To Hell with Them
Title: To Hell with Them
Disclaimer: They belong to Joss, Mutant Enemy and the WB. (Darn it)
Rating: PG, probably not even that and I'm as shocked as you are.*g* B/G
Spoilers: A New Man (Sort of)
Summary: What if Buffy heard Walsh talk to Giles like that?
Distribution: Solo, Jessica, Sai, Cassandra and Sal. Anyone else, please ask.
Feedback: Be kind
her Watcher." Walsh said. "If Buffy's the Slayer, you
have to be her Watcher. Well, that explains a lot."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Giles asked.
"It explains where she gets her lack of discipline." Walsh told him. "When I realized how important you are to Buffy, I did a check on you. I can see why she's become so independent."
"You don't know anything about her." Giles told her in return. "You don't care about her, just what she can do for you."
"Well, she doesn't need you anymore, she has the
Initiative." Walsh said smugly.
"You mean that the Initiative has her." Giles pointed out. "You don't actually think that she's just going to just roll over for you like Riley has, do you? She's far too spirited for that."
"Then why are you here?" Walsh asked, still smug.
"To keep you from getting her killed." Giles said coldly.
"Well, you've already done that." Walsh commented. "She told us about the Master." She paused. "We can help her much more efficiently than you can. Look, Mr. Giles, we have the same goals."
"No, we don't." Giles said quietly. "I've asked her to risk her life to save people. You want her to risk her life so that you can study the demons."
"I understand that you feel threatened." Walsh said.
"However, " Walsh continued. "Buffy is no longer your responsibility. She's part of the Initiative now." She gathered some papers and put them in her briefcase. "If you'll excuse me, I have a class. I'll tell Buffy you were here." Walsh picked up her case and left a dumbfounded Giles.
"Oh Buffy." Giles whispered. He stalked out of the room. Neither had noticed Buffy and Riley against the wall outside the office.
Buffy looked up at Riley. "How could she say that to him?" She asked him.
"Well, she's right Buffy." Riley told her. "I mean, you don't need him anymore. He's ... obsolete."
"Obsolete?!" Buffy practically screeched.
"Well, yeah. The Initiative ..."
Buffy cut him off. "The Initiative doesn't care about me. Or you, for that matter. We're just weapons to them. Been there, done that. Giles cares. He's my friend."
"He can still be your friend." Riley told her. "He just can't be ..." Riley didn't know what he wanted to say.
Buffy, however, had a pretty good idea. "I was right, you aren't who I thought." Buffy said in a strained voice. "If I have to pick, I pick Giles." She walked off, heading after Prof. Walsh.
Buffy caught up with Walsh in the lecture room. She waited till after class, then entered the room after the students left. "Prof. Walsh?"
Walsh looked up from the papers on her desk. She smiled. "Buffy." Buffy wondered that she hadn't noticed how fake her smile was. <Because I was looking at Riley.> "Aren't you going to tell me that Giles was here?" Buffy asked. She looked at her coldly and advanced on her. "Let's get one thing straight. I am not a part of the Initiative." She got right in Walsh's face, she saw the hint of fear. "And you can thank Giles' discipline that you aren't in pain right now. He knows more about fighting demons than you and all your technical manuals combined. And he doesn't run away from them."
Walsh was used to scaring little girls, not the other way around. "Buffy ..."
"Don't get in our way." Buffy told her, then she left.
Walsh looked over and saw Riley enter. "Wonderful idea you had, trying to bring her in."
"Buffy's very loyal." Riley said.
"Yes, but not to us." Walsh responded. She tilted her head to the side. "You said that she has inhuman strength."
Riley felt himself stiffen.
Buffy left campus and headed for Giles' place. She could see that he was still agitated when he opened the door.
Giles blinked in surprise. "Buffy. W-what brings you here?" He opened the door further to let her in. Buffy went to the couch, sat down and waited. Giles paced in front of her.
"Buffy, I saw Prof. Walsh today." He stopped pacing and looked at her. "I don't trust that woman."
"I know." Buffy said. "I heard what she said to you."
Giles sat next to her. "What?"
Buffy looked at him sadly. "God Giles, I'm sorry. And I never implied to her that what happened with the Master was your fault."
"Small comfort, I'm afraid." Giles commented.
"I told her to stick it." Buffy told him.
"Stick what?" Giles asked.
Buffy rolled her eyes. "The Initiative."
Giles was shocked. "You what? What about Riley?" He saw her eyes narrow. "Oh dear. What happened?"
"He agreed with her." Buffy said flatly. "He said you were obsolete."
"Oh Buffy." Giles sighed.
"First the Council, now them." Buffy said. "You're not, you know. Obsolete. How many times would I be dead if it weren't for you? They don't care about that." She looked at him with big eyes. "Do they?"
"I-I think Riley does." Giles told her. "As for the Initiative ... I don't think they care about anything, aside from their research." He looked at her steadily. "And now they know about you. Buffy, they do have resources ..."
"To hell with them." Buffy said. "You've kept me alive for three years. They didn't even know that the Hellmouth existed. I don't need them."
"And Riley?" Giles asked.
