Two Fingers of Whiskey by Lady FoxFire
Summary: Companion piece to my story ‘Blackmail Is Such A Dirty Word’ – What happened after the lawyer left having informed Giles and Joyce of Xander’s death and what they receive from his estate.
Categories: Buffy/Angel Crossovers > SG1/SGA/SGU Characters: None
Genres: Mystery/Thriller
Warnings: Angst
Challenges: None
Series: Blackmail Is Such A Dirty Word
Chapters: 3 Completed: Yes Word count: 6207 Read: 25529 Published: 2010.11.02 Updated: 2010.11.06

1. Chapter 1 by Lady FoxFire

2. Chapter 2 by Lady FoxFire

3. Chapter 3 by Lady FoxFire

Chapter 1 by Lady FoxFire
Title: Two Fingers of Whiskey
Author: Lady FoxFire
Pairing(s): None
Rating: PG13
Setting: Post Graduation
Warning: Not a Buffy friendly fic
Category(s): AU
Summary: Companion piece to my story ‘Blackmail Is Such A Dirty Word’ – What happened after the lawyer left having informed Giles and Joyce of Xander’s death and what they receive from his estate.
Disclaimer: If I owned the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series, Xander would have been the star but I don’t so we had to suffer with She Who Lays Vampires. Also I don’t own StarGate SG-1 even though we don’t see them in this fic, they are part of this series universe. And finally I don’t make any money from this fic and if I did the true owners of the universes I’m playing in would sue me for everything I own and don’t own.

Bad Author Notes: So many people just love my portray of Buffy in my fic that my Muse just demand to write a companion piece to the story. No Xander or SG-1 in this fic, sorry

Thanks to Aewnaur for letting me steal and modify one of my favorite lines from The Chronicles of Riddick: The Underverse. Also Thanks Vo for the 'A corpse is a corpse' saying. It fits perfectly




Giles kept himself busy cleaning his apartment as he tried to avoid the simple cardboard box sitting on the breakfast table. When the knock on the apartment door announced a visitor, Giles sighed with relief that he finally wouldn't be alone with it.

Opening the door to find Joyce Summers standing in his doorway, her eyes red from crying. Giles said. "Joyce."

"Rupert," she replied as she stepped into Giles' home.

Giles closed the door behind her, his back to her. "I'm assuming you had a visit from Mr. Cooper," he stared at the closed door.

"Yes," Joyce replied solemnly.

"Want a drink?" Giles turned to face the mother of his Slayer.

Joyce nodded her head, her eyes glistening with unshed tears. "Please," she angrily wiped her eyes.

Silently walking into his kitchen, Giles poured two fingers of whiskey into couple of glasses. He handed one to Mrs. Summers before taking a sip from his glass.

"Is it true?" she asked before taking a sip from her glass.

Giles' eyes slid over to the table where cardboard box sat. "Yes."

Joyce's eyes followed Giles to the box. "Oh," she said before taking a gulp from the glass. Coughing as the liquid burned it's way down her throat, she said, "Is that… is that…"

"It is," Giles said before finishing his drink off in one gulp. "Another?" he asked with a nod toward Joyce's glass.

Joyce raised the glass to her lips and quickly finished off her drink. "Please," she held out her glass towards Giles.

A few moments later, Giles handed Joyce her glass back to her.

"He left me money," she took a sip from her glass as she stared at the box.

"And me," Giles replied.

Joyce took another sip of her drink. "What happened?"

Giles turned to looked at Joyce. "It was a car accident," he replied. "Maybe a deer or some animal on the road that he swerved to miss… and lost control."

"No," Joyce said with a shake of her head. "I mean… He didn't leave anything to Buffy or Willow. Nothing. What happened between them?"

"I don't know," Giles replied, "but I intend to find out."

Joyce nodded her head. "Xander gave me a book for safe keeping," she reached into her purse and pulled out a leather journal. "He said to give it to you if anything happened to him."

