Disclaimer: Legal stuff, don't own characters, haven't made any money, this is for entertainment purposes, no profit earned, lawyers go away. –kisses-
The Cost of Giles
Ch 24 – Seeking Restoration
Rupert Giles sat heavily on his broken sofa with barely a glance around at the other damages to his apartment. A warm and humid breeze was flowing in freely from the opened front door, but he barely noted it.
He was aware of the wary glances passing between his two companions standing off to his right. Instead of speaking to them, however, he focused all of his energies and his gaze on a point on the carpet between his feet. One arm was crossed over a knee, while the other was bent at the elbow. The bent arm belonged to the hand that he rested his head in, trying to process what had happened.
And the things he had done.
With no answer forthcoming,
“Giles. Do you have sea salt in the kitchen,” she asked slightly more sharply.
“Y-yes. Cabinet near the floor. Next to the ‘fridge’, I believe is how it’s put.”
“Uh, w-what are these doing here,”
Giles took a quick glance and then turned his despondent gaze back to the area rug. He’d paled considerably.
“Oh, dear Lord! I-I-I have, uh, there are th-three women… upstairs. I’m afraid they’re… undressed.”
Both girls glanced to each other with looks of shock. There were several heartbeats of utter silence, except for the breeze.
“What in the world?!”
All three of the apartment’s occupants jumped as one at the sound of the harsh voice. It was coming from the open doorway, and quick glances by
“It looks like a bomb went off in here,” Rick said, standing just inside the threshold of the room and surveying.
“What have you done, Giles,”
“N-not what you think. They’re still in their delicates. T-they were just… dancing… for me. I-I’m afraid that there was some mind control magic involved. A-and I’m afraid, I’ve placed them in a mystic sleep. When I realized that al Rashid and Tara were plotting….”
“Wait,” Rick stopped
“Let us handle this,” Willow breezed by him.
“Mr. Giles? Was there any sort of… sexual assault against these women?”
“Not as such,” Giles risked a quick glance, quickly returning his gaze to the carpet. “I-I-I didn’t… touch them.” He buried his head in both hands as the memories of what he’d done while under the dark magicks he’d accessed crowded in around him. The violence, the sexual manipulations, and abandoning Dawn when she’d been in trouble: No, we mustn’t forget that part… I’m so sorry, Buffy.
“Giles? I asked if you had olive oil and white vinegar? And, I’ll need rosemary leaves.”
“Y-yes… all of it is in the bottom cabinets.”
Rupert knew this to be a lie, but didn’t choose to disabuse
“Rick, could you just check on Dawnie,”
“Things keep happening,” Dawn complained to Carole’s sympathetic ear. “It’s like there’s some law that we have to have some heart-breaking drama nearly every week!”
“I know it seems that way, Honey. With the things you’ve been through over the last year… well… I know it has been really tough.”
“It was tough on Buffy. And mom. T-they did so much for me… stuff I didn’t even deserve.”
During the group’s briefing to Rick and Carole after they were brought into their confidence, the one thing no one mentioned by some unspoken agreement was to tell them Dawn’s exact nature. They’d told them about Glorificus, of course. And the fact that she’d wanted to sacrifice Dawn, but they left the exact details vague. Dawn knew better than to reveal the nature of her existence now, no matter how caring Carole seemed.
“You are her sister and daughter, Dawn. I’m sure everything they did was from love and not at all a burden.”
The girl sighed, uncomforted. She’d never be free of the guilt she felt; including the guilt that she intellectually knew had little to do with her. She wasn’t exactly given a choice about what they’d done to her, or where they’d sent her. Still, she’d assumed the monk’s guilt as her own since it had started everything… and had led directly to Buffy’s death. And possibly her mother’s, too. She wasn’t able to completely squash the thought that Joyce may have died because of the stress that Dawn, Glory, the Knights and the Council had all put on her around Christmas.
She’d been recovering from her operation on her tumor and had seemed really healthy again. Then suddenly, ‘bam!’, she was gone. Who could tell how much of that may have been caused by worry and stress because of Dawn’s secrets.
“I think I’m gonna go upstairs and turn in,” she said, morosely. Carole had already pointed out a guest room for her to use and had taken her bag up earlier.
“Okay, but Dawn… things will work out. I’m sure of it.”
She didn’t reply to Mrs. Stein’s optimism, though she felt it was grossly misplaced. Things in Sunnydale never ‘worked out’… at least not for the best. There was always some new pain around every corner waiting to ambush you just when you were beginning to smile and laugh again.
Upstairs, Dawn grabbed the bag off of the bed and went into the tiny guest bath. After putting on her pajamas, she dug deeply into the bag and pulled out a plastic bottle. Looking at herself in the mirror, and sighing, she popped the cap and shook out three tablets. These she took with a large glass of water before turning in.
She tossed and turned, wondering about Xander and Spike, before the sleeping medication finally overwhelmed her frantic mind.
to be continued - I'm so sick of having to split my posts!