would never get married. He's too old for her. They must be under some kind of spell."
"And anything that could affect the Slayer to that extent is dangerous," Wesley added. "They obviously need our help." He continued to leaf through the pages of one of the books he had brought along.
"But why did I have to come?" Cordelia whined.
"Because it's daylight," Angel said in a tone that implied 'duh'.
Cordy glared at him in the rearview mirror. "No kidding, Sherlock. What I meant was, couldn't you have waited until dark and driven yourself?"
"Waiting until dark might be too late. We should have come down right after we got the news last night, but we had to wait until we could rent a van. And no, you didn't have to come; Wes could have driven me. Give it up, Cordy, you know you're as curious as the rest of us."
Cordelia just hunched her shoulders and continued to drive in silence. Although it had been a little over a year, she remembered the way to Giles' apartment and found it without asking directions of Angel or Wes. Pulling in, she headed for a parking space, but was cut off by a car coming down the aisle from the other direction.
"Well, that was rude."
"That's okay, there's one a little closer to the steps, less distance for me to travel." Angel pointed to the space. Cordy pulled into the spot and turned off the engine. They were directly at the bottom of the steps.
"Look, there's Buffy and Giles" Cordy said, pointing to the couple standing at the top.
As they watched, Giles took Buffy's hand and kissed the palm. Buffy slid her hand around his neck and pulled him down for a kiss. In shocked silence the three in the van watched Giles cup Buffy's butt and lift her up. Her legs circled his waist. His hands moved up under her shirt.
Cordelia heard a kind of hiss; the sound someone makes when they are in pain. She turned sharply in her seat to look at Angel. Her elbow bumped the horn and at the sound the pair on the patio pulled apart. Her attention on Angel, out of the corner of her eye Cordy saw Buffy and Giles cross the patio and enter the apartment.
"Well," Wesley began slowly, "that was strange."
"Yeah," Cordy added. "I would say that was definite weirdness. Did you see how Giles was dressed? He looked hot. I would never have thought that Giles could look that good. You guys are right, has to be a spell. We better get in there and help them."
"No," Angel frowned. "We need to check this out first. See who might be doing this." He thought for a few seconds. "Willie knows what's going down with the demon population in Sunnydale." Angel turned to Cordelia. "Head for Willie's bar."
Cordelia looked at him searchingly, then nodded. She turned back around and started the van. "Give me the directions." She left the parking lot and drove towards the west side of Sunnydale.
Chapter 9 - Storm Front Coming
Buffy woke up, momentarily disoriented. She blinked, and memory returned. Living room, Mom's house, couch. Gotcha. She glanced across the room to see Rupert asleep in his chair. Poor baby, the last few days had been hard on him too. As she sat up and stretched her eyes passed over the clock on the mantel, then returned with a rush.
They had been there over two hours. Mom and the others must be wondering where they were. She stood and saw a note on the coffee table. It read:
We came looking for you and saw you sleeping. We'll be waiting at Rupert's whenever you wake up.
Buffy smiled. She walked across the room and sat on the arm of the chair. "Giles," she said softly. No response. She leaned forward and breathed "Rupert" against his ear. His head turned before she could pull back and her lips brushed his cheek.
Sleepy green eyes blinked at her and he pulled her into his lap. "Hello," he murmured and pressed his lips to hers. Like a match to dry kindling, passion flared between them.
'His mouth should be declared a lethal weapon' was her last thought for several minutes. Giles released her mouth to trail hot kisses down her neck. He nuzzled the spot where her neck met her shoulder, then gave it a gentle nip. Buffy shuddered and moaned. Giles stiffened against her. There was a sensation of movement and when Buffy could focus again, she was alone in the chair.
Across the room Giles leaned heavily against the fireplace mantel. He ran a hand through his hair, took a deep breath and tried to collect his raging emotions. Not looking at Buffy he began, "I apologize. I was asleep and I, I," he faltered, unable to complete the sentence.
Buffy started at him bewilderment. Things were just getting good. What was he doing over there? His tense posture and stammered sentence sank through her haze. He was embarrassed. But why?
After a few moments Giles was able to continue. "I promised you that I wouldn't do anything to upset you. I didn't mean to grab you like that. It won't happen again." He remained turned away, eyes averted.
Understanding came crashing through. He didn't know she wanted him too, and thought she was disgusted. Boy, it was going to take a lot to make up for that 'old and gross' thing.
Buffy left the chair and crossed to where he was standing. She slipped under the arm braced against the mantel and pressed her face against his chest. Her arms encircled him, tightening when he tried to pull away. "Slayer here. You didn't do anything I didn't want."
Giles froze for a moment, then again tried to pull away. 'Can't have that', she thought. She tightened her arms a little more and, raising up on her toes, she bit the same spot on his neck. Buffy felt his body tremble, then heard him moan "Buffy, please." She felt his hand slide into her hair, then her head was jerked back and his lips once again plundered hers.
