quaggy: "Is This A Kissing Book?" (Skeptical)
Quaggy ([personal profile] quaggy) wrote in [community profile] summer_of_giles2017-06-16 06:58 pm

Fic: Kids Today

Title: Kids Today 
Author: [personal profile] quaggy 
Rating: PG/FRC
Setting: Comic!verse inspired 
Pairing(s): Nothing overt
Word Count: about 2000
Summary: Still the body of his younger self, Giles watches over Buffy after she too is de-aged.
Warnings: Nope
Notes: This takes roughly place sometime after Season 10 of the comics, but be warned, this is written by someone who has only skimmed the comics. That's why I say it's comic!verse inspired, not necessarily compliant. And a HUGE thank you to [personal profile] littleotter73  for the speedy beta. 

If you prefer, you will also find it on my DW and over here on AO3. I'm happy to receive feedback in any of these places.

Looking back, if he was honest, it had been a brilliant plan. Both a brilliant and horrifying plan. The Corporation could not stop Buffy, couldn’t kill her, and even if they could, she likely wouldn’t stay dead. She was, after all, “The Slayer That Wouldn’t Die”. (Lord, how Buffy had loathed that moniker, even if Dawn had tried to convince her that it was very Harry Potter.) The Corporation was used to having its way, but they had never encountered anyone like Buffy before. They couldn’t even take away her powers, though they tried. So, they had magically regressed her to an age where she was no longer a Slayer. To the best that they could tell, Buffy now was somewhere around fourteen, making her roughly a year older than he was.

The spell itself had been flawlessly executed. The results were quite similar to his own revival, though the mechanics were mostly likely different since he had been dead and Buffy was quite alive. Then again, they might have based the spell on the fact that Buffy had at one point been dead. It was difficult to know for sure, seeing as none of the Corporation were still around to ask.

What he had no way of knowing was if the Corporation had deliberately de-aged Buffy so that she would be easier to kill. They had cast the spell during a fight in a warehouse. It wouldn’t have taken much for them to realize that a child without any slayer healing would get hurt, perhaps fatally. He had to assume that it was an unfortunate oversight on their part, for his own peace of mind. Because if they had chosen that moment to cast the spell so that the child Buffy had become would die a violent and painful death, then Giles would regret that he had not made the members of the Corporation suffer more before he had killed them. Granted, killing them was perhaps not his wisest decision. But Buffy had been so still on the floor, he had thought the worst. That he had just witnessed her third and final death.

Dawn and Willow initially assumed that Buffy would only have memories from the time before she was Called, the only question being if she would recall the false memories that contained Dawn. But even before they found proof that Buffy’s de-aging mirrored his own, Giles had known that Buffy remembered him. He had been the first to her side when she had fallen and her eyes had grown calm when she saw him next to her. She might have even muttered his name. He couldn’t be sure. Because it was then that she had passed out and he had thought she was gone and that’s when he’d lost his head. He didn’t like talking about what happened in the warehouse. So, he left it to Dawn and Willow to figure things out for themselves.

Buffy being so wounded changed things. They had to bring her to the hospital. So, Willow had hacked into various databases to create a false identity for her, as much to hide Buffy’s vulnerable state as it was to avoid questions. Dawn had threatened her father to go along with the lies they created. So, Diana Joyce Summers was born.

They were originally going to go with Anne Elizabeth Summers, but Giles, privately thinking the name was stupid, had pointed out that it was too similar to her birth name to be effective camouflage. He had been the one to suggest Diana and Xander had liked it for the Wonder Woman reference. Truthfully, Giles didn’t think she should have been a Summers at all. It still would raise too many questions. He would have made her part of the Giles family. But they hadn’t consulted him in their scheming and he hadn’t been around much anyway. He had been with Buffy every moment the hospital staff would allow.

He had thought about playing the part of the young relative, arriving in his jeans and t-shirts, but he wasn’t her cousin. He was her Watcher and he was going to dress the part, so that when she woke up, she would, at the very least, recognize the uniform of her stalwart Watcher, holding fast to her side. That meant a tweed suit, complete with waistcoat and a book under his arm. And, most days, a small bouquet of daisies, since they never really lasted long. He never considered that the nurses would assume that he was her boyfriend, clucking over how sweet and serious he was, but he didn’t object when they did. It made them question his presence less.

Mostly, he read to her during his visits. He had stuck with books from her childhood, the ones she would then turn to comfort in high school. Anne of Green Gables had been a particular favorite of hers. He would occasionally find her in the stacks with the library’s battered copy and she would watch the adaptation whenever it was on television. (He’d never forget her look of horror when he’d admitted he had never read the books, after she had made some comment about how Anne would think the name Cordelia was a lot less romantic if she had ever had met their own.) He was almost through Anne of Avonlea and had brought along Anne of the Island, just in case.

