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The Cost of Giles, ch 10 of ?

The Cost of Giles

Ch 10 – Goals

 

 

“What?! Xander Harris, have you completely lost your mind?!”

 

 

He held the phone away from his ear with a grimace as Anya continued to wonder if being in Sunnydale had finally made him snap. When she took a breath, he jumped in quickly before she had a chance to start another stream-of-consciousness rant.

 

 

“I-It could be the only way, Ahn. Why?”

 

 

“Xander, I respected Buffy as much as the next ex-demon, but you don’t just pick up an urn and call Osiris! Ever since he stopped being a god and became elevated to a Personification, he has lost all sense of humor and he didn’t start with a bunch of patience in the first place.”

 

 

“Well, Willow thinks….”

 

 

“…Oh, I should have known,” Anya interrupted him, again with a screechy tone in her voice. “Naturally, it would be another one of her ideas! I’m telling you, Xander, she is going to come to a bad end. She has no respect for boundaries.”

 

 

You’re trying to tell me about ‘boundaries’?

 

 

Though Xander thought that was pretty rich, coming from the girl who couldn’t stop herself from saying something inappropriate, he kept the thought unvoiced.

 

 

“As I was saying,” he stressed, “Willow thinks that Buffy may be in some sort of trouble. We need to try a summoning and since we don’t know where exactly she is, we need Osiris. Now, are you going to help us or not?”

 

 

Anya sighed and then there were several heartbeats of utter silence. Finally, just when he was going to ask if she was still there, he heard her sigh again.

 

 

“I’ll look. I’m not promising anything, but I used to know a Nile River water nymph who knew a desert gnome who had an antiques shop somewhere in that general area. He may be able to procure one, if there are any left intact. Xan, you should really think long and hard before Willow gives this a try, though. As a Personification of the Gateway between Life and Death, he’s one of the few entities that could even undue a Vengeance Demon wish if he really wanted. You don’t call on him lightly. And the only reason you’d need the Urn is if you wanted to hold Buffy’s soul… I hope that Willow doesn’t seriously think she can try a resurrection.”

 

 

“N-nobody said anything about ‘resurrecting’… we’re talking about releasing Buffy from Hell… if she’s really in trouble, the way that Wills thinks.”

 

 

“Right. Except, I know Willow and she’s not going to try to summon Buffy just to let her go.”

 

 

Anya sighed again and Xander felt a shiver race up his spine. Tara had been so sure that resurrection was impossible… but he couldn’t help wondering just what would happen if Willow tried it, anyway.

 

 

“This could take awhile. I suppose you’ll want it by All Hallows Eve, if possible.”

 

 

Willow didn’t mention any timetables.”

 

 

“Well, that’s when the best time would be if you’re trying to find Buffy. The walls separating all dimensions that touch ours are thinnest then. I’ll see what I can do. Don’t forget to push Giles about the store.”

 

 

“Yeah. I’ll call you. Thanks, Anya.”

 

 

“Don’t thank me, Xander. You may end up sorry that I helped you out,” she said, before hanging up.

 

 

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“Are you sure this is a good idea,” Jonathon whined, grating at Warren’s nerves.

 

 

“YES. Again. Look, if we don’t do something huge, we’re never going to keep the two Mardoz Demons on a leash. They owe ‘The Slayer’ some big payback for her killing two of their own.” (1)

 

 

“It’s still weird that only the robot has been out patrolling,” Andrew whispered.

 

 

The three humans were huddled together. Both April and Adam were busy with charging, while the recruited vampires continued to sleep away the daylight hours. Both machines were becoming more unreliable… April because of the heavy damage she’d taken and Adam because his organic components were rapidly becoming untenable. The demons being discussed weren’t there… they had turned their backs on Warren when he’d suggested they remain at the hideout and stomped out without a word.

 

 

That pissed him off, but there was little he could do but sic Adam on them, and they didn’t seem to care much either way. Being demons, they were much too pig headed in their desire to get on with the killing of ‘Buffy’.

 

 

Warren had considered just letting them go, but he wanted to cement the Trio’s status as the ones who could defeat Sunnydale’s protectors, so he had to put up with the other’s surly attitudes. With Adam’s useful ‘shelf-life’ rapidly approaching its end, and with him unable to do anything further to save the Aprilbot from eventual permanent shutdown, the time was rapidly approaching when it would be now or never.