"Riley wasn't who I thought he was." Buffy
That's exactly what worried Giles.
It was a week later when Riley caught up with Buffy on
patrol. Buffy looked at him with a hard glare. "What
do you want?"
"Buffy, please." Riley said. He sounded desperate. "Come back to the Initiative. You can't just ..."
"Yes, I can." Buffy told him. "I did just fine, better than fine, before you people made an appearance. I can do it again. I don't need you, or the Initiative, I need Giles. How could you ask me to turn my back on him?"
"That's your final answer?" Riley asked subdued.
Buffy looked at him like he was an idiot. "Duh, yes."
"I'm sorry, Buffy." Riley told her just before a taser hit her from behind.
Forrest and Graham came up to Riley as two of the others carried Buffy off. "Are you sure about this?" Graham asked.
"No." Riley said quietly. "I'm not sure about anything anymore."
Spike watched them from a crypt. "Bloody hell!" The next thing he knew, he was banging on the Watcher's door. "Giles!"
Giles threw open the door. "What?!"
"They grabbed the Slayer." Spike told him.
"What? Who? Who grabbed Buffy?" Giles asked anxiously. He pulled Spike inside, none too gently.
"Those bloody commandoes." Spike told him. "I thought she was dating one of them. They must have had a helluva fight."
"The bloody Bitch!" Giles said venomously.
Spike looked at Giles surprised. "I thought you liked the Slayer."
Giles glared at him. "Not Buffy, you ..." He started to gather weapons.
"Where did they take her?"
"Whoops." Spike said.
Giles looked at Spike in disbelief. "You didn't follow them?"
"I didn't bloody well know there'd be a quiz later." Spike said defensively.
"Why don't you just ask Riley, he was there."
"Riley ..." Giles was a bit surprised. He sat down, abruptly, on the couch. Then, he stood, angry, "I'll kill them."
Buffy woke up in a bright room. She looked around herself. She stood up and took stock of her surroundings. The small room was about 7 by 7, three white walls and a glass front. "Spike was right." She sat down in a back corner and pulled her knees up to her chest and held them there with her arms. "Is this supposed to change my mind Riley? 'Cause I gotta tell you, you're out of your league. I've been dead. I've been to hell Riley, the *Hell*. You're so impressed with your seventeen kills, I've done that in a night." She said harshly. "I'm the Slayer, Riley. There's nothing that you can do to me that hasn't been done."
"Have you ever been studied, Miss Summers?" Walsh asked from the other side of the glass.
"You mean aside from Riley?" Buffy asked with a smirk.
"Do you ever wonder where your strength comes from?" Walsh asked.
"It comes from my soul." Buffy told her. "When I'm done with you, you'll know more about my strength than you ever wanted. And you'll have the bruises to prove it. Ask Riley."
"Knowledge is a weapon, Buffy." Walsh told her calmly. "The ultimate weapon."
"Only in the right hands." Buffy replied. "All your knowledge means nothing, because you lost the knowledge that made you human."
"Riley says that you have inhuman strength." Walsh commented.
"I've learned not to believe everything that Riley says." Buffy returned.
Riley winced as he watched them on the screen. He felt a hand on his shoulder and looked to see Graham. Forrest was behind him.
Buffy's voice floated out of the speakers. "Funny how my Slayer strength didn't bother you until I stopped working with you."
Riley felt Graham's grip tighten. "This isn't right." Riley said. The other two nodded. He looked at them. "C'mon."
Riley was more unsure of himself than he could ever remember being, but he knocked on Mr. Giles' door. The door flung open and Riley found himself pinned up against it by Mr. Giles' arm at his throat.
"Where is she?" Giles asked coldly.
Riley barely recognized him. Buffy always spoke of his gentleness, he'd like to know some of the stories that she hadn't told him. He saw Forrest come up behind him. Giles kicked back and sent Forrest to his backside.
"If you've hurt her ..." Giles let the implied threat speak for him.
"Back off, Mate." Spike said. "He can't tell you anything if he can't breath." He looked at Riley. "I suggest you tell ol' Ripper what he wants to know."
"Ripper?" Riley echoed. Then his eyes widened in realization. "Hostile seventeen."
Graham and Forrest turned to Spike, who took a bow.
"Where's the Slayer, Mate?" Spike asked. softly.
"You can't ... But you helped her. Why?" Riley asked.
Giles banged Riley up against the door. "Where?!"
Riley looked at him. "Prof. Walsh has her underground."
"I knew that bloody bitch was behind this." Giles said. "What has she done to Buffy?"
"Nothing. Yet." Riley told him. "She wants to know about Buffy's strength."
"Dear God." Giles breathed. "Why are you here?"
"Because what Prof. Walsh did, is doing, is wrong." Riley told him.
"Then why'd'you help her?" Spike asked.
"Because I didn't know what to do." Riley told him. "I was following orders."
That's when Giles released him, he'd done the same once. "Spike, call the others."
"Others?" Forrest asked. Giles just glared at him.
Ten minutes later, Willow, Xander and Anya came rushing in. "What's happened?" Willow asked. She saw Riley and the others. "Buffy?"
