Title: Out for a beer part 8/10
Warnings: Slash, angst, AU, bits and pieces of seasons 5, 6 and 7.
Beta(s): twinsarein and skargasm for without them, there would be no fic. Any other mistakes are mine.
Summary: This part Giles returns
Disclaimer: I don’t own them, I just play with them. Joss Whedon owns them.
Word count: WIP
Xander and Tara stood waiting in baggage claim for Giles. They were talking quietly together, about pretty much everything that had been going on. Neither of them were paying much attention to their surroundings, and they nearly jumped out of their skins when a throat was cleared loudly next to them.
“G-man!” Xander exclaimed, smiling brightly and pulled Giles into a hug.
“How many times, Xander, must I ask you not to call me that?” Giles replied.
“Just once more, is all,” Xander said
“Welcome back Mr. Giles,” Tara said, a little bit timidly. “I hope your flight was alright.”
Giles blinked at Tara’s lack of stuttering, and nodded, “Yes quite alright, thank you. Now let’s be gone before I start asking questions,” Giles replied, all business.
Xander and Tara shared a look behind Giles’ back, as the man walked briskly to the exit. Hurrying to catch up to Giles, weaving through the few people milling around waiting for their rides. They caught up with Giles just outside the car parking area. “This way Giles,” Xander said, and lead them to his truck. “Guess it’s a good thing, I bought the extended cab, huh?” Xander quipped, as they climbed into the truck, with Giles’ bag next to him in the back.
“Now, tell me what has been going on here? And don’t think I forgot Spike’s little comment either, Xander,” Giles said.
Xander’s hands griped the steering wheel just a bit tighter. “It’s come to our attention, that Willow has been using memory charms and spells on Tara and probably me as well. ‘Cos I don’t really remember agreeing to bring Buffy back, I kinda remember saying it was a bad idea, and then well, we were there with the spell, and bringing Buffy back,” Xander said evenly. “It wasn’t till a few months ago, that I began to notice Buffy’s odd behavior. She got really quiet, and Spike’s weird stalkeryness had come to a sudden stop. And Spike was sporting more bruises and injuries, than even Spike likes to get during a fight. When I asked Spike about them, he’d just blow me off, and Buffy would say he deserved it. Which lead us to believe that maybe Buffy and Spike were in some kind of relationship, only Buffy would deny it and get very, and I do mean very, pissed off. Any time any of us would bring up Spike’s name, Buffy would get violent,” Xander said, trying to keep his voice even.
“Spike stopped coming to the Magic Box whenever Buffy was there,” Tara put in.
“Well, Slayers and Vampires are not meant to associate,” Giles began, only to be cut off, by Xander.
“Yeah, well, Spike started putting our lives before his, and our dear Slayer Buffy started to throw our lives in front of any big bad, that came along. It was also Spike who told us that his chip didn’t work on Buffy, but it still worked, ‘cos Spike still winces whenever he accidentally hurts us,” Xander all but snapped out, defensive of Spike.
“Yes, well, we will come back to that. Now, what about Willow?” Giles said, as he took his glasses off and started to polish them.
Tara sat straighter in the seat, her hands in her lap, as she looked through the windshield. “As Xander said, Willow has been using memory charms and spells to gain whatever she desires, as well as to keep us from finding out what she is doing. I did not know that I had been under a self-renewing spell, until Xander and Spike came to me a few nights ago and asked me if I could get copies of the spell Willow used. I’m not fully sure but something in the conversation weakened the spell, just enough for me to search our room.” Tara paused to take a slow breath, to calm her nerves. “The spell broke when I found a magically sealed box in the closet. It was a simple locking charm, nothing more, but when I broke the lock on the box, the spell on me broke as well.”
Xander could see Tara’s hands shaking from the corner of his eye, “It’s alright, Tara,” Xander said, and put one hand over her clasped hands to steady them.
“Yes, quite. Do continue, please, Tara,” Giles said calmly, but soothingly.
