Actions

Work Header

The Watcher Watch Diary '98

Chapter Text

The Watcher Watch Diary ‘98

5/22/98 - Willow Rosenberg

I’m making this first entry in the book, well, because this is all my plan, and I want to make sure everyone knows what it’s for. This afternoon, after Xander and Cordy drive Giles home, I’ve called a meeting of the remaining Scoobies. We’ve all seen Giles doing his best, but anyone that even cares a little bit can see how much he’s struggling. During the meeting, I will outline the plan to help him, and those who want to will put it into action. Details of the meeting will be in the next entry.

This diary is to serve two purposes. First, it’s to record everything that needs to be done for Giles. That way, we won’t forget anything important. These notes will also include our observations. Anything we see that will help each other care for him. We’ve already discovered a couple ways to help reduce the stress he feels. This way we can share information without the risk of him overhearing us talk, and hopefully he won’t discover what we’re doing and fight against us.

The second purpose is to give us a place to write down our feelings if we need to. I have no doubt we all care about Giles, and it will only be those of us that do who will use this book. It’s hard for us to even wrap our heads around what he’s gone through. And, in order to help him, we’ll have to open ourselves up to more than we may be ready for. Try to remember, WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER. We’re doing this for Giles. Just think of what he’s been willing to do for all of us.

5/22/98 - Watcher-Watcher’s Meeting 1

Notes taken by: Oz

Attendees: Oz, Willow, Xander, Cordelia.

Minutes:

Willow calls the meeting to order. Goes over why we’re here.

Four days ago the library was attacked by vampires led by Drusilla. In the attack, Kendra was killed, Xander’s right arm was broken, Willow was crushed by a bookcase, she suffered head trauma and some bad bruising, and Giles was taken. Since then, we’ve sent Kendra’s body home to be buried. Xander is doing well with his arm. Willow is healing quickly, should be out of the wheelchair very soon.

Giles… We’ve found out that after he was taken, Angelus spent the whole night torturing him. The next morning, Xander went with Buffy and pulled him out while she fought the vamps. Giles is why we’re here. While the rest of us are recovering, he looks worse everyday. Buffy’s gone now. Nobody has heard from her since that morning. He’s worried about her. And we’re all worried about him. Earlier, Willow mentioned a touch of insomnia due to nightmares, and Giles commiserated. She’s sure he hasn’t slept since it all happened.

In order to get the best possible information to care for him, Willow and I hacked into his hospital records. We were looking for the medications he’s supposed to be taking. At this time, Willow has only listed some of the injuries described in his file for the group. I’ll admit, even I can’t imagine what that monster did to give him every injury they had to treat. Willow has stopped.

I’m pretty sure this is the first meeting I’ve been to where it was necessary to call a recess so everyone could cry.

Medications: (Simplified here for easy reference.)
Big Blue Caplets: For pain. Recommended to be taken every four hours, or as needed. We all know he’s not taking them and will likely fight us about it. (If you find a good trick, write it down!)

Big White Capsule: Anti-inflammatory. To be taken every four hours with the pain meds to help his joints heal.

Big White Round: Anti-biotic. Take one twice a day until gone. These might be the ones he takes without a problem. They must be afraid of an infection.

Little Yellow Round: Anti-anxiety. Recommended to take as need. Not sure yet why these were prescribed. Will need to find out.

Little White Round: For upset stomach. Take twice daily. To help with damage from the other drugs.

Medium Red Oval: For Sleep. Take before bed. Make him take these! Find some way to get them into him. Even if he doesn’t know. (Share helpful tricks.)

 

The Plan:

School lasts one more week. He does well in the library, but after that he’s going to need us. We don’t leave him alone. Someone will always happen to be around when he needs to go somewhere to help drive him. Also, we will find excuses to stay the night with him. Every night until we know he’s all right. This will be done alone or in pairs, as we fear too many at once will overwhelm him or give us away. We will do what needs to be done. It’s almost certain he won’t ask for, or even want, our help. So we have to be subtle but forceful. He won’t like it. Too bad!

Giles needs us.

Call for show of hands: those willing to enact the plan and be on call.

List of Official Watcher-Watchers:

Willow Rosenberg

Xander Harris

Daniel Osborne

Cordelia Chase

Meeting adjourned.

5/22/98 - Xander

Ok. The meeting just ended and Willow asked me to make the next entry in this book. I’m supposed to write about the last three days. So, I guess, here’s how it all went down.

After the library got hit, I came to in the hospital and they fixed up my arm. Willow was in a coma and the cops were looking for Buffy. It wasn’t ‘til Cordy showed up that we figured out something bad was going down with Giles. When Buffy finally called and filled us in, Willow was awake and hell bent on re-doing that damn spell. I went after Buffy to help her finally take down Angel.

