My Giles
By Gibberish

Title: My Giles
Author: Gibberish
Disclaimer: I know they aren't mine, please don't sue.
Rating: PG at the most.
Spoilers: Little bit of a lot of episodes up to DoppleGangLand
Summary: What if Giles came through instead of Vampire Willow in DoppleGangLand? Challenge at Cap's site.
Distribution: Cap, of course. Solo, Jessica, Sai. Anyone else, just ask first.
Notes: I tried to be accurate in my quotes, but I couldn't find my copy of the ep. They should be pretty close though.  AU Giles is referred to as Giles2.
Feedback: Oh yeah.  :-)     Be kind.


          Giles was just about to smash Anyanka's necklace, her power center, when there was a bright flash. He looked around, this looked like his flat. Almost. Was this the other world then? The better world that the girl Cordelia had told him about?  Where should he go first?  He decided to walk through the cemetery on his way to the library. That's when he saw her. The Slayer. He watched her fight, heard her insult the vampire. He saw another Vampire rush up behind her.

  "Behind you!" But she didn't need his warning, the vampire was dust before he finished shouting. The other quickly followed.

  "Hey Giles." Buffy said brightly as she walked over to him. "What are you doing here?"

  Giles was taken aback by the bright cheerfulness of the Slayer. Such a stark contrast to the Slayer of his world. "On my way to the library." He said slightly dazed.

  Buffy looked at him confused. "Weren't you just at the library?" She asked. "You okay Giles?"

  She was so very different. "Just tired, I suppose." He told her.

  "Why don't I walk you home then?" Buffy asked. "I'll go back to the library and tell the gang to call it a night."

  "No." He said quickly. "I'll be all right."

  "Giles," Buffy said gently. "I need you too much to let you drop from exhaustion."

   "I promise not to stay long." Giles said. "I just need to check on something."

  "We'll go together then." Buffy told him. She eyed him closely. Something wasn't right.

  They walked in silence to the library. Giles couldn't believe how quiet the town was. Not a vampire to be seen. Why would anyone wish this away?

  Buffy went through the library doors and found Oz at the large table with a book and Willow reading over his shoulder.

  Giles saw Willow leaning over Oz. "Get away from him!" He shouted harshly.  Buffy, Willow and Oz looked at him wide-eyed. Xander came out of the stacks and did the same. "What is with you tonight?" Buffy asked worriedly.

  "I think we have a more important question than that."  Giles (Our Giles) said from his office doorway.

  Buffy looked from one to the other, "Giles?"

  "Yes." They said in unison.

  "Okay," Buffy said. "This is way creepy."

  "Thank you very much." Giles said drily.

   "Thank you very much." Giles said drily.

  "Okay." Buffy smiled brightly and walked over to him by the office. "This is my Giles."

  Giles smiled down at her warmly.  Giles2 watched them curiously. Her Giles? Just how did she mean that?

  "Waiting for an explanation Giles." Buffy commented.  Giles looked at the other Giles. "Who are you? Where are you from? How did you get here?" He asked in a conversational tone, oddly unafraid.

  "Gee Giles, I could have done that." Buffy said wryly.

  "Ah, but you didn't." Giles said without taking his eyes from the other Giles.

  "My world is much different from yours." Giles2 said almost to himself.

  "Your World?" Xander asked as he came down from the upper level. "As in planet?"

  Giles2 watched him warily. "Perhaps, reality is more accurate."

  "You know us though." Buffy half asked. "You recognize us."

  "In a manner of speaking." Giles2 concurred. "She said it was quite different."

  "Who said?" Giles asked.

  "Cordelia." Giles2 told them. "She made a wish to Anyanka."

  "Oh dear." Giles commented. "What was the wish?" He asked.

  "It had something to do with Miss Summers never having come to Sunnydale." Giles2 answered. "I'm afraid that she was killed before she could explain further."

  "Cordie's dead?" Xander asked, his voice barely audible. "How?"

  Giles2 looked from Xander to Willow, then back to Xander. "You killed her. You drained her because she knew about the Slayer." They all looked rather stunned.