Long, hot, moments later Giles pulled away and lifted her into his arms. He glanced around the room. Buffy ran a hand under his shirt and kept pressing urgent kisses against his neck. "Second door on the right at the top of the stairs," she murmured. Giles crossed the room swiftly, and had one foot on the bottom step, when he stopped.
Buffy kissed under his chin and gave his Adam's apple a lick. "No, stairs hard. Bed soft. Keep going."
Giles lowered his face to her hair and tightened his hold. Then he heaved a deep sigh and set her on her feet. "We can't."
Frustrated, Buffy glared at him. "I want, you want, we're married, why can't we?"
"We've been gone too long. Someone might come looking for us."
"They already did. Mom left a note, said they would wait for us at your place." She grabbed his hand and started tugging him up the stairs.
He resisted, pulling his hand back. "They might change their minds." Buffy started to speak, but he cut her off. "Our first time is not going to be rushed. I want to have the time to worship you properly."
Giles gave her his best 'Ripper' grin. "It's a good thing you've had a nap, because you won't be getting any sleep tonight."
Buffy's eyes glazed over at the mental pictures his words evoked. It was her turn to draw a deep breath. "Then why are we still here? Let's get back there and kick everyone out so you can start depriving me of my sleep." She rushed past him and stood waiting impatiently at the front door.
Giles chuckled and opened the door, waving her ahead.
The drive to Giles' apartment passed in comfortable silence, Buffy's hand resting over his on the gearshift. Still holding hands, they climbed the steps to the apartment. "Buffy," Giles said softly, "You need to know, this isn't just wanting." They stopped at the top of the steps. "I love you." He lifted her hand and pressed a gentle kiss to the palm.
Buffy smiled tremulously. "I know. I love you too, Rupert." She slid her hand around and pulled him down for a kiss. Buffy felt his body jerk in response to her use of his given name, his arms tightening around her almost convulsively. Their lips met hungrily. 'It just keeps getting better,' Buffy thought, then the world disappeared leaving only the two of them.
The sudden blare of a car horn reminded them that not only were they not alone in the world, but they were standing in view of most of the apartment complex at 2:00 in the afternoon. Giles' hands were caressing her back under her shirt. Buffy's legs were clenched around Giles' waist and her hands were buried in his hair. Looking deep into his eyes, Buffy gave a tiny wriggle against his hot length. Giles shuddered and gave an almost audible moan.
Giles put his hands on Buffy's waist, pushing her away. She relaxed her legs, sliding to the ground. They stared hotly at one another. In unison they said, "Later", and turned to enter the apartment.
Inside the apartment, Joyce and Helen sat talking in low tones. Willow and Xander stood talking near the window. Willow saw Buffy and Giles coming up the stairs, but something kept her from saying anything to draw the attention of the two women. She nudged Xander just as the pair halted and Giles kissed Buffy's palm. The two stared wide-eyed at what happened next. Willow murmured, "I thought she was going to wait until later to carpe Giles."
Xander gave a soft chuckle, "It looks like she isn't the only one who's planning to carpe someone tonight."
When Buffy and Giles drew apart at the sound of the horn, Willow and Xander moved away from the window and Willow said, "Here they come now."
Helen moved over to the pass through and picked up her papers. She drew a deep breath and turned around just as Buffy and Giles entered the apartment. "Please, sit down. I've finished my preliminary interviews and I'm ready to give you my initial findings." She gave the pair a serious look. "This is just the first assessment. You can challenge it, if you choose to."
Buffy and Giles looked at each other in alarm, and Buffy grabbed his hand.
Helen paused and looked down at her papers. Damn, was she really going to do this? Yes, they were hiding something. Something more than just a marriage to avoid deportation. She had to try to find out what was going on here.
"The interviews themselves were quite satisfactory. If that were all that I needed to go by, I would have no trouble approving your martial status." She held up her hand to keep Buffy from speaking. "I am instructed to use two types of information, we discussed this in the beginning of your interviews. I'm sorry, but you failed the life knowledge portion of the interview. I cannot give my supervisor my approval." Everyone stared at her, stunned. Buffy's eyes filled with tears. Giles scowled.
"What do you mean, we failed the life knowledge portion? Did we miss a couple of questions? How can you expect people to know all of those things about a new spouse?"
Helen moved forward and handed Buffy and Giles each a sheet of paper. "We don't expect couples to get all of the answers correct, but I have been giving this quiz to couples for 15 years, and you two had the lowest score I have seen. Nineteen questions, with two responses per question for a total of 38 responses. The two of you matched only eight responses."
Giles stared at her in disbelief. "That's not possible." He gazed in bewilderment at the paper in his hand.
Giles eyes caught the first difference. "Dorothy? What the bloody hell kind of nickname is Dorothy? Your name is Buffy; that should be a nickname. Where did Dorothy come from?"
