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Fic: For the Slayer Who Has Everything 1/6 [Fandom: Buffy]

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Dec. 21st, 2007 | 10:37 pm
location: The Hellmouth
mood: nostalgicnostalgic
music: Everybody Hurts by REM
posted by: gylzgirl in hiding_in_stars

Title: For the Slayer Who Has Everything 1/6
Author: GylzGirl
Rating: Adult
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Characters: Giles, Buffy, Xander, Anya, Willow, Dawn, Tara, The Trio, Ethan Rayne
Pairing: Giles/Buffy, Willow/Tara, Xander/Anya
Written: December 2001
Timeline: AU. Season 6. December Holidays 2001. Post-"Wrecked"
Status: Complete
Summary: It's Christmas and The Trio has a special present for Buffy.
Spoilers: Thru "Wrecked".
Disclaimers: Joss and Fox own the characters. No infringement is intended.
Author's Notes: Thanks to Karen and Gail for the beta
******************************************************


Chapter One


"Owww! This sucks!" A loud whine drifted into the basement headquarters of the latest entities intent on taking over Sunnydale.

Warren quickly threw a sheet over the top of his newest creation and turned toward the voice. Jonathan came in clutching his jaw. He glared as he sat down heavily in the chair. Behind him followed Andrew. He looked no happier.

"What happened?" Warren asked.

"Buffy, that's what. She caught us trying to knock over the jewelry store."

"She didn't see you, did she?"

"No," Andrew said. "Jonathan turned back into the Be'toth Demon. She kicked his ass a little bit but we got away."

"Tell him the rest," Jonathan grumbled.

Andrew cast his eyes down. "We're pretty sure she got the license plate of the van."

"What?"

"It's not a big deal. I'll just cast a spell to change the plate," Jonathan said.

"That's not going to help when she gives the number to Willow and she hacks into the DMV database." Warren began to pace.

"I didn't think about that."

"Well does she even do that anymore?" Andrew asked.

"I'm sure she's capable."

"So I'll just cast a spell that makes it come up belonging to somebody else. Or wipe it from the files. Whatever. Now can somebody please get me an icepack?" Jonathan complained.

Andrew got up and walked to the refrigerator. "We've got to do something about that Slayer."

"We've tried to defeat her. It's like the Kobayashi Maru."

Warren smiled. "You've hit upon my plan perfectly Jonathan. True, we may not be able to win but like the great Captain Kirk himself, we can try to reprogram the situation to our advantage."

"I don't get you." Jonathan looked to Andrew.

The blonde threw the icepack to his friend and took a seat next to him. "You're not alone there."

"What if instead of trying to outwit her, we simply keep her too occupied to go out so much? Then she won't be stumbling onto all our endeavors."

"How are we supposed to do that?" Jonathan winced as he pressed the ice to his jaw.

"By giving her something she's way more interested in than poking her nose in where it doesn't belong."

"Like?" Andrew asked.

Warren turned and took hold of a fistful of the sheet covering his project. "Behold," he said, whipping off the material.

Andrew and Jonathan rose, mouths open. Before them stood a male human figure, green eyes staring wide and lifeless; it was over 6 feet tall with slightly wavy dark blonde hair and dressed in blue jeans, a soft grey sweater and a well-worn brown leather jacket.

"Mr. Giles?" Jonathan squeaked.

"Gilesbot," Warren corrected.

******

Buffy kicked the front door closed behind her. In her hands, she sorted the mail. When she got to a blue envelope, postmarked from England, her face lit up for a moment, then fell into sadness.

"What's the glum chum?" Willow walked from the living room to meet her.

"It's from Giles," she said quietly.

"Well... so you never wanted to hear from him again?"

Buffy's eyes were overbright when they met those of her friend. "It's not the kind of envelope a letter comes in." Willow shrugged her shoulders. "It's a card. You don't usually mail a Christmas card if you're coming to visit. You'd bring it with you."

Sympathy filled Willow's green eyes as realization dawned. She reached forward, touching Buffy's arm.

"Giles isn't coming home for Christmas?" A small voice at the top of the stairs demanded their attention.