  "Why would we do that?" Willow asked.

  "The Master told you to, I assume." Giles2 answered.

  "The Master?" Buffy echoed. She looked at her Giles frightened.

  "The Master in your reality isn't dead?" Giles asked. Giles2 shook his head. "Where was Buffy? You said the Slayer, did you mean her?" Giles asked next.

  "When I finally got in touch with her Watcher, they were in Cleveland. Or, at least, she was."

  "Why?" Giles asked.

  "You're not my Watcher?" Buffy asked at the same time.

  "Me?" Giles2 responded surprised. "No. Your Watcher is a man named Price."

  "Were you ever my Watcher?" Buffy asked next.

  Giles2 looked at her oddly. "Almost, but no."

  Without realizing that she did so, Buffy moved closer to her Giles. Both Giles realized it though.

  Giles2 looked at Giles. "You are her Watcher in this reality then?" He asked.

  Giles2 looked at Giles. "You are her Watcher in this reality then?" He asked.

  "Yes." Buffy stated.

  "Not precisely." Giles answered at the same time.

  Giles2 looked at them in question.

  "I say he's my Watcher." Buffy restated.

  "The Council, however, disagrees."  Giles finished. "Wesley Wyndom-Price is her official Watcher." Giles2 snorted in derision.

  "I see you know him." Xander commented.

  "But, how did you get here?" Willow asked.

  Giles 2 looked confused. "I-I'm not quite certain. I was about to smash the necklace and then suddenly, I was alone in my living room ... Your living room." Giles2 finished with a look at Giles.

  "Fascinating." Giles said with interest. "You say that the Master is still alive there? And that Xander and Willow are vampires?"

  Giles2 nodded. "Cordelia said that here people were happy." He said rather wistfully.

  "'Scuse me." Willow said hesitantly. "What if he isn't the only one?"

  "Only one what?" Buffy asked.

  "Only one from his reality here." Willow said.

  "Way to use that optimism Will." Xander commented.

  "Oh God." Buffy said. "The Master." She looked at her Giles with pleading eyes. "Could he be here? Will I have to fight him again?"

  Giles put a hand on her shoulder. "If he were here, I think that this would have been his first stop."

  "'Cause of the Hellmouth?" Buffy asked.

  "You faced the Master?" Giles2 asked Buffy in awe. "A-and won?" He was amazed.

  "More or less." Buffy told him. "He killed me, I killed him. He's just the only one that stayed dead."

  "K-killed you?"  Giles2 echoed nervously. "A-are you a ...um ...?" Buffy looked at him blankly.

  "No," Giles answered. "She's not a vampire. She was resuscitated. By Xander."

  The library doors swung open and Angel walked in. Even Oz was shocked by the reaction of the Giles reaction to the usually brooding vampire.

  "Angel!" Giles2 cried out with a smile.

  Angel stopped, dead still, except for his eyes. They moved from one Giles to the other.

  "You know Angel?" Buffy asked.

  Giles2 looked at Buffy. "You're not going to kill him are you? He has a soul."

  The words shot through Buffy. She looked at Giles, but he wouldn't meet her eyes. Those words, coming from Giles, even though he wasn't her Giles, were painful. How much more painful must they be for Giles?  How many times had she said them to him? "I'm sorry Giles." She whispered harshly and ran out of the library.

  Giles watched her go, shocked. Then, he went after her. "Angel." Willow said as she saw him start to follow. She waited until he looked at her and she shook her head at him.

  "Did I say something wrong?" Giles2 asked. "He does have a soul here, doesn't he?"

  "Off and on." Xander answered.

******

   Giles caught up to Buffy in the parking lot. "Buffy?" She stopped, but didn't turn around to face him. "For what, exactly, are you apologizing?"

  "Why do you stay?" Buffy asked, she still hadn't turned around.

  "I don't understand." Giles responded, utterly bewildered. "Stay where?"

  "Here." Buffy elaborated. "With me." She sounded so lost.

  "D-do you want me to leave, Buffy?" He asked softly, uncertainly.

