Disclaimer: Legal stuff, don't own characters, haven't made any money, this is for entertainment purposes, no profit earned, lawyers go away. –kisses-
Spoiler Alert: There are tidbits from past BTVS episodes and especially the Spanderverse series of stories.
Notes: Story Number 23 – I think – following, “Dawn”.
Everything from the television series through the defeat of Adam also occurred as depicted, in the Spanderverse.
People’s thoughts are depicted in italics. You’ll find emphasis depicted with an underline.
Special Thanks: To Joss Whedon for making us laugh and breaking our hearts with such panache; often in the same episode. Support Buffy: Season 8 and Angel: After the Fall (which will hopefully turn into Angel: Season 6) by Dark Horse Comics! Addendum: Spike: After the Fall (4-issues) is also being released by Dark Horse… show it love.
The Cost of Giles
Chapter 1 – Someone Has News
Xander Harris awoke in the small room he’d moved into when he’d broken up with Anya. He lay for a moment collecting his thoughts, when he realized that the phone in the kitchen was ringing. A quick glance at the alarm clock showed it was only seven, but already he could hear the central air running.
It must be a hot one out today, he thought, as he rushed to grab the phone, before the machine could get it.
I love the heat, Hyena shared. It’s the humidity here that gets me… I always thought
Maybe it’s the Hellmouth, he thought back at her in half jest. Any little excuse to make us suffer.
It was the first Friday of August and the summer was well and truly there in force. He had little to do that day, unfortunately. The construction job at the new mall was completed and he was waiting for a call from Joe with a new assignment. His project boss had mentioned that he could try to get in on the boutique job with the other construction team in town to tide him over, but Xan felt a loyalty to his boss that went beyond the paycheck. Plus, there was something about going from crew chief back to grunt, that didn’t sit right.
Stumbling out to the kitchen, he pressed the ‘brew’ button on the coffee maker, having already set it up the night before. As he picked up the house phone, he simultaneously checked his work cell for messages… there were none. He wasn’t too worried yet, as his recent stint as a crew chief, along with the sale of the Harris home had left his finances in a better state than ever before. But, of course, he could race through it pretty quickly if he wasn’t careful about how he spent.
He glanced at the caller ID, but didn’t recognize the number dialing. He wasn’t entirely aware of it, but his shoulders stooped in relief… a phone ringing too early or too late had always put him on edge, even before they’d lost Buffy.
“Xander Harris,” he said, belatedly hoping it wasn’t a sales call.
“Hey, Xander,” a female voice replied.
“Anya! Hey, how you been? And why haven’t you been keeping in touch…,
“Well, I’ve meant to send emails, but I keep forgetting. I didn’t realize how beautiful everything is through mortal eyes… I always thought the
“So, you’re in
“Oh, yeah… been here a bit more than a month now. That’s sort of why I’m calling actually… what’s the status of the new Magic Box, because I’ve sort of taken on a part time consultant job here.”
“Oh, sorry, but Giles hasn’t mentioned anything about it. In fact, he doesn’t seem in a hurry to do anything these days. We’re sort of worried. Of course, he’s been busy with trying to make sure that we stay safe… you know… without….”
“Yeah. So,” Anya’s voice brightened in that phony way people had when they wanted to skate over uncomfortable topics, “I’ve, uh, also been wanting to call to, uh… to let you know…; I’ve met someone, here.”
“W-well, that’s great news, Anya. Really, I’m glad.”
“Yes. I’m glad, too. But it’s a bit complicated.”
“More complicated than a chipped vampire who tried to kill us all,” he asked skeptically. At the same time he poured himself a cup of the freshly brewed coffee and made his way to the fridge for milk.
“More. I-it’s… I mean, I’ve sort of gotten involved with… Daniel.”
“A ‘Dan-yel’…? I’m not familiar with the name, a new kind of demon?”
“No, Xander! Daniel… his name is Daniel,” Anya said impatiently. “Now, I know this is a surprise, but I really hope that you guys will be supportive. Because,
“Uh, Anya… I have no idea who you’re talking about. And, why would Willow care? And I wish you two would just bury this hatchet you keep sharpening for each other!”
She gave him a beleaguered sigh, “Oz, Xander… are you awake, yet? I’ve been dating Oz!”
