Title: Keys to Heaven
Pairings: mostly genfic, but there is some Giles/Willow
Summary: After the final battle with The First, Rupert Giles faces something worse than any demon: a human determined to save the world at any cost.
Disclaimer: These are not my characters. They belong to Joss, Twentieth Century Fox, UPN, WB & Mutant Enemy. This is purely for fun.
Dedication: This story is dedicated to ladyforash and oreadno1. This story wouldn't have been written if it hadn't been for ladyforash's You Choose story. Some scenes in that ongoing story sparked the plot for this story. Thank you for the inspiration and the support you've given me, ladyforash. oreadno1 has been encouraging me to expanding my writing beyond my usually genfic and Buffy/Giles fic. Because of her, what started out as pure genfic, now has Giles/Willow sprinkled throughout. Thank you for the support and encouragement, oreadno1.
When Giles came to, he was on a stretcher. He was being lifted into an ambulance. He looked around, trying to see the others, but he couldn't see anything from where he was. "Where are the others?" he asked.
He heard a brief conversation as the paramedic asked someone close by. He couldn't make out much of what was said, but he heard something about three males and two females. The paramedic spoke to Giles, "They're on the way to the hospital already."
"There were more of us," Giles said. "Where are the others? Where are Buffy and the others?" He tried to sit up, but someone held him down.
"There were only six of you on the bus when we found you," the paramedic said.
Giles thought of protesting, but then he remembered the strong magic he felt as the bus crashed. His head spun with the implications. "Someone took them. You have to find them."
"You can file a police report when we get to the hospital," another paramedic said as the ambulance took off.
The police wouldn't be able to help. Giles knew that. They wouldn't have the first idea on how to find or rescue anyone taken by magic. He didn't know why he thought the paramedics would be able to find them.
Giles closed his eyes and silently swore vengeance on whoever had done this. They would pay. He would see to it himself.
Buffy was unprepared for the crash. She tried to hold on and stay alert, but as the bus came crashing down, her world went black.
Whispered words woke her sometime later. She wouldn't have given it a second thought if she recognized the voices, and she might have been comforted if one of them was Giles. These voices belonged to no one she knew, and they were harsh even as whispers. She kept her eyes closed and struggled to listen.
"We removed all glass fragments and washed away the dirt, sir."
"Remarkable. They are healing more quickly than I anticipated, especially the blond one. Tell me what you know of her."
"She is the oldest, and she is the one who died and was brought back."
"Do you think that has affected her healing?"
"It is possible, sir. I have a theory about that." The other man made a curious noise. "We believe she may have received additional Slayer gifts when she was resurrected."
"The power of two Slayers?"
"Possibly three, even four ... She was resurrected once, but she was revived twice."
"Tell me more. I want to know everything about her."
Buffy strained to hear more, but she heard them turn and walk away. She thought she heard them leave the room. She wanted so much to open her eyes and look around, but she didn't want to risk having them know she was awake. There was no telling what they might do. Instead she kept her eyes closed and waited. They would be back.
As soon as he was released from the hospital, Giles took Willow to the site of the crash. He was disappointed to find that everything had been cleaned up. There wasn't even the slightest trace of magic. He knew that the magic would have all dissipated, but he'd been clinging to the hope that they would find something.
"It's been over a week, Giles," Willow said, placing a comforting hand on his shoulder.
"I know," he said. "I was just hoping for some clue." He scuffed at the dirt with his boot.
"I can still feel Kennedy. Can you feel Buffy or Faith?" she asked.
"Yes. I can feel all of them, Buffy more strongly than the others." He looked at the sky. "It's time to go. We don't want to be caught out here after dark."
After Giles had driven in silence for a while, Willow turned to him. "I just wish they hadn't taken the scythe too. I'm sure I could find them if I had it." Giles sighed and nodded.
Willow had been released from the hospital first, and while she had waited for the others to be released, she had tried to find the Slayers and the scythe. At first she had just tried to find the girls. When she didn't have any luck with that, she tried to locate the scythe. She had hoped the scythe would be in a different location.
"You said the scythe was behind the same cloaking spell as the girls?" Giles asked.
"I wouldn't call it a cloaking spell. It's just that every time I think I'm getting close to finding it, my spell goes poof. The same thing happens when I try to find Buffy or Kennedy." Willow sighed. "It doesn't make any sense."
"Have you tried mapping out where this happens?" Giles asked. There was a hint of hope in his voice. Maybe they could at least narrow down where to search.
"Yeah, and it all just leads back to me. It's like there's a spell that's seeking me out and stopping me. Giles, whoever or whatever this is has magics and abilities I've never imagined." She opened her laptop. "I have been trying other methods, non magic methods, to find them." She typed a few things in and cursed under her breath. "But I have to be careful. I can't search for directly or I might be discovered. I'm just looking for clues."
