Helpless Part II
By Heir to Shadow

TITLE: Helpless Part II
AUTHOR: Heir to Shadow aka hayll528
PAIRING: Buffy/Giles
RATING: PG13 - Couple of swear words
DISCLAIMERS: They all belong to the usual which is definitely not me.
SUMMARY: Giles returns to England after being fired in Helpless
SPOILERS: Season 3 Helpless. Sorry Wesley lovers - I like him too but had to have a bad guy somewhere!

"Bite Me" Buffy said as Quentin Travers walked out the door of the library leaving Buffy and Giles alone at last. Giles came and knelt in front of Buffy and began to tend to the wound on her head. "Leave it Giles, with slayer healing it will be gone in the morning, and I have had many more serious injuries. I want to know what Travers meant by saying you were fired!"

"Buffy" he said, "you passed the cruciamentum but I did not. I am no longer your watcher. I imagine your new one is already in town in case I failed. As soon as he arrives to take over his duties, I will be returning to England to do whatever the Council requires of me."

Buffy stared at him incredulously. "You promised you'd never leave me. You know that I can't do this without you, and now just because some Council jerk says so, you just walk away like every other man in my life? I guess I know now what your promises are worth . Good bye". Buffy, Buffy" he called, but she kept on walking and refused to turn and look at him. She also refused to accept any of his phone calls and would not see him when he stopped by her house.

The next morning when Giles arrived at work he found a stranger waiting for him in the library. The man appeared to be in his early 30's and there was something effete about him. He did not appear to be very strong, and Giles' heart nearly stopped when he realized that this must be his precious girl's new watcher. Indeed he introduced himself as Wesley Wyndham Price, new watcher. He requested that Giles introduce him to the slayer and then be off for England. Wesley would also take over the job as librarian so Giles wouldn't be missed at all.

A sudden commotion in the library announced the entrance of Buffy and her friends. Although Xander, Willow, Cordelia and even Oz were chatting, Buffy was silent and aloof . Wesley said "children, this is a library, a place for quiet not the incessant chatter of an unruly bunch of school children". They all looked at one another in amazement and turned as one to Giles with a questioning look.

Giles introduced the gang to Wesley and then announced that Wesley was Buffy's new watcher and would also be taking over as librarian while Giles returned to England to take up other duties. Willow was watching Buffy as Giles made his announcement, and only she saw the look of utter despair on her face. When she noticed Willow looking at her, her expression went blank, and she said "I'll be going now I have to get to class". "Buffy" Wesley said, "I will expect you promptly after school to train, and you may not bring any of your 'friends' with you. Is that understood?" Buffy just nodded and left.

Within a week, Giles was packed and ready to return to England. He didn't want to go, but obedience to the Council was so ingrained that he doubted he could refuse. Buffy still had not spoken with him, and since Wesley refused to let the children associate,train or patrol with him and Buffy he had no idea how she really felt about him leaving, or about Wesley except for the anger of course. As he boarded the plane, he knew that his real home was not England, but Sunnydale with his children and his beloved slayer. He could not help the tears running down his face as his flight took off. He also couldn't see his slayer hiding out of sight of the plane also crying at the loss of her watcher.

Giles had been gone about two months when the gang started noticing that Buffy was getting injured more often and more severely than ever before. They held a scooby meeting and decided they would follow Buffy on patrol that night to see just what was going on. They all met up out of sight near Buffy's house, since Wesley refused to let her go to the Bronze, and when she left to patrol they snuck behind her, and what they saw was appalling. Not only was Buffy not fighting to nearly her abilities, instead of assisting her, her watcher stood back and took notes!! It was as if Buffy wanted something to kill her, and Wesley just wanted something to write in his watcher's journal.