Setting his glass down, Giles took the book and started to read it. "Oh dear," Giles said as he turned a page."

"What is it?" Joyce demanded looking over Giles shoulder.

"It appears there is more going on in Sunnydale than we first thought and Xander was in the middle of it," Giles replied.

"How so?" Joyce said.

Giles shut the journal quickly. "Joyce… You need to return home. It's almost dusk, it would be best if you leave now."

"Rupert," Joyce growled.

Giles held up his hand in the universal sign to stop. "There are things I need to do. Tomorrow is Friday, come back after you're done with the gallery?"

Joyce's eyes narrowed. "I'll close early and I will have answers," she stated firmly.

Giles nodded his head. "We both will," he replied.
Chapter 2 by Lady FoxFire
Title: Two Fingers of Whiskey
Author: Lady FoxFire
Pairing(s): None
Rating: PG13
Setting: Post Graduation
Warning: Not a Buffy friendly fic
Category(s): AU
Summary: Companion piece to my story ‘Blackmail Is Such A Dirty Word’ – What happened after the lawyer left having informed Giles and Joyce of Xander’s death and what they receive from his estate.
Disclaimer: If I owned the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series, Xander would have been the star but I don’t so we had to suffer with She Who Lays Vampires. Also I don’t own StarGate SG-1 even though we don’t see them in this fic, they are part of this series universe. And finally I don’t make any money from this fic and if I did the true owners of the universes I’m playing in would sue me for everything I own and don’t own.

Bad Author Notes: So many people just love my portray of Buffy in my fic that my Muse just demand to write a companion piece to the story. No Xander or SG-1 in this fic, sorry

Thanks to Aewnaur for letting me steal and modify one of my favorite lines from The Chronicles of Riddick: The Underverse. Also Thanks Vo for the 'A corpse is a corpse' saying. It fits perfectly



It was late in the morning when Giles walked into Willy's Place. "Watcher," Willy said as a greeting before suddenly finding himself half way over his bar. "Ripper… I mean Ripper," Willy said nervously. Licking his lip, Willy asked, "So what can I get for ya?"

"Two fingers of whiskey and information," Ripper let go of Willy's shirt and allowed the man to slide back behind the bar.

"Sure thing, Ripper," Willy grabbed a clean glass and poured the drink. "Didn't expect to see you in here any time soon considering."

"Considering what?" Ripper growled.

"Well you normally send your girl or the boy here when you want info," Willy handed over the glass. "Of course considering some of the rumors I've been hearing about the boy I guess we won't be seeing him again."

"What type of rumors?" Ripper took a swallow of his drink.

"Heard some demons took the boy out in Phoenix," Willy picked up a bar rag and started to polish the glasses. "Heard they gutted the boy."

"When was this?" Ripper asked.

"About two weeks ago. Give or take a couple days," Willy replied. "Of course it's all rumors but some demons are taking it serious. Some of the clans are a bit upset with the girl calling the boy a traitor and all that."

"When did that happen?" Ripper growled.

"About the time ya guys killed off the old Mayor," Willy replied. "It turns out that the boy had killed the boyfriend of some half breed girl, when he was nibbling on some old lady. So the chit decided to get revenge for her lost love, stupid girl that she was. Didn't realize that her boyfriend was planning on sharing her with his friends as a snack at their next gather."

"So what did this half breed girl do?" Ripper asked.

"Well ya see from what I hear your boy told your Slayer a little white lie to get he to do her job," Willy explained. "Seems her heart wasn't in to taking out old Angelus; holding out hope that red witch of your will pull some magic and make him Angel again. Anyway from what I hear the boy runs up to tell her that red is going to try again only he doesn't. And we all know what happened after that."