  "No." She said quickly and finally faced him, eyes bright and cheeks wet. She swallowed painfully past the lump in her throat. "But, what do you want Giles? Do you want to go home? Want to ... Start over?"

  "My life is here now." Giles said simply. "With you. A-and the others" He added awkwardly.

  "But is it what you want?" Buffy asked, her voice hardly audible.

  Giles realized that there was more to this question than he was getting. Unfortunately, he had no idea what it was, what she really wanted to know.

"Yes." He said finally.

  "Why?" Buffy asked next.

  "Buffy, what is this about? Giles asked instead of answering.

  "He has a soul." Buffy laughed, but there was no humor in the sound. "Hearing you say those words ... For the first time it wasn't me saying them and I heard them." She bit her lip. "I wanted to scream at him that he didn't know what Angel did to us. To you." The tears fell again. "It never ended, did it? The torture. Every time I said is name. Every time I cried for him. Every time I defended him. To you. Every time I ... picked him." She wiped her cheeks. " You should hate me."

  "I won't even try to deny that you've hurt me Buffy" Giles said haltingly. "But, I could never hate you."

  "It was my fault." Buffy said. "All of it."

  "No!" Giles denied vehemently.

  Buffy wasn't listening though. "I saw you, you know. After ..." She was back to not being able to look at him. "Before I left, I snuck into your hospital room" She closed her eyes as if to block the images. "I was going to ask if I could stay with you." Tears coursed down her face unchecked now.

"I-I didn't know where else to go, but I couldn't ... I couldn't hurt you anymore."

  "Buffy ..." Giles began.

  "I heard you." Buffy went on. "You cried out in your sleep. I couldn't ..."

  "Oh Buffy." Giles sighed. "I didn't blame you, I never blamed you. I don't think I really blame Angel anymore. And Jenny ... Well, I don't think she would have wanted that."

  "One more thing you lost because of me." Buffy commented sadly. "Even before Angel killed her."

  "Jenny chose that path." Giles said sadly. "She could have told us. Trusted us, but she didn't. I've thought about this a great deal. I would give almost anything to bring Jenny back, but I can't. Had she lived, it wouldn't have worked. Jenny and I."

  "But you loved her." Buffy said confused.

  "Just as you do Angel." Giles pointed out gently. "But even after she died, I couldn't completely forgive her. Not for myself, but for you. She put you at risk. And, as much as I loved her, she would have always been second to you. Jenny deserved better."

  "I don't want you to be alone." Buffy said softly

  Giles smiled. "I'm hardly ever alone."

  Buffy looked at him, her eyes serious and sad. "And when I'm gone?"

  His smile faded. "The others ..."

  "Love you." Buffy finished for him. "But when I'm gone, they'll put this behind them. Childhood adventures - 'We had good times, but it was like another life. I wonder what Buffy would have done with her life.'"

  "You underestimate them." Giles said quietly.

  Buffy gave him a sad smile. "I hope not. It's what I want for them. Normal, happy lives that don't include a constant fear of death. And don't even try to tell me that you don't feel the same. What will you do?"

  Giles shrugged, he hated to think about it. "Perhaps I shall return to the Museum."

  "I want it for you to Giles." Buffy told him. "I do love you too." With that, she turned and walked off in to the night.

  Giles watched her for as long as he could see her. He couldn't imagine his life without Buffy in it. He didn't want to try. He knew that she was right about the others. They were young, they would move on with their lives. It would take them a while, but eventually, they would. He knew though, that none of them would ever be the same. He, however, would be bereft.

  He turned and made his way slowly back to the library. He walked past the others, he didn't even notice that Oz was no longer there. He went into his office and dropped heavily into his chair.

  The others watched as the other Giles followed him in to the office. 

    "I wanted to believe that this world was perfect." Giles2 commented as he entered the office. "In my reality it was Angel that was tortured. Not for days, not for hours, but for months. By Willow mostly." He paused. "He said he tortured you. Killed the woman you loved." He watched the other man closely. "But it's because of her, the Slayer, that you can't forgive him. Why?"