"What kind of clues?" Giles asked. Still after all this time around Willow and computers, he was unsure on how to use them. He hated to admit that they frightened him. He was glad that Willow understood and was patient with him in these things.
"I don't know yet, but I'll know it when I see it. Right now I'm just surfing as much as I can."
When she was quiet for longer than he expected, Giles glanced over at her. "Find something?"
"Maybe," she said. "There are some posts on some Wicca sites about someone stealing magics. It's been classified as just an urban legend, but I want to keep an eye on it."
"Just be careful, Willow. I don't want anything to happen to you too."
Willow had made the decision to go to Los Angeles and stay with Angel and Wesley. Giles didn't like it, but he couldn't think of anywhere else to go. At least Angel was staying out of his way. Wesley and Fred were proving to be helpful with research even though there were no solid leads yet.
It had been weeks since Giles had been released from the hospital. He knew Willow and the others were worried about him. He supposed they had every reason to be. Even before the battle in Sunnydale, he hadn't gotten more than a few hours of sleep each night. Now he couldn't remember when he had last slept.
When Fred brought him his tea, he was sitting at Wesley's desk pouring over newspaper articles and web pages that Willow had printed for him. Giles grunted his thanks for the tea as he moved the papers around on the desk. He was sure that if he stared at them long enough, the answer would be clear.
"Are you sure they're not in another dimension?" Fred asked quietly.
Without looking up, he answered, "If they were in another dimension, I wouldn't be able to feel them."
"What if the other dimension was here?" Fred asked excitedly. "I mean what if part of another dimension was brought here somehow?" She grabbed her notebook out of her pocket and scribbled some notes. "That would explain the problems with Willow's locator spells. They could be in a spot that's just a small place in our dimension, but is giant in the other dimension. It could even be a place as small as a phone booth here."
That finally got Giles' attention. "If that's the case, it could be anywhere."
"I'll go tell Willow and Wesley about it," she said, leaving Giles alone with his papers and tea.
With renewed inspiration, Giles began reading the papers once more.
Buffy remained still where she lay. She had woken some time before, but hadn't dared to open her eyes. From what she could tell, she was strapped down on a cot of some sort. The straps didn't feel like much, but she was unable to move her arms or legs even the slightest bit. She guessed that she was being restrained with magic and the straps were merely there as a reminder of her bonds.
For a while she listened as people moved about the room. No one talked which frustrated her. She wanted to know what was happening, but she didn't dare let anyone know she was awake. The last time she'd been awake, she made the mistake of opening her eyes. Immediately someone came over and injected something in her arm. She'd blacked out almost instantly. She wouldn't make the same mistake twice.
After what seemed like hours, she heard the people leave. She still didn't dare open her eyes. Not yet , she told herself. She waited a long time to be certain no one was in the room before she finally opened her eyes. She glanced around, moving only her eyes. She couldn't see much, but a clock on the wall caught her attention. It was 3:27pm, Tuesday. It didn't give a date, but at least she would now know how long she was out each time now.
Feeling a little more in control, Buffy closed her eyes and waited for the people to return.
Willow sat next to Giles on the couch. She was working on her laptop, and he was reading a book. "I hope the protection spells hold better tonight," Willow said.
"The spell Wesley added to them today should help until we get a better physical barrier put up," Giles said as he turned a page.
"I can't believe the mayor wouldn't listen to you about the curfew." Willow shuddered. "Without Slayers here to fight the vampires and demons, it's not safe after dark anymore."
Giles put an arm around her and rubbed her shoulder. "They'll learn soon enough if we don't find Buffy and the others soon."
She leaned her head on his shoulder. "What are you reading?"
"Fred gave me a book on portals and dimensions. She thought it might help, but it's mostly math and physics. I can only understand about every fourth or fifth sentence."
Willow giggled. "I remember you said something like that about Buffy when you first met her."
Giles tilted his head to look at the laptop screen. "What are you working on tonight?"
She sighed. "I'm still trying to find any surviving Watchers or Slayers. The First couldn't have killed all the Watchers, right?" she asked uncertainly. "I mean there has to be some out there somewhere. You can't be the only one left."
"I don't know, Willow," he said.
"And the Slayers," she said. "Where are all the girls I made into Slayers? The ones in Sunnydale couldn't be all of them."
"We need to prepare ourselves for the possibility that they've been killed. Without Watchers to find and teach them, they wouldn't know what to do with their new powers." Giles sighed and tossed his book aside.
"Do you really think we'll find them, Giles?" Willow asked, closing her laptop. "I mean do you really believe it? It's been a long time. Sometimes I wonder if I still feel Kennedy at all. I wonder if I've just imagined it all along."
"I really believe we will find them," he assured her. "I still feel Buffy. Some days I can sense her so strongly that I feel she's trying to contact me. I can't give up on them."
"I'm just glad you're here," Willow whispered. "We'd all be lost without you."
"I'd be lost without you," Giles whispered.
Back to Michelle's Stories