Willy poured Ripper another two fingers of whiskey before pouring himself the same. Finishing his drink in one long gulp, Willy continued with his tale, "As I heard it, it was just after ya guys finish the Mayor that the girl ran up to your Slayer and whispered something in her ear. What it was I got no clue but just after that your girl slugged the boy. Started call him a traitor. Said that he lied to her about red trying to re-soul Angel because he was jealous of Angel. Said he probably thought he would have a chance with her with him out of the way. Of course red agreed with her all the way, didn't even try to defend the boy. Just kind of proves that ya can't trust women. Stab ya in back the first chance they get."

"Any way I heard your girl knocked him about and then when he was on the ground started her Radio City Rockettes impersonation." Seeing Ripper's confused look, Willy explained, "She started kicking him. Any ways by that time the boy is out cold and pretty much helpless, luckily from him someone came along and made sure he was taken to the hospital. Day later he wakes up and high tails it out of town. Hear your Slayer gave him 48 hours to get out of town or else she gets a new rib cage hat to wear."

Ripper shakes his head. "I can't believe that Buffy would do all of that."

Willy snorted. "Your girl was willing to feed a human to her pet vampire to save his undead life. Whenever your girl needs info she comes in here, slaps me around until I tell her what she wants. Doesn't do things right like you and the boy did. He knew the rules; he knew how to play the game. Going ta miss that kid," Willy poured himself another drink. "But like I was saying, your girl got a big blind spot when it comes to what she wants and what her job demands. Tell me if I'm wrong but I'm pretty sure her job is to thrust the wood into the vampire, not let them thrust it into her. Hell most of the vampire that come here, go out at night to see if they can catch a glimpse of her, if you know what I mean. High kicks and twirls shouldn't be done in short skirts and see through shirts."

Ripper coughed a few times having inhaled at the wrong time while gulping his drink. "Well as she said she has a unique fashion sense."

"Ya mean she likes to give vamps two kinds of woodies. One in the pants and one in the heart," Willy said.

"That’s one way to say it," Ripper said with a smirk.

"I'll tell ya one thing if she was offering I won't touch her with a ten foot pole, not even if she was offering to blow me," Will said. "Ya don't know what you'll catch or lose if ya know what I mean."

Willy slowly sipped his drink. "Is the boy really gone?" he asked as he stared down at the amber liquid in his glass.

"Yes," Ripper replied softly.

"Demons?"

Ripper shook his head. "Car accident."

"They know?" Willy asked as he glanced up from his drink.

Ripper shook his head. "Not yet."

"Doubt if they mourn him," Willy said before shooting back the rest of his drink. "They never noticed him when he was alive, can't see them caring now that he's gone."


~*~


Without a word Giles turned from the open front door and walked into his kitchen, leaving Joyce to stand there. With a shake of her head, Joyce walked into the apartment, shutting the door behind her.

"I take it, its not good news," Joyce said as Giles handed her a glass with two fingers of whiskey in it.

Giles looked over his glasses at Joyce before downing his drink in one swallow.

Joyce sat down heavily. "Right. So how bad is it?" she demanded.

Giles turned his back on Joyce as he poured himself another drink. "Buffy attacked Xander because he lied to her about Willow trying to re-soul Angel. He was admitted to the hospital unconscious from the attack."

Giles turned back to Joyce when he heard her coughing. Her empty glass now being held out to him. "Another," she coughed.

With a grim smile, Giles filled Joyce's glass once again.

"What happened exactly?" Joyce demanded

"It was right after we defeated the Major," Giles said as he sunk down in a chair across from Joyce. "I must have been distracted by some of the injured or maybe by the police…" Giles took a sip of his drink. "From what I've learned a half demon in order to get revenge on Xander for killing her boyfriend, told Buffy how he had lied to her when she went to face Angelus."

"Why would he lie to her?" Joyce asked.

"Angelus was winning," Giles declared. "I had been captured by them. Kendra was dead. Willow was recovering from her injuries."

"And Xander was injured," Joyce added in. "I remember he had a broken arm."

Giles nodded his head. "Willow was determined to try the spell, to try to return Angel's soul. She had sent Xander to inform Buffy about the plan."

"But he didn't," Joyce said grimly.

