See prologue for disclaimer
Chapter 8 - Full Disclosure
Willow and Tara had gone over to Xander’s apartment after leaving Buffy’s home. The four were sitting in the living room munching on some snacks he had lying around.
“So do you think the town will be overrun with vampires once the slayer is jailed?”
“What? Anya, what are you saying?” Xander was confused.
“Well, Buffy believes Giles put her child in danger and I heard mothers are very protective of their young. Do you think he left me the shop in a will?”
“Stop saying that; Buffy wouldn’t hurt Giles.” Willow said.
“She, She did look very angry.” Tara interjected.
“Well, yeah but he’s done stuff before and she’s forgiven him.”
“Right, Xander; remember her eighteenth birthday.”
“Yeah, she was really angry for all of three days. She was more upset that he wasn’t her watcher anymore; though that never stopped him from being one.”
“But this is different; it isn’t about just her anymore. I think we should call the police and report a domestic dispute just so someone checks up on them.”
“No Anya, not a good idea.”
“Willow’s right, what would the police do anyway Buffy’s a slayer. If she wanted to she could take out the whole force.” Xander added.
“I-I guess we j-just have to wait until to-tomorrow to see that he is all right.”
The four shared wary looks.
Four hours later Buffy walked back into the house. Giles stood up from the couch when she came in. “H-how is Aria?”
“I didn’t go to the hospital.” His stunned look made her continue, “I’d want to hold her and I was too angry.”
She entered the living room and they both sat on the couch. “First, I want to apologize for getting so angry with you. Of course you would have Aria’s best interest at heart and wouldn’t do anything to jeopardize her. Second, I want you in Aria’s and my life but I need … want to know you … not Giles you but Rupert you.”
Giles removed his glasses setting them on the coffee table then ran his hand through his hair. He had never shared his past, all of his past with anyone; not even Ethan. “What would you like to know?”
“For starters how about something as simple as where you were born or even when you were born. Do you have any brothers or sisters? Giles these are things friends know about each other and well, I don’t know any of these about you.”
“All right,” he took a breath and let it out. “I-I was born at home in Bath.”
“You were born in a bath?”
He chuckled, “No, it is a city in England originated and developed around its hot spring waters; hence the name; Bath.”
“Oh …” she had to smile then too.
“February twentieth, nineteen fifty-four, is my birth date.” He could see her doing the mental math calculations, “I am forty-seven.”
She was stunned at first, she knew he was quite a bit older than her but not that much older. Then after thinking about it did it really matter. In ‘Slayer years’ she was old too. “I never would have guessed.” He gave her a waning smile.
“So, any brothers or sisters?”
“No, as you I am an only child.”
“I know this is a weird question but are your parents still alive?”
“It isn’t weird; my, my mum passed away when I was seven. You would have liked her, she … um … she was a lot like Joyce. Independent, headstrong, loyal to her family and friends; very caring.” He focused inward with a memory, “Once when I was six, I found an abandoned baby squirrel. I begged her to let me keep it until it could look after itself. After looking for, it’s mum and siblings and finding none, she agreed to teach me how to care for it. Later, I learned she despised rodents of all kinds but because I wanted to take care of it, she helped.”
Though she was angry she set a comforting hand on his arm. “Sounds like she was really special.”
“Sh-she was.” He swallowed a lump that had formed in his throat.
“What was your father like?”
“He, he’s … a council man, by the book and opinionated much like Quentin Travers.”
“By the use of present tense I take it he’s still alive then?”
“Yes, he lives in London.”
“Will I ever get to meet him?”
“God I hope not.” Off her look he added, “He’s an arrogant, self-righteous, stubborn berk.”
“Don’t hold back, how do you really feel?”
“I finished secondary school in the top three of my class.”
“Wow, that’s impressive.”
“One would think but my father’s response was,” Giles took on the tone of chastisement, “‘If you had applied yourself more you would have been first in your class’.”
“Then when I told him the work load was getting to me he said I needed to be a man and to push through it.”
“That’s when you left Oxnard?” she asked.
“Oxford,” he corrected then he noticed she was smiling. “You did that on purpose.”
“I could tell you were getting tense, I wanted to relieve some of it before you blew your stack.”
“Buffy I do not ‘blow my stack’.”
She raised an eyebrow at him then yawned.
“It’s late we could continue this tomorrow?” he asked his voice sounding hopeful.
“Will you tell me more tomorrow or will it take another five plus years to learn more?”
“I’ll tell you more, I promise.” Giles stood and picked up his jacket. “I’ll see you at ten?”
“It’s really late you can stay here.”
“You have no excuse. You have clothes, shaving stuff and a toothbrush here. All left over from when we were inundated with vamps. I’ll even let you sleep in mom’s old room.” He began to protest, “Giles you are way too big for that couch and it was nice of you put up with it before but not anymore.”
He acquiesced her offer, following her up stairs.
Buffy woke to the smell of fresh coffee wafting through to the upstairs. She took care of her morning routine then went down to the kitchen where she found Giles wrestling with the waffle iron.
“Bloody hell,” he exclaimed as he pried burnt, waffle from the device.
“Waffles, not your thing, huh” she said as she took over the cleanup of the iron.