  "Because he continues to hurt her." Giles answered honestly. "Angelus tormented all of us. He killed Jenny. He tortured me. He tortured Buffy, at least emotionally. But, it's Angel that hurts her now."

  Outside of the office, Angel is the only one that can hear them.

  Giles2 shook his head. "You really are quite fond of her. And she of you. So different."

  "Are you alone?" Giles asked him.

  "I suppose we aren't so very different, you and I." Giles2 answered. "You have your children, I have mine. Oz, Larry ... Nancy. And Angel before he was taken." He shrugged. "No Jenny. No ... Buffy" He said her name softly, referring to her by name for the first time.

  "What is she like? Your Buffy." Giles asked.

   "Well, for one, she isn't my Buffy. Not even my Slayer." Giles2 responded. "She seemed hard, a bit cold. Detached. A loner. A stark contrast to your Buffy" He smiled wistfully, unaware that he did so. "She's quite lovely, your Buffy."

  "Yes," Giles agreed with a smile. "Quite lovely. I've never known anyone quite like her."

  "What is she like?" Giles2 asked. "She has friends?"

  "Very good friends." Giles answered. "Willow, Xander, Oz. Even Cordelia. And Angel. They keep Buffy from losing herself. Willow refers to them as the Slayerettes. Xander, the Scooby gang. They are quite remarkable."

  "So different." Giles2 remarked again. "I knew Willow, at least, before she was changed. A brilliant girl. A terrifying vampire."

  "Yes, I imagine she would be." Giles agreed. "Well, she isn't a vampire here. She's a witch."

  "I beg your pardon?" Giles2 queried. He could not have heard correctly.

  "Wiccan" Giles clarified. "She's quite a natural, really. Oz is a werewolf. A witch and a werewolf in love. Sounds like a B horror movie title."

  "Almost as bad as a vampire and a Slayer." Giles2 added.

  Giles grimaced. "If you aren't Buffy's Watcher and she isn't in Sunnydale, why did you stay?"

  "When she didn't arrive, ..." Giles2 began. "Well, I couldn't just leave them to their fate."

  "Why did she not come to Sunnydale?" Giles asked.

  Giles2 sighed. "When her parents were killed ..."

  "What?!" Giles exclaimed.

  "They aren't dead here?" Giles2 asked.

  "No." Giles answered, quite disturbed. "Both of them?"

   "Lothos." Giles2 said sadly. "He turned them. She had to stake her own parents. She had no one. She disappeared for a while. Her Watcher can't control her, seldom knows where she is." He paused. "She's a very good Slayer though, I understand." He didn't want to insult them.

  Giles quirked a brow. "Sounds dreadfully lonely."

     Buffy walked in to the library after she felt calm enough. She found Willow at the computer, Xander pretending to read instead of glaring at Angel and Angel prowled the room. No Giles, either of them. "Where's Giles?" She asked worriedly.

  "They're both in the office." Angel told her. He studied her, something was wrong. She wouldn't look at him.

  Buffy headed in to the office. Neither noticed her in the doorway. She listened for just a moment. She froze, her parents were dead. No, the other one's parents. She had to stake them herself. Her knees were weak and there was a buzzing in her ears. She had no idea how long she stood there before she reached out a hand to steady herself.

  "Dear God, Buffy."

  "I never meant for her to hear that."  Buffy felt gentle hands lead her to a chair.

  "Buffy? Buffy, are you all right?" Giles asked concerned.  Buffy tried take deep breaths, but it didn't seem to help.

  Willow, Xander and Angel all hovered in the doorway.  "What happened?" Willow asked.

  Buffy looked at Giles, her Giles, looked into his gentle green eyes. Eyes that brimmed with concern. "Does it ever stop?" She asked with a tremulous voice.

  Giles brushed back a lock of her hair. "If it stops, then worry." Buffy nodded in understanding.

  Angel watched them. There was something different between them now. Something elusive.

  "I'm very sorry Buffy." Giles2 said quietly.