Joyce inserted. "It was because of her ice skating." At Giles' look of incomprehension she continued. "Dorothy Hamill the Olympic ice skater?" Giles nodded.
Buffy was beginning to get over her initial shock, and was also reading the list. "What's with the 'RB'? The only nickname you ever told me about was Ripper." She looked further down. "Coconut?" she exclaimed. Buffy looked at him in outrage. "You think I smell like coconut?"
"What I said was that the scent was tropical, and it reminded me mostly of coconut. I think it's quite nice."
"Coconut," Buffy muttered.
"You eat cereal? I've only ever seen you eat toast."
"That's because I eat the cereal before I come over since the only thing you ever offer me is toast. And I didn't remember the name of that stuff you eat. Weetabix? I've never seen it in the store, where do you buy it."
"I get it from a specialty store. It's from England. If you didn't remember the name you should have just told her that instead of guessing wrong." Giles looked up in amazement from the next answer. "Earl Grey? I haven't drank that brand since before the school blew up."
Buffy hunched her shoulder and turned partially away. "Toy sword. I should have known that one." Beside her Giles drew in a sharp breath and she flinched.
"Buffy!" Now Giles' voice was filled with outrage. "Interview with a bloody Vampire is your favorite book? How can you?"
Helen observed the others also staring at Buffy in shock. What was it about that book that upset them so much?
Buffy blushed. "I think it's a good story. I like the character of Louis."
"Louis," Giles growled. "Brown hair, brown eyes, constantly brooding over his fate. Sound like anyone we know?"
Buffy glanced over at Helen then gave Giles a warning look. "I just like the story, okay? It doesn’t remind me of anyone." She turned her attention back to the list. She glared at Giles. "What is this about Passions? How can you have a favorite TV show when you don't have a TV?"
Giles flushed, turned away and mumbled something. "I didn't hear that. What did you just say?" Buffy demanded.
"I said I have a bloody television. Passions is a good show. The writing is quite intelligent."
"Oh, please, no soap opera has intelligent writing. Besides, I don't see a TV set. Where is it?"
"I keep it in the closet." Giles muttered sullenly. His eyes tracked down the page. He paled. "Oh, dear lord."
Buffy scanned the page, frowning. "What? Thelma and Louise is Mom's favorite movie, not mine." She blushed a little. "That's a movie from the 70's. It's not really explicit, not by today's standards. It has this actor that kinka looks like you…."she broke off when Giles moaned. He flushed bright red and groaned, "Oh, dear lord" again.
Buffy looked at him in shock. "It's you? It IS you! Rupert Giles, you started in a porno movie? How could you?"
"It was not a porno movie," Giles began defensively. "It was an art film of a classic novel." He drew himself up. "I don't bloody have to defend myself over something I did before you were bloody born." He stood and stormed over to the fireplace. "Bay City Rollers? Buffy that was a joke! I wouldn't be caught dead listening to them."
"How was I supposed to know it was a joke? You were always taking about how great they were."
"Always?" Giles shrieked. "One time. One bloody time when you insisted on playing that mind destroying noise you called music for your aerobics." There were a few moments of tense silence. Giles continued in a calmer voice. "Sorry, I had forgotten about Pike, but how did you know about Sara?" Giles looked up from the page.
"You told me about Sara, after Angelus killed Jenny. Don't you remember?"
Giles gazed at her, lost in thought. In a far away voice he said, "After the fire."
Buffy nodded as she looked at the next question. Her eyes widened. She got up and went to take the page from Giles' hand. "There's no need to finish going over these. We get the picture."
Giles halted her with a look. In a dangerous voice he growled, "Who the bloody hell is Parker?"
Buffy blushed, then stared at him defiantly. "Parker was a jerk I had sex with the night I saw you and Olivia together. Jerk. One night. End of story."
Giles stepped over to her and cupped her cheek in his palm, caressing her lips with his thumb. "I'm sorry, luv."
Buffy nuzzled his palm. "No, I'm sorry. It was just, she was so beautiful. I thought I had lost you."
He smiled gently. "Never."
Buffy glanced down at the last few answers. "Your wedding ring is your favorite piece of jewelry? Really?"
"I am proud to proclaim to the world that I belong to you." He looked back at the page, then up to her. "What about the cross that Angel gave you?"
"Giles, I haven't worn that since Graduation."
"And since I have hardly seen you since then, I hadn't noticed." Giles turned back to Helen. "Most of these are trivial details. Knowledge that isn't really necessary to a loving relationship, regardless of what you people think. We plan to challenge your findings." He pulled Buffy into his arms.
Before Helen could respond, a voice interrupted.
"Get your damn hands off my daughter, you pervert!"
Everyone whirled to face the doorway. A man stood there. His face was red, his eyes blazing with anger, and his hands were clenched into fists.
Buffy stared at him in shock. "Daddy?"