Learning the Ropes (1-2/8)

Jun 12, 2009 18:57

Title: Learning the Ropes
Author: Bruttimabuoni
Rating: PG-13
Character: Giles, Watchers, OCs (and a mystery guest star)
Sections: 1-2 of 8
Word count: ~3300 in total
A/N: Written for plot_wout_porn, using quinara’s prompt, which is the first two sentences. Thanks for organising, and I hope you like what I did with the prompt. Thanks also to ruuger for the baby Giles icon especially for this one!

She could see the light at the end of the tunnel. Luckily it didn't make it any less dark where she was standing now. The instinct to avoid the sun was new but deep-seated. A mere three days ago she’d been a well-toasted sunbather, but now those rays caused a deep horror, atavistic and unignorable.

So much to learn about this new death-in-life.

But then Jacie turned at a faint sound in the dark behind her. Then sudden movement, a feeling of entrapment, and she was caught, flailing and desperate, stuck in a reinforced plastic net. Idiotic, she felt. Like something from a nature documentary showing the dangers of litter to seabirds. Then she was cuffed hand and foot. Not exactly bird-like, that.

She was thinking so incredibly clearly, everything vivid and immediate. She recognised the youngish man standing before her, though she’d only met him once. He was a Watcher, but not her own. He’d been in the background while Hadrian explained about the Cruciamentum and the master vampire she‘d face. What a birthday present that had been. A whole new world opening up. Doubly chosen; first for Slaying, then for eternal life.

“Jacinta. I’m afraid we can’t let this go on.” The strange Watcher broke into her distracted thoughts, though staying cautiously back from his trussed prisoner. She noted the two hulking guards holding the still-restraining net as well. Not a likely moment to escape.

Yes. Well, she hadn‘t really expected they‘d give her freedom. She‘d been pretty well trapped even before she was turned. “So what happens now?”

His voice was quite matter of fact. “We offer you a choice. You can survive, under our control. It is always valuable to learn more about Slayers and their vampire selves. Or we can end it now.”

“I want to live.” That was a cry from the gut, unpremeditated.

Watcher-man had the grace to flinch. “I’m terribly sorry, but that’s no longer an option.”

“I mean, I’ll come quietly. I don’t want to die now.” Go along with them. She’d work something out. Watcher-man couldn’t cause her that much trouble.

She’d seen to Hadrian quickly enough, once she rose.

“Good. Gentlemen?” Watcher-man beckoned to his hulking assistants, who moved forward with a strong pole and used it to hoist Jacie between them; well out of reach of her limbs, leaving her still immobilised, cuffed and trussed in the net. She was locked into the back of what was presumably a Council van, and injected with a sedative. Jacie slept. She didn’t seem to have a lot of choice in the matter.

Back at headquarters, Rupert Giles delivered Jacie securely and reported the successful capture of the Slayer-vampire to the Council chiefs. He then collected a sharp stake and walked to the solid, chilly basement. As always, he struggled not to think of it as the dungeons. Or, in this case, the condemned cell.

Goodbye Jacinta Bell. Giles looked at the tethered, comatose demon, inhaled deeply, and on the exhale unhesitatingly staked her through the heart. The prison bed was left scattered with her dust.

He left quietly. In the corridor outside, he met Quentin Travers. Pompously gracious, on this occasion.

“Thank you Giles. It was another’s carelessness which created this situation, and we are grateful to you for resolving it quickly and cleanly. I know this has been most unpleasant, but you appreciate the necessity. We are all agreed that your conduct has been exemplary. We think you’re ready for the field now.”

Once Travers had safely left, Giles sank down in the corridor, cold and shaking. After a few minutes, he leant sideways and vomited neatly against the side wall. Underlying the horror, though, was pride.

Diary of Rupert Giles 15 May 1984
It had to be done. We needed a new Slayer. The world depends on that transfer of power.

No one ever pretended a Watcher’s role was easy. But this is surely as bad as it could get. I’ve shown I can cope with the worst.

I‘m in.


It turned out that watching over a potential Slayer lacked a certain amount of challenge. Rupert’s field assignment found him comfortably situated at Manor House boarding school for girls, taking the traditional Watcher’s role as librarian. The girls were well mannered, for the most part. Several even asked his advice on research and reading materials. The school was closely linked to the Watchers, had hosted potentials and Slayers aplenty since its foundation. It represented one of the Council’s periodic efforts to procure a relatively normal environment for the girls.

The headmistress was well aware of his role, and other staff members were also informed of it to a greater or lesser extent. Giles particularly liked the pretty blonde school nurse who’d introduced herself one evening. She had been quite helpful over devising an effective training regime. Daphne Darling - what a name! But he was warmed by the prospect of congenial company and not having to hide his purpose in life. Perhaps even something more might be permissible? It had been lonely, these years of secret training.

His girl, his “potential Slayer”, was a welcome surprise too. Long identified by the Council, Jess was used to Watchers and well trained. Her previous overseer had been reassigned to the newly-raised Slayer, an unexpected choice in need of experienced support. Giles was mere backup. Jess was seventeen, and well aware that her time was probably past. But she enjoyed the physical and mental challenges of the Watcher’s regime, and followed his instructions cheerfully enough. She’d make a strong candidate for the Council in the end. Meanwhile, she played netball, was a responsible prefect and mentored new students. Every Watcher’s dream, in fact.

The golden days passed. Shadows sloped across the tennis courts in the shortening evenings. Giles dedicatedly did his duty, and tried not to be glad that Jess wouldn’t make a Slayer.

Diary of Rupert Giles 26 September 1984
This is all really rather satisfactory. Perhaps I am cut out for the Watcher life. And that nurse is most appealing. It would be so nice to share responsibility for even this easiest of charges. It’s tough standing between the world and disaster.

No job for a girl. But what choice do we have?


Sections three and four are here

a: brutti_ma_buoni, f: buffyverse, c: giles

Previous post Next post