  Buffy looked up at him, his eyes the same gentle green, but different from her Giles' eyes somehow. Something was missing. She felt Giles' hand on her shoulder and smiled up at him. How could one person put so much feeling in one small touch?

  Angel watched them with surprised eyes. <Damn.>

******

      They all sat around the table researching, with an occasional comment put forth by one of the Giles's. When Giles2 showed them the necklace/power center, Willow's eyes widened and she gasped.

"Oh no!" She wailed. "How could I have been so stupid?" Everyone looked at her, but she looked at Giles2. "I think I may know how you got here."

  "Oh Will, you didn't." Buffy said.

  "You called me reliable, I stormed off." Willow told her. "Anya asked me to help her find an heirloom necklace." She looked at Giles and Giles2 with wide, sorrowful eyes. "I'm sorry."

  "We've talked about this Willow." Giles said to her. "You cannot simply play with magic on the Hellmouth."

  "I thought it was a necklace." Willow said.

  "Well, I suppose, if we wish to return him home, that our first objective is to find Anyanka." Giles commented. Buffy looked at Giles. "Do we have to send him back to that terrible place?" She asked.

  "I have to Buffy." Giles2 stated with certainty. "I wish I didn't, but I must finish what I started. Besides, my friends are there."

  "Buffy, while he is here, both realities are existing in tandem." Giles explained. "We are unaware of what the possible ramifications could be."

  Buffy looked up at him with a small smile. "Why can't you just say - We don't know what could happen. It could be bad?"

  Giles looked down at her with a small smile of his own. "I am trying very hard to not let you lot degenerate my vocabulary."

  Buffy grinned, but said as haughtily as possible, "Are you insinuating that we shall be the ruination of your proper English vernacular?"

  Giles stared at her stunned (As did the others.) for a half minute before he laughed. "And just how long have you been hanging on to that waiting to use it?"

  Still smiling, Buffy narrowed her eyes. "Since after you told me to 'sod off' for the third time. What does that mean, anyway?"

  "Simply translated, it means ..." His words trailed off at the glare from the other Giles. "Never mind."

  "You know," Xander began. "I've never seen someone intimidate himself before."

  "It's the Ripper glare." Buffy commented idly.

  Giles2 looked at Giles astonished. "You told them about Ripper?!"

  "The matter was rather taken out of my hands." Giles returned.

  Giles2 looked flabbergasted. Without realizing it, he turned to Buffy for an explanation.

  "Ethan showed up - Bad Halloween curse. Ethan showed up again - Brought Eyghon with him and tattooed me. Ethan yet again - Another curse, not pretty. Giles reverted to Ripper, who spent way too much time with my Mom." Buffy gave him a distinctly digested explanation.

  "Eyghon?" Giles2 asked horrified. "And the bloody bastard put the mark on you?" He looked at Giles with angry eyes. "I hope you gave him a good thrashing."

  "I got to beat him up last time." Buffy said gleefully. "Giles got the two before that."

  "That's enough Buffy." Giles told her sternly, but there was a glint in his eye. "We should find Anyanka."

  "Anya spends most of her evenings at the Bronze." Xander said. They all looked at him. "I think my radar must be attuned to not your average woman. My record speaks for itself."

  Buffy, Giles and Willow all nodded in sympathetic agreement.

  "Xander, why don't you and Willow fetch her then." Giles told him.

  "I'll go with them." Angel aid as he joined the teenagers. "Just in case." Giles nodded, but Buffy still wouldn't meet his eyes.

  "Willow." Giles said, just before the trio went through the door. "Where was the original spell cast?"

  "Empty warehouse." Willow told him. "Oak and 23rd." She bit her lip. "I'm really sorry Giles ... es"

  Giles nodded."We'll meet you there then." With that, the trio left.

  Buffy sat and watched both Giles as they discussed what they would need for the spell. "Giles, why would Cordelia wish that I hadn't come here?"

  "I haven't a clue as to why Cordelia does anything that she does." Giles commented. "All I can tell you is that Anyanka grants wishes to scorned young women. So, it most likely had something to do with Xander."