Riley told them everything, everything he knew. How he and Buffy overheard Giles and Walsh, how they argued, how Buffy faced Walsh and told her off. He looked at Giles and told him of Walsh's plan.
"Experiments? What kind of experiments?" Giles asked terrified for his Slayer.
"To enhance the strength of the Initiative."
Riley told him.
"You mean, take Buffy's strength and put it into you. Or one of the others."
Giles said. "The woman's insane. Without her strength, Buffy would ..." He looked at Riley in horror. "It will kill her."
"She lost her strength before and it didn't kill her." Xander pointed out with an apologetic look at Giles.
"The methods of the Council, while erroneous, have been in practice for a millennia." Giles said distractedly. "And at that, we didn't take her strength, just rendered her unable to use it. Walsh wants to physically take Buffy's strength out of her body and put it into someone else's."
"Can she do that?" Willow asked. "Is that possible?"
"It's been done." Giles told them quietly. "To do it, however, you have to take a part of the Slayer's soul. The part that makes her who she is. If Walsh is successful, Buffy will die."
"You're not just her former librarian, are you?" Riley asked. "Just what is a Watcher?"
"They train the Slayer; weapons, senses, skills." Willow told him.
"*He* trained Buffy." Riley asked in disbelief. Giles glared at him and Riley remembered his greeting. He looked at the rest of the group. "And the rest of you?"
Giles shook his head. "Friends. They help research."
Riley didn't quite believe him, but the others didn't blink. And if he wasn't telling him everything, Riley couldn't blame him. Riley looked at Giles. "What do we do?"
Giles looked at him surprised. "What makes you think we need your help?"
"Because, I can get you inside." Riley told him.
"How do we know you won't turn on us the way you did Buffy?" Xander asked suspiciously.
Riley shrugged. "You don't, but you can't get inside without us."
Buffy realized that not everything was the way that Spike had described it. There were no other cells around her. She was being kept apart. She looked back to Walsh, who had been droning on about her plans. "It's not a magick potion. Drink this and become strong. Even if you managed to take it from me, it wouldn't work for anyone else."
"We'll see." Walsh told her. "You see Buffy, you're not the first Slayer I've run across. You have the physical strength, but in every other way you're weak. Outdated ways and dusty old books ..."
Buffy interrupted her. "Those outdated ways and dusty old books have saved your ass without you even knowing it was in danger. With all your hi-tech ways, you didn't even know there was a Hellmouth, let alone that you were living on one. You don't even know what half of your victims are. The vampires, those are easy. Stake, fire, beheading. Do you even know that not all demons are evil? Do you care? It's not about numbers or ratios or total kills, it's about saving lives. That's what I do."
Walsh looked at her for a minute, then turned and walked away. She stopped and, walking backwards, came back. In front of her, coming at her, were Giles, Riley, Willow, Xander, Anya, Spike, Forrest and Graham. Riley took Walsh's pass key from her lab coat pocket. "This is wrong." He used the passkey on the lock. It didn't work. He looked at Walsh, who was smirking.
"You just cut off her oxygen supply." Walsh told him smugly. The same tone that she had used on Giles, that had started this.
Riley turned to Buffy with horror filled eyes. "Buffy?!"
Buffy's eyes never left Walsh. "You want to know about my strength? I'll show you."
"Slayer, don't ..." Spike began, but was ignored.
Buffy focused on the glass, then gave a round house kick. The glass shattered, even as the charge went through it.
"How did you ..." Riley tried to ask in shock.
They were all looking at her in amazement, except Walsh - Who was angry. And Giles - Who was grinning.
Riley looked at Walsh. "You broke your own rules Professor. I'm taking you into custody."
"You can't do that." Walsh exclaimed.
"Watch me." Riley said. He nodded at Forrest and Graham and they took her away. He turned to Buffy, she was smiling up at Giles and rubbing the leg that had made contact with the glass. "I'm sorry, Buffy."
Buffy looked at him and her smile faded. "You came through in the end." She said quietly.
"But I'm still not who you thought." Riley said ruefully. "That's okay, I'm not who I thought either."
Buffy gave him a small smile. "You need a Watcher."
Riley glanced at Giles. "Can I borrow Mr. Giles?"
Buffy shook her head. "Nope, he's mine. I don't share very well."
"Neither do I." Giles commented, but only Riley seemed to hear him.
"If you need help, let me know." Riley told them as he looked at Buffy.
It was nearly dawn before Buffy and Giles were alone in his living room. "How did you end up with Riley?" Buffy asked him.
Giles looked at her. With her legs curled up under her, she reminded him of a sleepy kitten. "He came to me for help." Giles told her with a grin.
"I'll bet that was interesting." Buffy commented. "At least I wasn't completely wrong about him."
"He's inexperienced." Giles stated. "But, I don't believe that he's evil."
"No, I guess not." Buffy agreed.
"Will you ... see him again?" Giles asked a bit hesitantly.
Buffy looked at him. "And what happens the next time we have opposing views? I don't think so. Besides, what do I need them for?" Buffy leaned her head against his shoulder. "I've got you."
"That you do." Giles said with a contented smile. Who needed Riley? Not his Buffy.