Rating: Overall R/ This chapter PG-13
Setting: Seven months after YellowBrickRoad
Word Count: 1924
Disclaimer: I own nothing
Summary: After the events of YellowBrickRoad, Giles finds himself in the middle of a strange prophecy
Author's Note: This is not a direct sequel to my previous fic. There are some mentions of it, but I think I did a pretty okay job of summerizing what had happened
Author's Note #2: I am so sorry for the late update. I ran into some hiccups, and then work happened and then I forgot tonight I was seeing Cruel Intentions after work so yeah. The ending seems a bit blah but I honestly had no idea how to end the chapter, and I was trying to finish in time to post and still get enough sleep before opening at my job tomorrow. Anyways...with all that said, I hope you guys enjoy this chapter
“This is getting weird.”
Giles looked up at the sound of Buffy’s voice, his brow furrowing at her statement. She had left the apartment for patrol a few hours ago, which wasn’t uncommon given her calling. What did strike him was the lack of any sign of a struggle; she looked exactly the same as she had when she left, with the exception of her hair which he knew was more than likely from her walking.
“Did something happen tonight?” he asked as he stood up and made his way over to her, giving her another glance over to make sure she wasn’t hurt.
“More like something didn’t happen. This is two weeks now, Giles.” She said as she looked at him. “No vamps, no demons, nothing. It’s radio silence across the Hellmouth.”
“It’s a ghost town out there, Giles. Is there anything big being cooked up or something?”
He watched as Buffy walked into the kitchen, going straight to the fridge to get something to drink. He thought back to the jogger from the other day, his words of a prophecy ringing through the Watcher’s head. After not finding any evidence, Giles had dismissed it as nothing more than nonsense. He had even reached out to some of the seedier parts of the Hellmouth, but no one could tell him anything that gave the jogger credit.
Giles looked at his Slayer when he felt her eyes on him, realizing that he had let the silence go on longer than needed. He was about to assure her that nothing was going on but caught himself at the fear in her eyes. She was genuinely afraid that there was some major reason behind the lack of activity in Sunnydale. And he couldn’t bring himself to blatantly lie when he honestly had no idea.
“I’ll look into it,” he promised as he went to join her in the small kitchen, pulling her in for a reassuring hug.
“Knew there was a reason I kept you around,” she teased as she leaned against him. “How was your evening?”
“The same as always.” He replied as he pulled back to look at her.
“So a whole lot of worrying about me?”
They shared a small laugh and he shook his head slightly.
“I’ll meet you upstairs,”
“You actually going to let me sleep tonight?”
Giles let out a bark laughter as he made his way up the stairs.
Giles let out a groan of frustration as he closed another book. He had decided to let Anya run the store for the day so he could put his complete attention on trying to figure out if there was something to Buffy’s concerns. And so far he had found nothing. From what he had read, there was no reason for the Hellmouth to be so inactive. It was frustrating to say the least. How could he help his Slayer if he couldn’t even find the cause of the unusual activity on the Hellmouth?
He ran his fingers through his hair before setting his glasses on the table, covering his face in his hands. A part of him was well aware that he was over reacting to his lack of knowledge, but another part of him was afraid that the information was staring him right in the face and he just wasn’t seeing it.
“The prophecy will be fulfilled…”
The words echoed in the Watcher’s head, almost in a taunting manner. Pair it with the increase of “lost” memories he was suddenly having, and his frustration just grew.
‘It’s just a coincidence,’ the voice in his head told him, and he wanted to believe that to be true.
But there was never such a thing as coincidence on the Hellmouth. Too many things were happening and it felt like a puzzle; he just wasn’t smart enough to solve it.
“No, I just don’t have all the pieces.” He said to himself.
‘If there even is anything to solve,’
Giles scowled and stood up. What he was planning to do, he had no idea. He just knew that he couldn’t sit at his desk and send himself on this goose chase. A movement out of the corner of his eye caught his attention, his head quickly looking over towards his kitchen. He stared into the empty space for a moment before deciding that his mind was playing tricks on him again. He closed his eyes and took a breath, opening it just as he heard the front door open.
“Hey, Giles.” Willow smiled as she walked in.
His eyes flashed over to just over shoulder, half afraid he’d see Xander follow behind her. A small sigh of relief left him when he saw that she was alone. And judging by the look she gave him, it must have been noticeable.
“Buffy’s with Xander at the Magic Box.” She said as an explanation. “He didn’t want to be alone today.”
“Is it a bad day?” he asked softly.
“No. He’s just…he’s got a bad feeling and doesn’t want to be on his own.”
“What, um…what sort of bad feeling?”
There must have been something about his tone because Willow instantly looked at him, her eyes going wide in a sudden realization.