Buffy looked up to her sister. "Giles is home for Christmas, Dawn. He's just not coming here."

"Well... well maybe he didn't know... you... you should call him and invite him."

"He knows he's welcome."

"But does he know he's wanted? Maybe he thinks you're still mad or maybe..."

"He's not coming, Dawn. Accept it," Buffy's voice was cold as she shut down right before their eyes.

"God, don't you feel anything anymore?! Call Giles and tell him to come back! To come back and stay here. We need him!"

"He doesn't want us to need him. He wants to be left alone."

"That's bullshit!" She was shaking, shrieking and crying. "He hates being alone. He does like to be needed, just... just... You don't want him to help you, you want him to DO everything for you... You choose him because you know nobody else would put up with you... not because you want him...."

"How would you know?"

Her eyes glistened with tears, and anger. "Maybe because I asked him Buffy. Did you ever try that?"

Buffy's eyes narrowed. "Go to your room."

More tears spilled over Dawn's lashes. She turned, stomping her way back up the stairs. A loud door slam signaled that she reached her destination. Buffy walked to the living room and sat heavily in the chair.

Willow walked up behind her. "Maybe you oughta open the card and see if it was worth all that?"

Her soft voice brought a rueful smile to Buffy's face. "Would you go up and see if she's okay?"

She shook her head. "Dawn's still kinda in barely tolerate mode with me. I'll um... I'll call Tara and ask her to. And I'll find somewhere else to be when she comes. I don't need to add to the tense vibe."

"Thanks."

"What are we doing for the holidays anyway?"

"Well... everything. Tree... Menorah... Yule Log. We'll work it all in. And hopefully everybody will be speaking by then," she gave Willow a meaningful look.

"I know... I just... need to be more together before I talk to Tara again. I have to ask her to come back to stable Willow, not to help me clean up the mess." Buffy nodded. Willow rose. "I'm gonna go call."

As the redhead made her way out of the room, Buffy slipped her fingernail under the envelope's flap.

******

In a flat in Bath, England, a telephone rang. Giles jogged past a short stack of unopened crates and reached for the cordless phone. "Hello?"

"Mr. Giles?" A female voice on the other end, but not the one he'd hoped for.

He sighed. "Yes?"

"This is Miss Burton. With your travel agency?"

"Oh... yes. How are you?" He walked the phone back over to the crates and sat down upon them.

"I'm just fine. I wanted to tell you that I've been able to assemble some of the special rates we spoke about. There's really quite a variety. I'm preparing a packet and wanted to know if you'd like to come pick it up or if you'd prefer me to have it sent over by messenger. Or I could always email you the..."

Giles cringed. "The...the messenger would be fine."

"Wonderful. I can have it to you tomorrow morning, or if it's urgent I can catch our courier and we can get it to you this evening."

"Anytime tomorrow will be fine. Really."

"Grand. I'll get this finished up then. Just give me a call whenever you make your decision and I'll handle all the arrangements for you."

"Thanks very much. Good-Bye." He set the phone back down and looked at his living room. He really hadn't expected the travel agent to be able to pull things off so fast, especially given the time of year. Giles broke into a smile. He decided to take it as a sign that he'd made the right decision after all, but it also meant he had a lot to do. He stood, stretched, and walked to the kitchen.

******

Buffy took a deep breath and pulled the card from the envelope. On the front was an overly cute smiling teddy bear wearing a Santa hat. On the inside, was printed "Beary Merry Christmas". But it was the inside cover that caught Buffy's attention, as it was covered in Giles' penmanship.

Buffy,

I'm hoping to be there for Christmas and am doing my best to arrange it. If you'd rather I didn't, please call and let me know as soon as possible. Until then, I'm going to assume that you're not as mad at me as you were when I left, and that it's safe to come and see you. I may have a surprise for you when I get there. I don't want to jinx it so I'll leave it for when I see you again. I'm really looking forward to it. Hope this finds you safe and happy. Though, I'd settle for either one. Give my love to Dawn.