Giles picked up the book Joyce had given him the day before. "It's all in here," he stated. "Xander didn't believe that Willow… a novice witch… she had attempted this spell once before…"

"And failed," Joyce said. "She tried and failed and was going to try again. And Xander didn't believe she could do it."

"And she didn't," Giles growled. "This spell is one of the darkest pieces of magic there is. To steal a soul from it's rest only to place it in a body with a demon… This is something no novice spellcaster could even do."

"So if she didn't do it, who did?" Joyce asked.

Giles shrugged his shoulder. "I don't know. From what Oz and Cordelia described, I believe that Willow was possessed and it was this… entity… who cast the spell." Giles set down his glass. Removing his glasses he started to play with the earpiece. "Xander knew that if Buffy had any glimmer of hope of Angel's returned she won't fight to her full ability."

"And she would die," Joyce said quietly.

"The world would die," Giles corrected. "Angelus had awakened a demon that could suck the world into Hell."

Joyce hissed in surprise.

"The only way to defeat this demon was with the use of the blood of the person who woke him," Giles explained. "However in putting this demon back to sleep the person who woke him is sent to Hell."

Joyce exhaled slowly. "So Angel got his soul back and was sent to Hell."

"I'm afraid so," Giles replied.

"But I've seen him," Joyce said in confusion.

Giles nodded his head grimly. "He was released from his prison in Hell," Giles said. "I can only assume it was the fact that his human soul… was purer that he was freed."

Joyce swirled the liquid in her glass around before take a gulp from it. "What else does the book say?

Giles slipped on his glasses and looked directly at Joyce. "It seems as if Xander was part of a military operation that was monitoring what was going on in Sunnydale."

Joyce shook her head. "Could you repeat that?" she said. "Because I thought you said the military was watching the town."

"I did," Giles replied. "From what Xander wrote, the group was monitoring the supernatural happenings in Sunnydale."

"Why?"

"Xander didn't go into that," Giles answered. "He wrote how they were willing to give Xander self defense training, something I neglected to do. How they arranged for him to be able to steal a rocket launcher from the military base. Xander also wrote how they were the next line of defense if Buffy… if we failed."

Joyce finished off her glass and held it out for a refill. "So now what?"

As Giles poured some more whiskey into her glass, he said, "Xander left me a number to call… if he died."

"It was in the book?" Joyce asked.

Giles nodded his head.

"So are you going to call it?" Joyce demanded.

Giles looked down into his glass as if to search for answers in the amber liquid. "I don't know."

They sat in silence each of the weighing the question of whether or not to call the number.

"You should call," Joyce finally broke the silence.

Giles looked up at her questioningly.

"Xander trusts them," Joyce replied to Giles’ unspoken question. "And I trust Xander."

Giles nodded his head as he set down his glass, picking up the book he turned to the page on which Xander had written the number. Taking a deep breath, Giles dialed the number.

"Acme Corporation. the voice on the other end of the line answered. "What can Acme do for you today?"

Giles looked down at the book and read off, "I need to arrange a rendezvous with Velma."

"Of course," the voice replied. "and what name should I put down for your rendezvous?"

Giles took a deep breath and with a grimace said, "Bond. James Bond."

"Of course Mr. Bond. If you even me one moment I can confirm you rendezvous, the voice said before putting Giles on hold.

"Mr. Bond," a deep sensual yet very male voice answered the phone. "I've been waiting for your call," the man on the other end of the line said seductively.

"Velma?" Giles squeaked slightly.

The male voice chuckled. "Blame Xander, Mr. Giles" he said. "The kid made me promise that if you every called… well I was to answer it as if I was one of Bond's women. Knew I shouldn't have bet against the kid that day. "

Giles open his mouth only to snap it shut, finally he was able to say, "Xander's sense of humor was… very unique."

"That Mr. Giles is an understatement, " the voice said with a chuckle. "I take it you want to set up a meeting to discuss Xander's activities and what we can do for you and what remains of the Scoobies."