“Oh! No, nothing like that. He’s just seeing a lot of things and he isn’t sure if it’s his mind playing tricks on him or not.” She quickly said. “He just wants to be around Buffy and Anya in case it isn’t his mind. That way if what he’s seeing is bad he can warn them. But actually, today’s been a good day. He’s coming to better terms with being able to see…well, whatever it is he sees. Not all of it is hallucinations, really most of it is spirits or auras or…”
Despite his initial concern with Xander being left alone with Buffy, Giles found himself smiling Willow’s ramblings. And, of course, he was happy to hear that it seemed her and Xander were making some type of headway on his new abilities. His face fell at his own reminder that he had made no progress on his own research.
“Can I get you anything to drink, Willow?” he asked after a moment, wanting any reason to distract himself from the small mess that was his desk.
“No, thanks. I actually came over to see if you needed any help,” the redhead said as she looked at the desk.
“Any rumblings going on in the Hellmouth?”
“None that I can find.” He quickly went about cleaning up the desk. “It’s very frustrating, to be honest.”
“Do you think there’s anything to Buffy not seeing any vamps lately?”
Giles ran his fingers through his hair and sighed, his shoulder giving a slight shrug.
“I want to say yes, but I haven’t been able to find anything. It feels like all the pieces are there but nothing is pointing to the Hellmouth. In fact, most of them don’t even have anything in common with Sunnydale.” The Watcher said as he looked at the young woman.
“But they do have something in common?” she asked tentatively.
He swallowed as he thought about how to answer that. On the one hand, he knew he wasn’t fair to ask Willow to keep his worries from Buffy. But on the other, he needed to talk about it. Keeping his fears and paranoia bottled up wasn’t going to do him any good.
“I’m fairly certain I’m just being paranoid, but the few things that I’m concerned about seem to have…well, I seem to be the common factor.” He said after a moment. “I’ve been having dreams or…memories, I’m still not sure what they are. I keep seeing things and it seems as if people are staring at me like they know me. It’s almost as if there’s some plan unfolding and I’m in the middle of it, but I can’t find anything that says I’m justified in thinking this. Hell, I even feel like I’m being watched most of the time.”
“Have you told Buffy?” Willow asked, concern showing clearly in her eyes. “Because this sounds like something she should know about.”
“She has enough to worry about right now with whatever is going on with the vampires and demons,” he shook his head slightly. “I don’t need to worry her anymore.”
“Giles, if there is something to all of this and you don’t tell her…”
“What should I tell her? That I can’t find any proof that says what’s been going on is something that we can stop? Or how I’m not sure if I’m losing my mind finally?” there was a sense of defeat in his voice, but there was also a hint of anger building. “I’m not going to tell her anything when I’m not even sure what’s going on. Because if it is that fucking trail affecting me all the way out here…”
He trailed off when he noticed the small flinch Willow did. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath, slowly letting it out. He opened his eyes again and gave her an apologetic smile.
“I’m sorry, Willow. I’m just…”
“Frustrated. I know,” she said with a reassuring look. “I’m just not used to you getting that worked up. But I still think you should tell Buffy about this. She could help or…or….or something. But she needs to know.”
“Until I know for sure what is going on, I can’t tell her. The last thing she needs to worry about is if her Watcher is having another breakdown.”
“You’re more than just her Watcher, Giles. You guys are dating. What happens to you affects her. Plus, you’re kind of all our best friend and we don’t want to see anything happen to you either.”
“If it doesn’t get better in two week, I’ll tell her.”
“A week.” She countered.
“A week and a half,”
“Giles, resolve face. A week you tell her.” Willow said as she looked at him.
After a moment, he relented and agreed. She dropped her resolve face and gave him a smile, walking over and giving him a brief comforting hug. She pulled back and looked up at him.
“Oh! Xander wanted me to tell you that there’s something important he wants to talk to you about.” She said.
“What about?” Giles asked, a small sense of fear building in his chest.
“He didn’t say, but he really wants to talk to you in person. But he understands if you only want to talk on the phone.”
“I’ll bring Buffy by and…”
“He said it has to be only you.” She cut him off.
Giles looked at her, his eyes narrowing. He had no idea why Xander would want to talk to him alone, or even make that request. Since being released from the hospital, there was a silent understanding between the Watcher and the young man that until further notice they would not be in the same room alone together. Even though Giles knew the actions on YellowBrickRoad weren’t in Xander’s control, there was still no way of knowing if the young man was completely rid of the Bad Man’s influence.
“I’ll, um…I’ll think about it.” He said softly.
“I’ll let him know.” Willow said with a small smile. “Do you want to get some lunch?”
He recognized Willow’s request for what it was; a way to change the subject and a way to get his mind off of what he had confessed to her. And he knew it was just what he needed.