Giles


She smiled as she replaced the card in its envelope. They really were going to have a nice holiday after all. Buffy looked around the room and her smile disappeared. She shot to her feet. She had so much to do! 'He didn't even say when he was coming!' She didn't know how long she had to get the place looking like one of those Home and Garden holiday photo spreads. At the same time, she knew she had to get uber-organized with her adult responsibility stuff so that she could show Giles tangible proof that she was doing better with the things she had disappointed him on; doing well enough that he could come back home to stay. Buffy ran up the stairs to get changed.

******

Tara knocked on the door of the Summers' house. When she got no answer, she tried the handle and let herself in. "B-Buffy? Dawnie?" She closed the door behind her and started into the living room. She stopped and turned when she heard footsteps coming up the hallway.

"Buffy? I'm going to get going now. I called Tara and she's on the...." Willow stopped short when she rounded the corner and found her former girlfriend standing before her. "Oh! You're here."

"Yes," Tara's eyes shifted uncomfortably between the floor and Willow's face.

"I'm sorry. I was planning to be gone. I know you don't really want to see me right now and I can't bla..."

"N-no it's okay. H-how are you?"

"I'm better. I mean I'm getting better."

"You haven't been doing spells?"

"Not much."

"Oh." Tara sounded disappointed.

"Just, you know, wards for the house. Trying to keep away the beasties that don't need an invite to barge in. Oh and one potion to get rid of these nightmares Dawn was having, but she asked me to do that one. And she knew about it when she drank it."

Tara's eyes finally stayed focused on hers. "Oh, well that sounds very... responsible."

Willow nodded her head. "That's what I want to be. I know how to do things with the magick. Things that can help us. Things that are good. But that has to be what I use it for. For a purpose." Tara nodded. "I'm getting better Tara. I'm really trying."

The blonde smiled for what seemed the first time in weeks. "Then you'll succeed."

Hesitantly, Willow stepped closer. "Do... do you think that maybe we could... go out sometime this week? You know just if you have some time and you wanted to. Just to talk for awhile? I... I miss you."

Tara smiled bashfully. "Like a date?"

"Well... if you wanted to call it that... I suppose I wouldn't be really upset." Happiness danced in the redhead's green eyes.

"I guess that would be okay."

"How about tomorrow night? We could do dinner and then go and see Harry Potter and if things go well, maybe the Espresso Pump after?"

She nodded. "I'd like that."

"Well, I probably should go. Dawnie's upstairs."

"Okay, I'll try and get her calmed down."

"Good. Thanks for coming over."

"For Dawn? Always."

Willow tentatively touched her fingers to Tara's own. "Okay then...um I guess I should..."

Tara gave her hand a quick squeeze and then released her. "I'll see you tomorrow night."

Willow nodded, turned, and left the house.

When the front door shut, Tara exhaled deeply and smiled. Really starting to feel happy for the first time in a while, she walked to the stairs and was nearly knocked over backwards by Buffy running down them. Both startled, they held onto each others arms for a moment until their heart rates slowed back to something resembling normal. Then they started to laugh.

"Sorry about that."

"No that's okay. Are you g-going out?"

Buffy nodded. "I'm going to the mall to get some decorations. Get this place looking more holiday spirity."

"For Dawn?"

"Dawn, Giles, all of us."

"Giles?"

"Yeah. He wrote. He's going to try to come back for the holiday."

"Oh! Well Dawn must be happy."

"She doesn't know yet. Tara, do me a favor and let me tell her okay?"

"Sure Buffy. She's still upset?"

"I'm afraid I got pretty growly with her earlier. If you could just get her to move a little past the part where I'm a huge butthead, I think I can take over from there when I get back."

"I'll do my best."

"Thank you." Buffy walked to the front door. "Oh hey wait... what are you doing tonight?"

"T-tonight? Nothing that I can think of."

"Well if you can, stick around. I think the massive amount of stuff I'm bringing back with me is going to require an impromptu tree trimming party. I'll bring home dinner too."

"That sounds too good to pass up."

"Great! See you later!" Buffy was out the door in a flash.

******

Andrew and Jonathan paced a circle around the Gilesbot. Warren had its shirt off and had opened a panel in the side of the machine. "Will you two sit down? You're making me nervous and I'm gonna accidentally crosswire something here."