"It's 5 o'clock now. Say 6 o'clock at your place?"

Giles blinked in surprise. "You're in Sunnydale?" he sputtered.

"Yeah," the voice replied. "Have a little problem I had to deal with."

"Problem?" Giles asked.

"My side of the street. Not yours," the voice replied. "Someone dreamt up a brillaint idea luckily we hear about it before it turned into a cluster fuck."

"I see," Giles replied in a tone of voice that said he really didn't understand.

The voice of the other end of the phone chuckled. "Don't worry about it too much Mr. Giles. It's not something that will affect your children."

Giles' eyes narrowed at Velma's words. "Speaking of my children," he growled.

"Yeah. Xander," the voice said with some sadness in the tone of voice. "this is something we need to talk about face to face."

"6 o'clock at my home," Giles growled.

"6 o'clock" Velma agreed.

A moment later Giles pulled the phone from his ear and stared at it for a moment. The man… the American had hung up on him.

"So who are we meeting at 6 o'clock," Joyce demanded.

Giles turned in surprise having forgotten that his Slayer's mother was in his home. "Ummm… I'm not really sure."

Chapter 3 by Lady FoxFire
Title: Two Fingers of Whiskey
Author: Lady FoxFire
Pairing(s): None
Rating: PG13
Setting: Post Graduation
Warning: Not a Buffy friendly fic
Category(s): AU
Summary: Companion piece to my story ‘Blackmail Is Such A Dirty Word’ – What happened after the lawyer left having informed Giles and Joyce of Xander’s death and what they receive from his estate.
Disclaimer: If I owned the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series, Xander would have been the star but I don’t so we had to suffer with She Who Lays Vampires. Also I don’t own StarGate SG-1 even though we don’t see them in this fic, they are part of this series universe. And finally I don’t make any money from this fic and if I did the true owners of the universes I’m playing in would sue me for everything I own and don’t own.

Bad Author Notes: So many people just love my portray of Buffy in my fic that my Muse just demand to write a companion piece to the story. No Xander or SG-1 in this fic, sorry

Thanks to Aewnaur for letting me steal and modify one of my favorite lines from The Chronicles of Riddick: The Underverse. Also Thanks Vo for the 'A corpse is a corpse' saying. It fits perfectly



It was five minutes after 6 when there was a knock on the door. Opening the door, Giles found a trim man with light brown hair which was going grey standing there.

"Mr. Bond?" the man asked with a smirk. "Mr. James Bond?"

"Ah Velma… Velma Dinkley, if I'm not mistaken," Giles said with an almost Ripper like grin.

The man shook his head. "I wondered were Xander got his sense of humor."

"I believe he won it from a packet of crisps," Giles said in a haughty tone of voice.

"I can believe that," 'Velma' replied. "His sense of humor always seemed to be something out of a box of Cracker Jacks."

”Indeed," Giles said with a smirk.

"So, Mr. Giles," the man said, "may I come in or are we going to talk about everything out in public as the sun sets?"

Giles stepped away from the doorway.

"I know, never invite anyone in," the man said as he stepped into Giles' apartment.

Giles closed the door behind 'Velma' only to find the man facing Joyce, who was tapping her foot impatiently, her arms crossed over her chest.

"Xander always said that the most dangerous things in Sunnydale wasn't the vampires or the demons, it was an upset woman, especially the ones he knew," 'Velma' commented then turned to look at Giles. "Couldn't you have warned me that I was about to die today?"

"In Sunnydale, its every man for himself," Giles said as he walked past 'Velma' and out of Joyce's range.

"Do you know that every night my daughter and her friends go out and patrol this town while the military doesn't nothing, Mister…" Joyce said.

"Pierce, ma'am, Colonel Pierce and we couldn't actively help them," 'Velma' replied.

"And why not Colonel Pierce," Joyce growled.