“I…I…I remember everything that Willow did to me. Every spell, every charm, just everything. She has been erasing my memories and creating new ones every time I disagreed with her, or when I tried to tell her she needed to stop, that the magic was going to extract a higher price then what she was used to.” Tara clutched Xander’s hand. “I didn’t really believe that Willow had gone too far, until I read the spell that she used to bring Buffy back. I don’t fully understand the spell, but I do know that the price paid was something Willow wouldn’t have thought was that high.” Tara finished with a whisper.
The truck was silent for several minutes, “Tara?” Giles called softly, Tara turned around to look Giles in the eyes, “The price was blood, she paid it with her blood.”
“Um, not to sound, totally stupid, but how bad can that be? I mean, wouldn’t her blood be better then say an innocent?” Xander asked.
Giles leaned forward in the seat, “Any spell or ritual that demands blood, is not truly worth doing if you wish to remain yourself. I won’t know exactly what Willow has done until I can get a look at the spell she had used. But, from what you two have said, it does not look good,” Giles said. Then, Giles fell silent as Xander turned onto the street he lived on and pulled up in front of a two story duplex. Giles looked at the apartments, a slight frown on his face. “Xander, did you move?”
Xander smiled broadly, and hopped out of the truck. “Yup, I sure did. When Anya and I broke up, she got the apartment, and I found this one the same day, which was lucky ‘cos she met herself a banker type guy.” Xander said.
Tara took the hand Xander offered, and jumped down. “Thank you, Xander.”
“My pleasure, my lady.” Xander said gallantly.
Giles handed his bag over to Xander and got out on his own, “Bloody huge vehicle,” he mumbled to himself, as he followed Xander and Tara inside.
Once at the door to Xander’s apartment, Xander turned to Giles and looked at him very seriously. “I need your word, Giles that you won’t harm Spike while you’re here.”
“Wha…what?” Giles sputtered.
“Spike and I are together. I don’t need your permission or your approval, but I will have your word that you won’t harm him.”
Giles stood straighter. “Now see here, I will not…”
Xander cut him off. “I’m not asking you to get along with him, Giles. I know that would be too much to ask. I’m asking for you not to harm my lover for the duration that you are within my home.”
Giles sighed. He could see that Xander was not going to move on this issue. “Very well. You have my word that no harm shall come to Spike from me.”
“Thank you,” Xander said and opened the door, and stood there staring. He looked back at the door. “Yup, right number, but wrong inside,” Xander said. His kinda messy apartment had been cleaned, the ratty old couch was gone and in its place was a very nice leather couch, which also matched the leather ottoman next to it.
“Oh, you’re back,” Anya stated, as she came out of the kitchen, with what looked like rubber gloves on.
Xander stepped into the apartment, and let Tara and Giles in. “Um, An, not that I’m not happy to see you or anything, but what are you doing here?” Xander asked.
“Cleaning up this mess you live in. Xander did you know that you were growing a life form in your fridge?” Anya said.
Xander was in shock that his ex-girlfriend was cleaning, and willingly. Just then the door opened and in bounded Dawn, looking very chirpy. “Hey, you’re back,” Dawn said happily, then went over to Giles and gave him a hug. “I’m glad you’re here. I hope you can help,” She said quietly.
Giles tried to keep his stiff upper lip. “I hope I can as well,” he said, just as quietly.
Tara had disappeared into the kitchen to make some tea, while Giles sat down in the ottoman. “You know, when I left, I could have sworn I left a sleeping vampire in my bed, and an empty, quiet apartment,” Xander said out loud.
“Oh, you did. But Spike at least had the foresight to call me and ask very nicely if I could come help him out. And, well, he did ask very nicely.” Anya replied.
“Okay, so where is that vampire of mine?” Xander asked.
“In the shower. He got very dirty, so he had to make himself clean again. I did offer to wash his back since you were gone. He said no,” Anya said with a pout.
Xander shook his head. “Yeah, okay,” He said, and left Anya with Giles. He had a vampire to talk to.