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.”
“…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, “
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
“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
Anya sighed again and Xander felt a shiver race up his spine.
“This could take awhile. I suppose you’ll want it by All Hallows Eve, if possible.”
“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.
“Are you sure this is a good idea,” Jonathon whined, grating at
“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
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,”
“B-but we’re not hurting anyone, right,” Andrew asked, again, worriedly.
“I’ve explained this,”
“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.”
Giles hung up the phone, relieved to hear from Xander that
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
Unconsciously, he was hoping it would drive away the desire to feel the dark magicks he hid.
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.
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’)