He wasn’t sure how often she was conscious. Sometimes the only indication he had was when she would lightly squeeze his hand when he would reach a particular favorite passage of hers. But he did know those moments were becoming less and less, a very negative sign. She was dying. Giles knew it. The doctors knew it. He was fairly certain that even Buffy knew it. 

She rarely tried to speak, but, during his last visit, she had been determined.

“Gi…ess…sss…cy…” Her oxygen mask obscured her already weak voice. It took Giles a moment to figure out what she was trying to tell him. When he did, he gave a quick nod.

“Don’t worry. I’ll bring it,” he said with grave determination.

Buffy nodded and then slipped away to unconsciousness again, leaving him to ponder just how he was going to sneak a weapon like that into the hospital.

In the end, he had used a simple cloaking spell and slipped in after hours. He had been visiting long enough to know the hospital routine. Unless it was an emergency, nobody would check on her for several hours. But he hurried, just in case.

“Buffy, I’m here,” Giles whispered, taking her hand. He felt a light pressure from her hand in return and smiled, knowing that she was awake. He placed the Scythe beside her and wrapped both her hands around it. For a brief moment, Buffy seemed to glow. Her eyes snapped open.

“Giles….” she gasped. Her eyes locked with his, conveying a wealth of emotions that she could not voice.

“I know. Buffy, I have to leave now, but I’ll be back first thing in the morning, just as soon as they let me in. Try to sleep.”

She nodded and relinquished the Scythe without any objection. Giles tarried a moment, stroking her hair back from her forehead, until she relaxed and her breathing evened out. He slipped out as easily as he had come in.

She had improved dramatically after that, of course. She was strong enough to hold out a hand to him when the nurses finally let him come in, though she still looked tiny and frail.

“Feeling better, I see,” he grinned.

“Much,” she said, in a soft, tired voice. “Still pretty weak though.”

“You just rest then. I brought the Anne books. Shall I continue where we left off or shall I start again from the beginning?”

“From the beginning. Want to enjoy it.”

Giles nodded and settled in his usual spot. Only this time, Buffy was strong enough to take his hand herself and was able to laugh at all the appropriate places. It seemed liked no time had passed at all when the nurse entered.

“Visiting hours are over. Your boyfriend can come back later,” the nurse said. But Buffy held Giles’s hand even tighter and shook her head. It would have been no trouble to break her hold— she was still so frighteningly weak. But Giles had no intention of doing that.

“She doesn’t like hospitals. She’s had bad experiences before. Please, can’t I stay with her while she’s awake? It’s not fair to make her be by herself.”

“Please?” Buffy begged. Giles had noticed before that Buffy was keeping up the subterfuge that he was her boyfriend. She too probably realized how much easier it made things.

After a moment’s pause, the nurse agreed with a tolerant sigh and as she left Giles heard her mutter something about “kids today”. He and Buffy exchanged amused glances and then they returned to world of Anne and Marilla and Matthew. They spent the entire day that way. When the doctor did her rounds, she looked at Buffy’s chart in disbelief.

“I think you must be good medicine, young man,” she said to Giles. Giles tried not to laugh. The doctor was probably younger than he was, chronologically speaking.

“He is,” Buffy said with a grin. Her voice was growing stronger each passing hour and the nurse had even allowed her to sit up a short time ago.

“Keep this up and you’ll be home before you know it,” the doctor assured her.

“Can’t happen soon enough,” Buffy huffed. The older woman laughed and left their miracle patient and her devoted suitor alone.

A few days later, Buffy was indeed allowed to go home. Everyone gathered in Buffy and Dawn’s apartment. 

“Now, that you are home, we should discuss things,” Willow began. “Dawn and I have made some plans.”

“I’ve enrolled you in the local high school,” Dawn said. “You start next week.”

“You did what?!” Buffy was outraged.

“We had to,” Dawn defended. “You’re in the system now, because of your hospital stay. There’s social workers and all that stuff. Until we find a way to get you back to your normal age again, you have to play the part of Diana the normal teenage girl.

“Oh, great,” Buffy groaned.

“It’s for the best,” Willow said, soothingly. “I mean, you’re not a Slayer anymore and you might not even get called this time around.” 

“Yeah, about that. It a done deal,” Buffy said in a particularly flippant tone of voice, Giles hadn’t heard since before the final battle with the Master. He kept his expression serious and thoughtful, but it was hard not to laugh out loud.

“What do you mean?” asked Xander, confused.

“Don’t tell me you didn’t figure it out? I was on death’s door and now I’m fit enough to run a marathon.” Everyone looked at each other with unsure expressions, as if they couldn’t quite believe what Buffy was implying.

“She’s a vampire slayer,” Giles confirmed, putting them out of their misery.