"The U.S. Military is not allow to openly operate on U.S. soil without an act of Congress and presidential order," Pierce explained. "And honestly I don't want some of the members of Congress to learn about vampires and demons. I would be afraid that someone would declare that killing the bad ones are against their constitutional right. That vampires are really harmless kittens that we should invite into our homes while ignoring all the screaming, blood-shed and death," Pierce answered

"If that is so, then why is the military monitoring the going on in Sunnydale?" Giles asked.

"During World War 2, President Roosevelt formed a government agency that was tasked with to monitor and study supernatural beings since there were indications that the Nazis were trying to figure out a way to use them against us. After the war, the agency’s mission was downgraded to tracking and monitoring in order to determine if any of these beings would become a threat to the American government," Pierce explained. "My team was assigned to investigate Sunnydale after those who were sent in previously had either vanished or died under mysterious circumstances. Xander happened upon my team when we were getting out our as… behinds handed to us by some vampires."

"And you struck up a friendship," Joyce’s tone of voice saying she didn't exactly believe him.

"In a sense. Xander realized that we were missing critical information about this town and it's inhabitants and we noticed Xander's lack of training and confidence," Pierce explained. "After a time Xander became our man on the inside. He was able to alert us when a threat might be more than your daughter's small group could handle for example the Mayor."

"I don't seem to remember seeing the military at graduation," Giles commented.

"We were there, Mr. Giles," Pierce replied. "If Xander's plan had failed, we had orders to destroy the town with extreme prudence."

"Which means?" Joyce asked.

"A small tactical nuclear strike," Pierce admitted.

Giles gasped. "That could have opened the Hellmouth!"

Pierce shook his head. "We believed that the odds were in our favor. The Major would have pulled a great deal of energy from the Hellmouth, weakening it. And with it being underground we were hopeful that it won't disturb it."

"I think I need a drink," Joyce said softly.

"I'll join you," Giles added in.

Giles poured two fingers with of whiskey into three glasses. Handing one to Joyce, Giles offered Pierce a glass before gulping down his own.

"Xander wanted me to contact you if he died," Giles studied his empty glass.

Pierce nodded his head. "He trusted you to take his place," he replied simply. "He knew someone had to be here to sound the alarm if it looked like the gates of Hell were about to open."

"My duty is to my Slayer," Giles said.

Pierce nodded his head. "And I understand that but your duty is also to the world. We're only asking that you alert us if you think what she's going to face… if you don't think she'll be able to defeat the next Angelus, the next Mayor."

"And when Buffy falls," Joyce said solemnly.

"We hope that Faith will be able to take her place," Pierce replied.

"Faith!" Giles said in shock.

Pierce nodded his head. "Before graduation Xander found out where Faith was at and alerted me. We moved her to a secure location and now waiting for her to come out of her coma."

"I don't think you understand how dangerous Faith is, Colonel Pierce," Giles said. "She's killed before."

"Oh, I know all about Deputy Mayor Finch's death and how she ran to Mayor Wilkins for protection from the Watcher Council," Pierce replied.

"Do you know she nearly killed Xander and she has in fact killed for Mayor Wilkins," Giles replied.

"Yeap," Pierce replied before taking a sip of his drink. "I'm also smart enough to look at the whole picture. You have a girl, younger than your Slayer, Mr. Giles, whose life was in hell. She never had the support of a loving family growing up. She grow up learning that she has to do what she can for herself cause no one else will ever help her. Then someone came into her life and that person cared for her only to have that person killed before Faith's eyes. So she runs to the only people she hopes will help and support her and her duty only to find disinterest and neglect."

"I say!" Giles said in outrage. "I have never neglected any of my charges."

"You're right, you have never neglected your charge but Faith was never your charge," Pierce replied. "And neither was Xander."

Pierce took another swallow from his glass. "I honestly think that if Angel hadn't interfered Faith would never had gone to the Mayor."

"Or Xander would have been dead," Giles countered.

"I doubt that. Faith needed someone to be there for her to support her," Pierce said. "Both Xander and I believe that she would have stopped herself before she could permanently harm Xander."