They sat as instructed, but continued to gawk up at it. Jonathan finally spoke. "Why isn't it saying anything?"

"Because I haven't finished it yet. It'll be done this afternoon."

"What's left?" Andrew asked.

"Well to start with, there are some programming gaps. Since we no longer have videotape footage of Giles from our Buffy surveillance..." He glared at Andrew.

"What did you expect me to do?! You never said anything about needing those again and they were having a V marathon on Sci-Fi."

"Anyway," Warren continued, "there are things about his personality we're going to have to improvise. And we'll have to do some guesswork to fill in the intricacies of his relationships with Buffy and her friends."

"So... do you guys think Buffy and him were like... doing it?" Andrew asked.

"Totally," Warren said.

"Totally," Andrew agreed with a giggle.

"No way," Jonathan said firmly.

"No?" Warren arched his eyebrow. "I guess you knew Giles better than the rest of us, so maybe you'd know. You really don't think so?"

"No. Because, if they were, he never would have left."

"Ah.... but do think they wanted to?"

"Oh totally!" Jonathan smiled.

"Good," Warren turned his attention briefly to the open panel again, tweaking something within. "Then we can go ahead and keep that subroutine. Now... about his personality. How do we fill that in?"

"Well...he's an older British guy, that the girls at school used to think was handsome, and he knows a lot about weapons and stuff..." Jonathan thought out loud.

"Hey, it sounds like we should program in some Bond!" Andrew said in a rush.

"Hmm, that's actually not as dumb as it sounds," Warren said.

"I concur, but it should be Roger Moore." At the disgusted looks from the others, Jonathan spoke again. "Well Giles is not Scottish!"

"He could be Timothy Dalton." Andrew said. The others groaned. "What?!"

"Andrew if you're going to insist on continuing to be a girl, we're going to make you wear a little pink dress," Warren said.

"Shut-up! Fine." He pouted and moved to one of the farther away bean bag chairs. "Do whatever you want."

Warren and Jonathan locked eyes. "We'll blend Connery and Moore."

Jonathan smiled. "It'll be like a SuperBond."

Andrew laughed. "That sounds like some kind of glue." The other two shot him withering looks until his smile faded. "Well what about him being her Watcher? All the mystical mumbo jumbo?"

"Hmm... an interesting quandary. Professor Van Helsing?" Warren suggested.

Jonathan wagged his finger. "I don't think so. We need someone who understands the training of the mystical, as well as the physical. There is only one great teacher I can think of who meets this requirement. Yoda."

"Awesome!" Andrew shouted.

"Good call," Warren said, as he continued to fiddle with the machine's wiring. "I think all of that should give him a broad enough spectrum of experiences to draw from."

"What else do we need?" Jonathan asked. Warren looked puzzled. "Well you said the programming gaps were to start with. What's still missing?"

Warren smiled. "Oh yeah." He reached around the Gilesbot and undid its belt and fly.

Andrew left his chair and approached. Jonathan's eyes grew wide as he too stood. "What are you doing?"

With a tug, Warren pulled the robot's pants down around its knees, leaving it bared for all to see.

"OH!" Jonathan and Andrew said in unison.

******

Dawn looked up with a glare as the door to her room opened. "Knock knock," Tara said as she peeked around it.

"Tara!" Dawn hopped up off the bed, her misery temporarily forgotten as she wrapped her arms around the blonde and hugged her as hard as she could. Tara hugged back just as hard. "What are you doing here?"

"Willow called me. Said you and Buffy kinda had a fight and she thought maybe you'd like someone to talk to?"

"Oh... well that was nice of her."

They made their way to the bed and both crawled up to rest against the pillows. Dawn lay on Tara's arm as the older girl smoothed her long brown hair. "So what happened?"

"Oh nothing. Just... Giles isn't coming for Christmas."

"For sure?"

"Well, Buffy doesn't seem to think so."

"Well sometimes Buffy is wrong. Why don't you just wait and see what happens?"