“Reporting for duty!” Buffy agreed smugly. “I don’t think you can actually un-make a Slayer. My powers had probably just gone dormant. Giles smuggled in the Scythe for me. Once I touched it, it woke things up.”

“Well, until we can figure out how to make you the right age again….” Willow trailed off.

“I know. It’s the Adventures of Sunnydale High Redux,” Buffy sighed. “Well, it could be worse. At least I won’t be as bored as Giles is going to be.”

“Buffy, I won’t be there,” Giles objected.

“Of course, you are! Like I’m going to be stuck back in high school without you,” Buffy replied with a roll of her eyes. “Just because I’m a Slayer, doesn’t mean this body is ready to be one. I’m going to have to do some serious training before I’m even at the level that I was back in high school. And thanks to these guys, the majority of my day is going to be spent taking classes that I passed a decade ago. At least if you’re with me, we’ll be able to find ways of training together.”

It suddenly occurred to Giles that he had made a grave tactical error. Initially, he had felt sorry for everyone. They had been assuming that they were dealing with a young, uncertain teenager, when in reality this Buffy had all the unbowed will of her youth combined with the confidence that came with her hard-earned experience. But he had neglected the fact that he was in the most vulnerable position of all. Buffy had never been one to turn her back on an advantage and he had already proven himself to be her most loyal and trustworthy allies. She was never going to let him go.

He couldn’t help the satisfied grin spreading across this his face. He was doomed. Definitely doomed.

il_mio_capitano: (Default)

[personal profile] il_mio_capitano 2017-06-17 05:54 am (UTC)(link)
What a brilliant idea and so, so well executed! I was nervous about this but I shouldn't have been, it's just sweet and lovely. Thank you.
gilescandy: (Default)

[personal profile] gilescandy 2017-06-17 06:25 pm (UTC)(link)
Very well done. I don't follow the comics either, but this was sweet and very much them. I enjoyed it a lot!
horrorfangirl: Jonny Lee Miller as Sherlock Holmes (Default)

[personal profile] horrorfangirl 2017-06-18 04:44 pm (UTC)(link)
Nice job! I've only read one issue of the comics myself, never did care for them. But I like the way you have Giles still be protective of Buffy which leaves me to wonder if he will be a transfer student at Sunnydale High or wherever they are at this point.
dhw: (Default)

[personal profile] dhw 2017-06-20 08:35 pm (UTC)(link)
Ahhhh! Your de-aged Buffy fic! I've been looking forward to this ever since you first mentioned it! And what a fabulous fic - I wondered how you were going to do it, and having it done by her enemies in the hope that it would take away her 'slayer-iness' is a fantastic premise! =D

I love the idea that Slayers can't be unmade - and that Giles was able to figure out a lot fo what was going on way before the others did (potentially due to his shared experience with the whole de-aging thing). I also adored the idea that he thought that dressing like a Watcher (with a bunch of daises!) was the best thing to do in the circumstance! And I cannot tell you how much the idea of both Giles and Buffy having to go back to high school tickles me! I would read that high school AU any day! *grins*

He couldn’t help the satisfied grin spreading across this his face. He was doomed. Definitely doomed.

Hahaha, damn right, Giles! But doomed in the best sort of way.

Excellent work!
firthgal: (Default)

[personal profile] firthgal 2017-06-29 02:58 pm (UTC)(link)
This was a great! Loved the story idea and it was really well-executed, but now you've made me want a whole series of Buffy and Giles having high school adventures together. This de-aged version of them is absolutely adorable!
littleotter73: pondering (Default)

[personal profile] littleotter73 2017-07-07 03:59 pm (UTC)(link)
So there are so many little goodies in this brilliant fic. First off, the idea of de-aging Buffy was a lot of fun. And even though Giles figures out so many things, he is still a Watcher, after all, even if his is a teen himself. And I have to say I love the name Diana that he picked out. Possibly for the same reason as Xander...

But I also love the fact that it is Buffy, who even in the jaws of death, knows what it is that she needs to heal her. And Giles, he just *understands* when all she can do is say his name and barely get the partial word out.

And how thoughtful is Giles? Taking the time to dress in tweed so that she'll be comfortable with him when she wakes because if she recognises him, she'll recognise his role in her life. And the daisies and reading her favourite book aloud to her. No wonder the nurses mistook him for her boyfriend. Who wouldn't? They'd see his tweed suit as dressing up for his visits to see her. Too cute.

And of course she'd still be a Slayer. Destiny had Called her. Her name was already written by Fate. That cannot be undone.

Very well done. And it leaves a nice window open if you ever want to revisit this 'verse and have them go on some high school adventures together. I certainly would read a story of six. :)
the_huffster: (Default)

[personal profile] the_huffster 2017-07-13 09:59 pm (UTC)(link)
I really enjoyed this! So much so that I would love to see this idea further developed. I would read the adventures of mini-Giles and mini-Buffy all day long!