Giles shook his head. "And I think your trust in Faith to be unfounded after all the girl did lie about her part in Finch's death. She claimed that Buffy killed Finch."

"Yes, Buffy does bear the greater responsibility for Finch's death," Pierce said. "After all Buffy is the senior Slayer and she was the one who threw Finch at Faith during the battle without warning the other girl. Why did she throw him towards Faith instead of out of the fight?"

"That is enough from both of you," Joyce snapped at the men before Giles could reply to Pierce's latest comment. "What you're fighting over is history and it can't be changed. Faith did kill Finch but it was an accident and Buffy did play a part in his death. And as for Faith turning to the Mayor… well we all played a part in that. I should have questioned were she was staying and how she was paying for her own care. I could have offered her a room in my home but I didn't."

"And as you said dear lady, that is the past and we can't change it," Pierce tried to comfort Joyce.

"No but we can make sure her future is bright," Joyce said after taking a calming breath. "So what exactly does the military have planned for her?"

Pierce swirled the amber colored liquid in his glass before swallowing it in one gulp. "First she has to wake up if she ever does. I know Slayers are hard to kill and they heal fast but the doctors aren't sure that she'll ever come out of the coma. When she comes out of the coma we have some psychologists on hand who are used to men and women who have been on the battle ground and have been prisoners of war."

"I would hardly consider Faith to have been a prisoner of war," Giles commented. "Besides how do you plan to keep her long enough for your psychologist to help her? Most likely the girl will escape at the first opportunity."

"The Cruciamentum serum," Pierce said simply.

"The drug the Giles gave Buffy?" Joyce gasped.

"How did you get that?" Giles demanded.

"Xander gave it to me," Pierce replied with a smirk.

"Xander… How… How did he get that?" Giles sputtered.

With a cat that ate the canary grin, Pierce said, "You gave it to him."

"I… I…"

"It turns out that if you're distracted by a new book or item, you'll answer almost any question without realizing it," Pierce replied.

Joyce started to giggle as Giles stared at Pierce in shock. "He's right, Rupert."

"Yes. Well…" Giles took his glasses off to polish the lens. "And after she's been rehabilitated then what?"

Pierce shrugged his shoulders. "Help her with her duty, of course. While Sunnydale will remain under Buffy's protection there are other places that could use their own Slayer."

"And yet you're not willing to aid my daughter in her duty," Joyce commented.

Pierce sighed weary. "Ms. Summers, Faith for the most part will be conscripted, drafted. It will be a way for her to pay for her crimes against humanity while continuing on in her duties. If Faith is alive when your daughter finally falls then it will be her duty to return to this town and guard the Hellmouth."

"And if Buffy falls before Faith is ready to return to duty, then what?" Giles asked.

Pierce held out his empty glass towards Giles, who looked lost for a moment before refilling it.

Pierce looked down at the amber liquid that once again filled his glass before taking a big gulp of said liquid. "Those in command have decided that if Buffy should fall that the needs of the world outweigh the hope of Faith recovery and the return of duty."

"Which means exactly?" Giles asked

"Nothing worse than what your Council plans for the girl if they get their hands on her," Pierce replied. "At least we can promise it would be quick and painless."

"I think I need another drink," Joyce held out her empty glass to be refilled.

Giles nodded his head in agreement as he refilled Joyce's glass then is own.

"So… do they know?" Pierce asked.

"Know?"

"Do Buffy and Willow know about Xander's death?" Pierce asked.

Giles shook his head and Joyce said softly, "No. Not yet."

Pierce took a slip from his glass before setting it down on the table. "You going to tell them?"

Joyce and Giles share a look between them before Joyce said, "Last time Buffy was over for dinner she was complaining about how she running low on stakes and wondering when Xander would be back to make her more."

Giles sighed wearily. "Buffy is… she can become rather focused about certain things in her life to the detriment of others."