  "But I didn't do anything." Buffy said. "I didn't even know about Willow and Xander."

  "You do realize that you are looking for logic from Cordelia." Giles pointed out.

  Buffy smiled. "What was I thinking?" She asked tiredly. "I guess we'd better get the supplies and head to the warehouse." She stood and stretched her tired muscles.

  Both Giles watched her, then looked guiltily at the other to see if they'd been caught. They smiled somewhat sheepishly. "As I said, quite lovely."

  Buffy moved to stand between them and linked arms with both as they headed for the door. Wesley and Cordelia, who was clinging to Wesley's arm as if super glued and way overdressed. They both stopped at the sight of the trio before them. "What ... How ... ?" Wesley tried to asked.

  "Why are there two Giles's?" Cordelia asked.

  "Because of you." Buffy answered her as the three of them went through the door. "Mouth looks better closed Wes." She called back through the swinging doors.

         They all met at the warehouse, including the reluctant Anya. Angel prevented her from leaving as Giles and Willow prepared an area for the spell. Xander and Oz looked on. Buffy saw Giles2, as he stood off by himself and went over to him. "You okay?" She asked when she reached him.

  He smiled down at her. "I suppose. I was just thinking. Before this happened, Anyanka asked me how I could know this world was any better. I told her it had to be. Cordelia had said that here, people were happy. I had to believe her." He gave her an enigmatic look. "This is the way it should be."  He stated with certainty.

  Buffy cocked her head to the side. "How can you be sure?" She asked curiously.

  He gave her another smile. "Because you, Buffy Summers, were meant to smile."

  Buffy blushed and looked down. When she looked back up his smile had only widened until his eyes crinkled and his eyes sparkled. She gathered her scattered thoughts. "What will happen to you?"

  "I don't know." He answered honestly. "I suppose that I shall cease to exist."

  "I hope not." Buffy said. "I mean, I know your world is terrible, but ... Well, it can't be all bad if it has you."

  "Thank you Buffy." Giles2 said simply.

  "We're ready." Giles called to them.

  Buffy put a hand to his rough cheek, then tip toed up to kiss him lightly on the other. "Find your Buffy. Believe me, I think you need each other." Giles2 nodded.

  Giles watched the exchange, his hand went to his own cheek where Buffy had just kissed the other man. He shook himself out of his reverie and looked at Anya. "Just don't you try anything, dear."

  "When I get my powers back, you will all bow before me." Anya returned.

  "I seriously doubt that." Giles2 commented.

      There was a bright flash and he was right back where he had been. He smashed the necklace. Anyanka was gone, but he was still there. He grabbed a crossbow and took off out of the flat, towards the warehouse.

  When he ran inside, he saw the Master about to break her neck. "Buffy duck!" He shouted to her. When she did, he fired the crossbow. All that was left of the Master were his bones.

  Buffy looked at him with respect and actually smiled.

{Yeah, I know. I screwed with the timeline. Couldn't help it, had to be done. Sue me - No wait, don't}   :-)

     Buffy and Giles were the last to leave the Empty warehouse. "Do you think he's okay?" Buffy asked as they walked out.

  "I hope so." Giles returned.

  "Giles?" Buffy stopped and looked at him. Giles stopped as well and turned to her. "Thanks."

  "For what?" Giles asked confused.

  "For being you." Buffy answered. "For staying. For always being there, no matter what. For never giving up on me. For not letting me end up like the other Buffy. For everything you do for me, even the stuff you don't tell me about." She took his hand and leaned up and kissed him. Right next to his mouth and her lips lingered a bit. When she pulled back, she looked up at him. "Thanks for being my Giles."

  They continued to walk out, both acutely aware that their hands were still clasped together.

       Angel had waited for Buffy outside. He watched them walk, hand in hand. Now he knew what he had seen between them earlier. He watched them drive away, his heart heavy, but his soul lighter. He knew that this was the one man he could entrust her to. The only man that would protect her with his last breath if necessary. He only wished he could be there to see their faces when they realized what had happened. 

END