"But Tara, he has to come back. When he was here... I mean in the house here, not after he moved out to the hotel, Buffy was almost Buffy again. She was the happiest I've seen her since she's been back. He's gotta come. She misses him. *I* miss him. He's gonna be all alone on Christmas and she's gonna be all sad and distant and..."

"Hey now," Tara squeezed her closer. "You're getting way ahead of yourself there. Buffy's out right now buying stuff so all of us can decorate the heck out of the place tonight."

Dawn's smile brightened. "Really?"

"Absolutely."

"Giles is coming for Christmas!" She sprang up off the bed.

Tara blinked. "I never said that."

"You didn't have to. Honestly Tara, you're just the worst secret keeper ever. Wait and see what happens, plus suddenly Ebenezer Buffy is all jazzed up? Giles is *so* coming back."

Despite herself, Tara smiled. "You're an evil child."

"I promise I'll act surprised when Buffy tells me." Dawn came over and took her hand. "Am I forgiven?"

Tara arched her eyebrow. "Quasi-Evil."

"Good enough." Dawn tugged on Tara's hand and pulled her from the bed.

******

Buffy smiled as she pushed her shopping cart with the one wobbly wheel through the bustling crowd of irate shoppers. She decided that nothing short of another forthcoming apocalypse was going to ruin her mood, and then made a mental note to knock on the first bit of wood she found. Her basket was filled with garlands, wreaths, tinsel and ornaments. She'd also picked up some chips and soda for the gang to munch on as they helped her deck the halls. She turned a corner and her smile grew even bigger. "Hey! What are you guys doing here?"

Xander turned around and grinned, then nervously jumped in front of his basket. "Hey Buff, nothing much."

Anya rolled her eyes from her position behind the basket. "We're shopping for Christmas presents and yours is in the basket right now. So leave."

"An!"

"Sorry. I meant please leave or you'll ruin the entire holiday."

Xander looked back at his girlfriend. "Thanks honey, that was so much better."

Buffy laughed. "That's okay. I'll leave you to your shopping. I'm just glad I ran into you guys. I was going to call you and invite you to a tree trimming party tonight. The whole gang. I'm even springing for take out home cooked food."

"We didn't have anything planned."

"Yes we'd love to come. Now leave."

Xander sighed. "We'll be there. Wait a second... whole gang?"

"Don't get your hopes up, but I think Tara and Willow might be talking again."

He grinned. "Talking is great. Talking leads to other things... like maybe smooching."

"I don't think they're quite back up to the smooching level yet, but it looks like they're definitely in chat mode. And..."

"And?"

"Giles is coming back sometime soon to spend the holidays with us."

Xander nodded with a smile. "So that's what's up with the glowy Buffy."

"Shut-up. I am not glowy."

"He's right. You really are very shiny. Like Rudolph's nose... but you know, without the mucus."

"You know, I think I am going to leave." Buffy poked Xander in the stomach. "Six O'clock, okay?"

"We'll be there."

******

"I've narrowed it down to these three," Warren said as he opened a cabinet and set a tray down in front of his two companions.

"Hmm." Andrew pondered the choices and then held up the smallest of the choices on display. "This one."

Warren scrunched his nose. "Why?"

He shrugged. "Well... you know... Librarian."

Jonathan rolled his eyes. "We said we wanted him to keep her occupied."

"So?" Andrew asked.

"So if she gets that far, *that* is not going to do the trick." Jonathan held up the largest of the choices. "Any objections?" Timidly, Andrew raised his hand. Jonathan sighed. "What now?"

"Well... if you still want to keep making Buffy our loveslave as one of our long-term goals, you might want to reconsider that choice. Cause after that, I don't think any of us would be able to keep her occupied either."

Jonathan slowly lowered the object back onto the tray. "Good point."

"Middle of the road then?" Warren said, collecting the medium-sized option. The others nodded their agreement. "Right. While I'm attaching this, you guys should get started on those no communication spells to keep any calls or letters from the real Giles from getting through."

"On it." Jonathan led Andrew away to get their supplies together.

Warren knelt before the lifeless automaton he had crafted into Giles' image and started to work.