Joyce snorted. "What Rupert is trying to politely say is that my daughter is spoiled."

"Yes. Quite," Giles admitted.

"But she's not. She's not really spoiled," Joyce said. "I mean she is spoiled, all children are but she's not spoiled like some children are. She's not like those children who cause a car accident while drunk or high on something and then blame the other car for the accident while waiting for their mommy or daddy to clean up the mess."

"I've seen one or two of those in the military," Pierce admitted, "usually after the Judge gives them the choice of jail time or the military. Some of them actually get their lives straightened out but most wash out quickly. Of course those who wash out don't understand they have to then go to jail then again they never understood what they did wrong in the first place."

Joyce smiled sadly. "I almost wis… it would be nice if being spoiled was Buffy's only problem but she has mental issues too."

"Joyce?" Giles said in confusion, his brow furrowed.

"Buffy… Buffy's not well," Joyce admitted. "She's… after she burned down the gymnasium at Hemery High… I thought it was that sure she just fallen in with the wrong crowd. I thought we could start a new life here. And then I found out the truth and I really truly had to take a look at who and what my child was and I realize that she was not a well person."

"Joyce," Giles said as he took one of Joyce's hands in his. "I don't understand."

"Did Xander ever tell you how Buffy treated him, Colonel Pierce?" Joyce asked.

Pierce nodded his head. "He might have mentioned it once or twice."

"I witnessed it once. And when I spoke about it she said that he was normal. Xander hunted with her, he helped her and because he was normal he was useless to her," Joyce explained. "She looks at people and judges them on how useful she thinks they can be to her. She doesn't judge them on who or what they can do but what they can do for her."

Joyce took a sip from her glass. "You can see it in how she treats Willow too and how Willow responds to it. It's like they feed off of each other, remind themselves how special they are and how ordinary everyone else is."

"Xander is… was everything a mother could want for her daughter," Joyce said. "He was handsome and kind. He was polite, supportive and loyal. He supported Buffy; he helped her with her duties. He would have been there to the very end; he would have died for her and she fell in love with a corpse."

"Vampire," Giles corrected automatically.

"He's a corpse that walks around," Joyce replied. "My daughter is a necrophiliac. She fell in love and had sex with it."

"A corpse is a corpse of course, of course, and no one can talk to a corpse of course. Unless of course the name of the corpse is the incredible Mr. Angel," Pierce said. See the confused looks from Joyce and Giles, Pierce shrugged his shoulders and said, "Xander."

Joyce snorted. "That does seem to be Buffy's excuse for him, doesn’t it. The incredible Mr. Angel."

"In all fairness, Angel did help fight the forces of darkness," Giles pointed out.

Joyce snorted. "And so did Xander and yet he was treated like a puppy who had an accident on the carpet," she said. "I love my daughter but I am ashamed of her. I am ashamed by how she treats those who try to help. I am ashamed about how she treats her duty as a Slayer. I know she never wished to be the Slayer," Joyce snorted, "No one in their right mind would want to be the Slayer but Buffy… she wants all the benefit, all the respect that goes with the title of Slayer but she sees her duty as an inconvenience."

"She is a teenager," Giles pointed out.

Pierce snorted. "And yet Xander rose to the occasion were Buffy faltered and he was a teenager too."

"Yes… well that is the type of person Xander is… or was," Giles commented.

Pierce made an agreeing noise. "So that returns us back to the big question of the day. Will you take Xander's place, be our inside man, Mr. Giles?"

"My duty is to my Slayer," Giles answered.

"And mine is to my men, my country and to the world," Pierce replied.

Giles started at Pierce for a moment before nodding his head. "For whatever reason Xander trusted you so I will honor his last request but make no mistake Colonel if I feel you or your men are a threat to any of my children, I will destroy you."

"Of that I have no doubt, Mr. Giles," Pierce replied. "I would go as far to say that if we were ever to become a threat to your team and the world, I'm sure that Xander would find a way to return from wherever he is to help you."
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