 

 

“She has been gone an awful long time,” Jon acknowledged in a low voice. They were all worried about how much the vampires may be able to hear, even while unconscious.

 

 

“That’ll just make this easier,” Warren said. “The local muscle knows the Scooby Gang members… we defeat them, and we’re in. It’ll go smoother without Buffy here. I’m convinced that the real Slayer has some sort of probability altering field around her… it’s the only thing to explain why she hasn’t been killed long before now. I mean… remember that giant snake at graduation!”

 

 

“B-but we’re not hurting anyone, right,” Andrew asked, again, worriedly.

 

 

“I’ve explained this,” Warren told him, impatiently. “You guys need to trust me. The vamps and Mardoz soften them up, we march in and kick a little ass, our reputations bring the rest of the underworld here under our control, and Buffy and her little gang are forced to retreat. We clean out the riches in town, abandon it and ‘our gang’ and live like kings in the Caribbean. It’s foolproof!”

 

 

“I guess,” Andrew said.

 

 

“Listen,” Jon said, laying a hand comfortingly on Andy’s shoulder, “We can do this. I’ve picked up a magic doo-dad that’ll force them to invite us in… vamps don’t fight so good when they’re pinned in. And the demons are too large and heavy. The Scooby Gang will be able to avoid getting too hurt. With our bit of magic, we can dust the bloodsuckers ourselves if we have to… no one is going to get really hurt. And, if things do go bad, we’ve got our ‘bionic boots’ to get us out of there fast.”

 

 

“And you know it won’t come to us going up against the demons, the gang will get rid of them pretty easily,” Warren added. “There’s no way these losers are going to do anymore than tire them out a bit for us. It’ll be just like ‘Batman’… the Adam West one, not the cool versions. There’ll be a bunch of ‘pow’, ‘biff’, ‘oof’ and then we’ll knock ‘em all out and leave a calling card telling them to get out of town for when they wake up. After, we’ve taken plenty of video of their defeat, of course. Nothing can go wrong,” he smiled widely.

 

 

“Yeah,” Andy smiled, seeming far more enthusiastic. “We should invest in some cool looking costumes.”

 

 

ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

 

Giles hung up the phone, relieved to hear from Xander that Willow was fine and on her way home. Although the quake hadn’t been a bad one, at all, still there was a nagging doubt that they’d all gotten away so easily.

 

 

Perhaps because every other time there has been a trembler, there’s always been a Hellmouth connection, he thought to himself worriedly.

 

 

He made his way to the kitchen to boil some water for a nice cup of tea. He needed something to soothe his nerves. He wasn’t only keyed up over how well his lunch date had gone with Lavinia. He was also feeling antsy about the Hellmouth, despite the fact that everything seemed fine. Reminding himself that Sunnydale’s earthquakes seemed to always be accompanied by supernatural shenanigans only added to the feeling that he was still waiting for ‘the other shoe to drop’.

 

 

Ridiculous, old man, he tried to reason with himself. Never look a gift horse, and all that rot….

 

 

Of course, there was even more to his feelings of uneasiness, being in his apartment again. It remained in the far reaches of his mind, where he could consciously avoid thinking about it. But, that didn’t stop the longing to open a certain chest hidden away in his bedroom. A chest that could make him feel powerful and invincible… ready to slay gods.

 

 

On an impulse, Giles picked up the phone and dialed England. He suddenly felt the need to hear the reasoned voices of the Council, and so decided to report in on “Buffy’s” activities and the Hellmouth’s quiet status.

 

 

Unconsciously, he was hoping it would drive away the desire to feel the dark magicks he hid.

 

 

ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 

 

The dark wisp coiled quietly within the mind of Ryan Crest, paramedic. It whispered a non-stop litany of dire warnings about his wife. She was disloyal, untrustworthy, thieving, scheming, and an adulteress.

 

 

Ryan, against his better judgment, started to wonder what Trish did all day while he was busy busting his ass to keep them housed and fed. He began to wonder just who she might have over while he wasn’t there… where did she go during his long shifts when he couldn’t keep his eyes on her.

 

 

He could feel buried resentments bubbling up and began to get irritable as the afternoon wore on.

 

 

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End Ch 10

 

(1) The pink-skinned demons with the blue horn that Buffy killed in Willy’s Bar get a name (Falling Apart, Ch. 5 – ‘Confrontations’)

 

 

Tags: btvs, buffy, fanfiction, harsens-rob, spander, spanderverse, the cost of giles, writing
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