******

The door to the Summers' house opened to admit four people with their arms just overflowing with shopping bags. Buffy, Xander, Anya, and Willow weaved their way inside, sitting their burden down in the living room. Tara and Dawn emerged from the kitchen.

"We've got popcorn ready for stringing and I've got cookies in the oven." Tara said brightly.

Xander grabbed Willow and Anya by the hands and began dragging them back outside.

"Wait a minute, where are we going?" Willow asked.

"Xander we've talked about this fantasy of yours," Anya grumbled.

"Relax. You're being shanghaied into helping me get the tree off the top of the car."

As they exited, Tara gave Dawn a little shove toward Buffy. "I have to go and check the cookies." She retreated back into the kitchen.

"Hey," Dawn said.

"Hey. Still mad at me?" Buffy asked.

She shrugged. "Maybe a little."

"I'm sorry I got angry with you earlier. I was just disappointed about Giles not coming back. But... I've got good news."

"Oh?" Dawn tried to sound disinterested. She looked down at her shoes.

"Giles is coming for the holidays."

"Oh Buffy! That's great!" Dawn was grinning wildly at her sister.

The Slayer narrowed her eyes and crossed her arms over her chest. "You already knew didn't you, you little twerp?!"

"No I didn't!"

"Honestly Dawn you're the worst liar ever. What did you do, grill Tara until she broke?"

Dawn pouted. "No. I guessed it. Tara didn't tell me."

Buffy couldn't help a smile. She held her arms open and Dawn moved into the embrace. "It doesn't matter."

The brunette shook her head. "No. Just as long as we're all together."

"That's right."

"Promise me you'll try and get him to stay?"

"I'll talk to him Dawn. But it's his choice. Don't hold your breath. I asked him not to go in the first place."

"I have faith in you."

Buffy squeezed her sister tighter. "I'll try to live up to that." A weak knock on the door startled Buffy. "Oh the tree!" She let go of Dawn and opened the door. On the other side, Xander was wresting with a large evergreen foe.

"Wouldn't say no to a little Slayer-strength right now!"

"Oh right!" She rolled up her sleeves and stepped forward. "Where's Willow and Anya?"

He spat branches away from his mouth. "Willow's on the thin end... unless of course the tree's won by now. Anya is supervising."

"Great. Dawn honey, get the base and set it in the corner where the tree goes."

"Tara and I already got it ready. I'll go move the bags out of the way."

"No peeking Dawn!" Buffy hefted the majority of the tree's weight with her hold on the trunk, the others now simply helping her with the bulky length of it. They guided it through the entryway and into the living room. "Now help me tilt it up and then Willow, kneel down and help guide it between the pins."

With a little maneuvering, the three friends were able to properly erect the bare Christmas tree into its base. They carefully backed away from it, watching for any signs of it tilting or falling, and pulling pine needles from their hair.

Buffy put her arm around her sister's shoulders and looked at Xander, Anya and Willow. "It's our first official Scooby Christmas."

Dawn laughed. "We should see if we can't get a light up Scooby-Doo for the top."

"Nah. We'll stick with our star. But I did get some new Scooby ornaments."

"Really?" Dawn rushed over to the bags.

"You stay out of those! Some of those are officially off-limits for you poking your nose in." Suddenly, Buffy felt a cold draft and looked to the entryway. "Duh! We left the door wide open." She walked toward it, talking to her friends as she went. "Aren't we a good example. We merry band of stalwart heroes, who know better than to think every bad in town has to have an invite to walk right in and here we go leaving the d..." As Buffy's hand touched the door, she stopped speaking, startled by the sight before her.

Rupert Giles stood smiling down at her. He was dressed in blue jeans, a soft grey sweater and a well-worn brown leather jacket. Buffy gulped.

"Well I assume I wasn't one of the bad things you were referring to." His smile widened as he stepped across the threshold. "I hope I'm not crashing your lovely party."

Buffy smiled and rushed forward, hugging him tightly. He closed his arms around her and slowly stroked her long blonde hair.

"You're home," she said quietly.

"I'm home," he repeated.

----------
Continues in CHAPTER TWO


Following Chapters:
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
Chapter Six

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