“Oh?! Oh, well… uh… wow. Uh… wow. I mean, not that there’s anything wrong with you and Oz… uh, wow. Um, we didn’t even know he was back in
“He did. It was pretty amusing, actually. He went all the way over there just to have the monks tell him he had to come all the way back here for further enlightenment. Okay, it doesn’t sound that amusing now, but when he was telling the story it was very humorous.”
“Well, I am a little pissed now. Not that you’re seeing him, but just that he didn’t bother to drop a line and let somebody know he was so close. He could have picked up a phone. That man, he disappears and forgets all about his friends. And you were right… I’m not seeing
“Sort of. Things have been a bit different, but it’s a long story with a lot of mumbo-jumbo. He is still a lycanthrope though, and we’re taking precautions when we need to. He’s had a lot of help from a coven of sister witches, here. ‘The Charmed Ones’… I had always thought they were just a boogeyman to scare little demon spawn, but it turns out they’re real. Anyway, Piper has done a lot of research to help him and they have… sort of, at least. Apparently, an actual cure for werewolfism is a bit more difficult than expected.” (1)
“Well, any help’s gotta be good help, right? So, how in the heck did you two end up meeting,” Xander said, trying to picture laid-back-Oz on a date with much-less-laid-back Anya… it didn’t work in his head. Plus it was just weird… like, she couldn’t have found somebody who wasn’t the ex of a Scooby? And
“Piper owns this club, here. Does pretty good business, too! I’ve invested in it and everything. Anyway, I just happened to stop in for a drink and some dinner and there he was, opening for the act that was headlining that night. ‘Headlining’… that’s show biz speak for the main act,” she said proudly. “So anyway, we got to talking about Sunnydale… I caught him up on things that had happened, including….
“So, uh, we started to hang out from there. And now, the sisters are paying me a small consultant fee for my demonic knowledge. Plus, they hadn’t even started a database, yet! Always looking things up in that dusty book of theirs..., honestly, they’d so get along with Giles. I find it impossible to understand how I could be older than everyone else and yet I’m the one who’s comfortable with computers.”
“It sounds like your happy, then. And, that’s a good,” he quickly added. He was still trying to see Oz and Anya as couple, and it still wasn’t working.
“Yes. So, Daniel and I are trying to decide if we should come back to Sunnydale or stay on here. I mean, he owes a huge debt to the other girls here, but I had always thought that I would be coming back. But, of course, there’s the unpleasantness between him and
Xander stood for a moment, trying to deal with the sudden information dump and pick out what he really needed to respond to.
“I could talk to Giles, again, but he doesn’t seem to be worried about getting the new store opened,” he finally said.
“I would appreciate it, Xander. Not that I don’t love
“Yeah. I’ll talk to him, call me next week?”
“Okay. Xander? You really are happy for me, aren’t you?”
“Of course I am, Anya. You deserve to be happy, too. Give my best to Oz, but tell him we expect him to stay in touch, too. And even if you guys do stay up there, it is not that far… we want you to come back at least to visit.”
“Thanks, Xan. I love you,” she said quickly, before disconnecting.
Xander hung up the phone and pondered how he was going to share this news with
She was right, you know, Hyena chimed in.
End Ch 1
(1) These are alterna-verse versions of the Halliwells. I’ve borrowed the ‘Power of Three’ mythology, their basic powers, most aspects of their basic histories and their personalities. I’ve dumped their being able to time travel with nothing more than an incantation, the inconsistency in their magic between when they need a ritual and when they just have to chant an incantation, their ability to summon the dead and make them physical – like their alive again (though I have no objections to their ability to summon and communicate with spirits) and the idea that EVERY witch has a White-Lighter (making this an aspect of the Charmed Ones, themselves, which help differentiate them from any other Coven and allows them to do things that Willow, for instance, can’t and making Leo and his ‘bosses’ just another faction of the PTB).
Why am I bothering with all of this? I want to throw them into the war against the First/the Source in S7 of Spanderverse (along with Blade – which is why I tied the ending of ‘Dracula’ to Blade III) and against the Senior Partners/the Underworld in S8 of Spanderverse/S5 of AtS. Yes… all of this for two guest spots at the end of season finales… my geekness sometimes reaches new depths of sadness-personified.
Plus, there’s my completely ridiculous notion that one of these days, I’ll re-write the entire ‘Charmed’ saga… pipedreams are I.