The next day assignments were given out. Cordelia was to call Angel and ask him to follow Buffy on patrol to keep her alive whether she wanted to be or not. Xander and Oz were to call Giles and tell him what was happening with Buffy, and Willow was to try to hack into the watcher's files and tell the Council what was going on. Surely they wouldn't want one of the most successful slayers in history to die because she had the wrong watcher (except for Travers of course - he didn't care).

Cordie called Angel and he said that he would be in Sunnydale that night and would protect Buffy while she patrolled. Willow's hacking was successful and now the Council knew they were very close to losing a slayer as skilled at Buffy. So far the plan was working.

When the phone rang in Giles flat in London, he assumed that it was some idiot from the Council with another "make busy" job for a fired watcher. He was astounded when he answered and it was Xander and Oz. After catching up, Giles said "I know you didn't call to chat, just what is wrong?" Xander and even Oz filled Giles in on everything, weak weasly Wesley, Buffy's apparent death wish, having to have Angel follow her on patrol to keep her alive, Willow hacking into files, Buffy's many injuries, and her total withdrawl from life. She had even quit school, doing nothing but training and slaying, because Wesley thought education was a waste of time when slayers always die young.

Giles was swearing furiously when Oz cut in. "Giles, you bear a good deal of the blame for this. Buffy loved you, and despite you promising never to leave her, the first time the Council said 'boo!' you were gone. You didn't fight, you didn't stick around to help Buffy adjust to Wesley, not that that would ever have happened, but you get my point. Now are you going to come back here and fix it, or are you going to let Buffy die?"

For a moment Giles was speechless because he knew that Oz was right. He felt like such a failure after not passing the test and getting fired that he let apathy rule his life. He didn't fight for his slayer, just left her to the tender mercies of a man he distrusted at first sight. Then he said "of course I'm coming back. I love Buffy too, and I've been burying my head in the sand for too long. Will you pick me up at LAX? I'll let you know as soon as I have times and flight numbers." The boys assured him they would pick him up and touched him with their belief that once he returned everything would be better. He was not so sure himself. He had deserted Buffy and he knew that was the one unforgiveable sin to her. He shook off his melancholy and called the airlines - he would go home and he would never leave her again and he would make it better!

Later that week while Giles was enroute back from England, he was wakened from a terrible nightmare. Buffy surrounded by a dozen vampires, Angel unconscious, and Wesley taking his interminable notes safety hidden behind a masoleum. Shaking violently he told himself over and over again that it was just a nightmare and that watchers don't have prophetic dreams. He was greatly relieved when his flight landed and Oz and Xander were waiting for him.

That night he accompanied Angel on patrol watching Buffy and immediately realized that everything they gang had told him was true. Buffy was half-assed fighting 3 vampires obviously not caring if she died or they did and Wesley was hiding out of sight with his journal. It was al l Giles could do not to go over and strangle the other watcher. Somehow Buffy managed to stake all 3 vamps, and assuming that Wesley would let her go home now, Giles and Angel left to meet with the scoobies.

They were all waiting at Giles house and they had some good news. Some of the Council members Willow had contacted were not only horrified that the cruciamentum had been administered for the first time in 100 years, Quentin Travers had no authority to fire Giles, and even if he had, the Council had no desire to break up one of the most successful watcher/slayer teams of all times. Giles was immediately reinstated as official watcher, Travers was demoted and Giles and Buffy were commended for their tremendous work. They did ask that Wesley remain in Sunnydale as a subordinate to Giles to find out what a real watcher did and get some field experience. After all, he was scheduled to be the next watcher, and God knows his slayer would need all the help she could get. Giles happily agreed, and couldn't wait to tell Buffy.

The scoobies left for home all of them elated at the turn of events. That elation lasted until they reached home. Joyce Summers had left messages for all of them that Buffy was seriously hurt and they needed to hurry to Sunnydale Hospital before it was too late. Not knowing Giles was back, she hadn't called him. All of the scoobies called him though and he was near insane with fear as he left for the hospital.