“Um … no, not really.” He poured her a cup of coffee and added cream and sugar in the proportions she liked then poured a cup of tea for him.
Once cleaned Buffy applied a light coat of non-stick spray to the cooking surfaces, poured enough batter to half fill the tray then closed the lid. “So was the ‘band candy’ incident a good indication as to what you were like as a teen?”
Giles sat with his cup of tea, “Oh we were going to, to continue this now?”
“Um … no it wasn’t an indication at all.”
“Well that’s good.”
“I was worse.”
“Worse, how much worse could you have been?”
“I-I …” he rubbed his palms on the leg of his jeans. “Must we continue this now?”
“Giles, you promised.”
“Very well, you must realize I-I am not proud of the rebellious points in my life.”
He took in a breathe and let it back out. “At sixteen I had all ready learned how to hotwire cars and pick locks. A typical night would be to, to leave the house at nine and not return until two or three a.m.”
“So what did you do for those five or six hours?”
“Hang out, drink, smoke, open locked doors for others.” Her shocked expression prompted him to add, “I n-never entered the buildings I only unlocked them. When I found a car I liked I’d take it for a joyride; use it to, to pick up girls; well women actually.”
“Women? As in not a teenager?”
“I-I found girls my age were too … needy and possessive; they, they expected more. Women well, the women I found were fine with a little … um … romp in the sack for a night. Then I was free to, to move on to the next.”
“But you could barely speak to Miss Calendar?”
“She was the first I-I was ever truly attracted to.”
“And my mom … you were with my mom the whole time, right? No Casanova night.”
“Yes.” She gave him a skeptical look. Buffy wanted honesty so that was what he was going to give her. “I-I tried to get away from her after we … after but she clung to be like a barnacle.”
“That’s not how it looked when I arrived on the scene.”
“By then, I had decided if she wouldn’t leave then I’d make the best of it. I was planning to take her back to my place and …”
“Stop I don’t want to know; it didn’t happen.” Giles gave a little winning smirk.
The first batch of waffles were now ready and Buffy removed them; placing the plate in front of Giles; who took the plate after some protestation. She then added more spray and batter for the next batch. “Okay let’s move forward a few years. How did you and Ethan meet?
“We met at a pub I was playing at. When the band took a break he came up to me and asked if I’d ever consider doing a gig for a house party. I told him he’d have to speak to Dave, the band leader and he said the offer was just for me.
“I figured what the hell. He paid me half the fee that night, at the pub then I showed up the next night at the time specified. I was a little shocked; I thought I got the time wrong as there was no one around except Ethan. He admitted he just wanted to get me alone.”
Buffy was in mid sip of her coffee when he said this and she coughed, sputtering the dark liquid everywhere. “He wanted to get you alone.” She said between spasms of coughing.
“Y-yes,” he blushed. “I-I will not go into details but suffice it to say, I-I needed the money.”
“So you and Ethan were …” she couldn’t seem to finish the sentence.
“At one time I c-cared deeply for Ethan, yes. Have I satisfied your curiosity about my past?”
She could hear the hopeful tone in his voice. “I can tell you don’t really want to tell me about London, I get that but you summoned a demon that sought revenge some twenty years later. What else is out there waiting to take revenge?”
“T-to be perfectly honest … I-I’m not sure. I thought Eyghon had been dealt with.”
He couldn’t meet her eyes anymore. Taking in a deep breath then letting it out he admitted, “When I said Eyghon was an extraordinary high, it wasn’t an exaggeration. The years away from the council were turbulent. I wanted to escape and sought any and all forms to get away. A-after Randal’s death my solution was to, to escape even further.
“Ethan saw what I was doing to myself, contacted the council; told them where to find me.”
“You didn’t chose to go back?” he could hear the hurt in her voice.
“Buffy, I-I didn’t believe I deserved to be alive after what happened to Randal. After Ethan’s intervention I spent an enormous amount of time in hospital. When I was released I was mentored, by a council member who pointed out the areas of the council where I would be of use. I resumed my studies and graduated in short order.”
Buffy appeared to be saddened by the news that he hadn’t actually chosen to go back to the council. “Now you see why I avoided talking about my past. I never wanted you to know about the drinking, drugs, dark magicks, and promiscuous relations. How could I instill respect and trust if you knew those things?”
“Well, I am a little shocked but you’ve put your life back together. The only qualm I have is when things get really tough instead of talking you find solace in liquor. As for anything from your past creeping back in; I guess we’ll have to deal with it. I want you to know I really appreciate you telling me this stuff when I know you didn’t want to.”
Giles gave a sigh of relief; at least she isn’t disgusted with the direction my life had gone.
“You know what I want to do right now?” Buffy asked.
“You guessed it in one. Let me go up, shower and dress then we can go. Do you need to make an appearance at the Magic Box, first?”
“Um … no, Anya has everything well under control. Just let me give her a call to let her know I won’t be in.”
While Buffy got ready he placed the call. When he was through he was a little confused as to why Anya was surprised to hear his voice but it was Anya, so he didn’t question her. Buffy came down the stairs and they headed out to the hospital.
To be continued in Unexpected