When he arrived in the waiting room, the scoobies, Angel and Joyce were there. "Where the hell is Wesley" Giles asked venomously? Joyce said "Who is Wesley?" and Angel said sarcastically "he said he had some paperwork to do and to let him know how she's getting along". Giles turned to the group and said "please explain what has been going on to Joyce. I am going to have a little chat with Wesley. I suppose he would be in the library?" They agreed and he left knowing that if Buffy died so would Wesley.

Wesley was indeed in the library. Totally missing the Ripperish look on Giles face, he arrogantly said "What are you doing here. You've been fired as Buffy's watcher, you certainly won't get the next slayer, so why don't you just head on back to England." "Wesley do you ever read your e-mail? It may interest you to know that I have been reinstated as Buffy's watcher and that you have been assigned as my trainee. Your training will begin now. First off, nothing, nothing is more important to a watcher than his slayer; and secondly, I'm going to show you what happens to watchers who put themselves before their slayer." With that Ripper soundly thrashed Wesley then told him "get cleaned up and get over to that hospital and at least pretend you care that my slayer may die, and Wesley, if she does die, you better start running and never look back.

When Giles returned to the hospital, he was surprised to receive a hug from Joyce. "The children told me what has been going on, and I know if anyone can save her it will be you. They are allowing one person at a time in the room, and I think you should be that person. Will you go?" "Of course I will" Giles stated". "By the way, Wesley is on his way here somewhat the worse for wear since his training has started. I would prefer you ignore his injuries and anything else about him if you wish". With that he left for Buffy's room.

When he entered, he thought for one heart stopping moment that he was too late. She lay so still, so pale, barely breathing. She had bandages on her neck, wrists, and forearms where the vampires had decided to turn the slayer. "Thank God Angel was there" he thought, not without a tinge of irony. He pulled a chair close to her bed. He had to touch her, see her up close so that he would be able to watch her breathing, one of the most beautiful sights he had ever seen.

He lightly stroked her hair, caressed her cheek, ran his fingers lightly down her arms, gently touched her neck over the bandages, and kissed her lips,. fingers and cheeks. Finally he sat down and entwined one hand in her hair and the other with her hand and laid his head on the bed and allowed the tears to flow. Not only would Wesley die if Buffy did, but he knew he would die also because she was his reasonn for living.

When the doctors saw that they couldn't budge Giles from her side, they allowed the others to come in one at a time to say their goodbyes. They all kissed Buffy's cheek, told her how much they loved her and would miss her and stumbled from her room in tears. By unspoken mutual consent, Wesley was not allowed in. After dark Angel, and strangely Spike showed up to say their goodbyes also. Both vampires were crying tears of blood.

Later that night after everyone had left Giles began to talk to Buffy. He told her what he knew about what had happened since he left, what he had been doing, his reinstatement, his thrashing his new trainee Wesley, how the scoobies and Angel had protected her, worried about her and ultimately called Giles to tell him what was happening to her. He told of his love for her, not like a father, but like a man loves a woman, but that he never said anything because of the age difference and because he knew she didn't see him that way. He told her he only lived because of her and that he was wrong to leave and would take any oath she would believe that he would never leave her again, even if the Council fired him again.

He finally drifted off to sleep still holding her hand the marks of tears still visible on his face. When Buffy woke the next morning that was the way she found him. She studied him carefully. Although not really conscious, she heard and remembered everything that had been said to her yesterday, especially by Giles. She knew she had acted like a spoiled brat when he said he was leaving, and she regretted hurting him. She also now knew he loved her. She knew the time was not right - she was to young and there were too many obstacles as yet, but she knew that some day they would be together in all ways for as long as she lived.

As she slowly drifted off to sleep again, her heart was filled with joy because of her wonderful family, friends, and this man beside her who was both and more. She knew she wanted to live now that she had a future to look forward to with Giles, but now she was tired and she wanted to be awake when her friends came so she slept again knowing that all was right with her world again.

The end.