It was my job to find Giles and get him out. While Buffy fought the vamps, that’s what I did. When I found him… I’m glad none of the girls were with me. Not that they couldn’t have taken it, but no one should have to see someone they care about like that. When I first made it into the room they had him in, I thought my heart stopped. He was tied to that chair with his head down, and so pale and very still. I thought I was too late. I thought I was about to be dragging a body out of that god-dammed house. But, then he moved and moaned, and it was all I could do to make my muscles do what they had to. I can’t even describe here what it smelled like in there… What it felt like… All I wanted to do was hurl.

It might be important for you guys to know that when he saw me, at first, he didn’t believe I was really there. He said that they made him see things. Things he wanted to see. I said the first stupid thing that came into my head, but it worked. I untied him and got him out past the fight.

We got as far down the street as we could, but Giles really couldn’t walk and he’s too heavy for me to carry far. Luckily, I was able to wave down a car. The nice lady bought the story that my uncle was attacked and helped me get him to the hospital.

They made me wait out in the hall while they checked him over. Most of me was glad. The big guy had enough to worry about without me breaking down in front of him. I thought I was going to make it, stay strong, but then I heard the scream. I’ve never heard Giles scream before. We’ve all seen him take plenty of crap, but he never screamed. I’ve never heard anyone scream like that. It was the kind of sound you make when you have nothing left to make sound with. You know what I mean? But it echoed around me. I didn’t have any knees anymore and ended up on the floor crying. That’s where Cordy found me. She didn’t laugh or make a joke. She just held me. When the nurse came out, she took pity and told us that they had to put Giles’ hip back into joint and it was a very painful process. The bastard dislocated his hip! I didn’t even know that was possible.

A few minutes, or hours, it was all a nightmare blur, later, they wheeled him by on a gurney. He had to go into surgery to get his left hand put back together. Me and Cory went to wait in Willow’s room. When he came back out, a nice nurse let me go sit with him. I could tell she didn’t believe the uncle story, but she took pity on me. Besides, she said, “it would only do him good to see a familiar face when he came out of the anasti”—you know, when he woke up.

When he finally did, he asked me one question, “Where’s Buffy?” You all know I love Buffy, but the longer she’s gone, the more I want to… I don’t know, but Giles and her mom don’t deserve this.

You guys could probably hear what happened next from Willow’s room. It took a couple hours for the grogginess to wear off, then it was all ‘enough of this’ and going mad-Watcher on the hospital staff. Those poor doctors… had no idea how bad they were out matched in that battle of wills.

The pain was so bad, he didn’t even fight it when I went over to help him get dressed. Maybe he was just too busy arguing with everyone else to notice me. That same nice nurse showed up with a bag of all his meds while the docs were still trying to make him stay. Guess she knew a lost battle when she saw it. Finally, they got down to saying he needed a wheelchair for his hip. The big guy made them get him a crutch. We all know how bullheaded Giles can be, but at that time, watching it made me want to hug him, just because I knew at least part of him was still as strong as it ever was. Between the crutch and my shoulder he was up and mobile again. The first place he asked me to lead him was Willow’s room. You guys know what happened there, hugs, tears, worrying… Then Cordy drove me and Giles to his place.

The next day was Monday. We assumed he would skip school, but he made it clear he wasn’t going to. We talked him into letting us pick him up in the morning. The fact his car was still at the school made that argument easier.

Back to that night, we were so worried about him. At least the hospital got all the filth from that terrible place off him when they took him in for surgery. I’m not sure what we would have done if he’d got it into his head to try a shower or something. We got him settled in his chair and made him comfortable enough to rest for a while. Cordy said he wouldn’t be able to handle the stairs with his hip, so she made up the couch for him while he dozed. No one can say my girl loses her head when it’s important. I found some soup in his fridge and warmed it up for him. They had to sew up the roof of his mouth, and I though the soup would go down easy. While Giles dozed, he kept mumbling that he was sorry to Buffy. I’m not sure yet what they did to him, but I think he said something and now he feels like everything is his fault. Damn it, Buffy, where are you?

You all know he wasn’t happy with us taking care of him when he woke up. He grumbled that he didn’t need “nursemaids fussing over him”. I just told him that the grumpier he got, the more us nursemaids would fuss. That was at least enough get him to let us get some soup into him and settle him on the couch before we left. God, leaving him like that was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but I knew he needed time to himself and pushing him any more that night would have made things worse.

We got there early the next morning. Both me and Cordy didn’t sleep well because of nightmares. Plus, we were worried and thought Giles would need some help getting ready. Willow, I’ve never been so glad you have Oz looking out for you. You are just as bullheaded as our Watcher-man and I don’t know what I’d do if it was just me trying to take care of both of you. I did help him get dressed, and Cordy fixed us some oatmeal. With breakfast, she laid out all the pills he was supposed to take. She also put out the ones for my arm with my bowl. That way it just looked like she was taking care of her wounded boys. And it worked. I took mine and he took his. I kinda think the big guy has a soft spot for the girls and they might have more luck getting him to look after himself. At the very least, both our girls can match him when it comes to a glaring contest. When it’s this important anyway.

On the way to school he wanted to stop at the mansion. I knew it was coming. We had a plan, and Cory kept him busy checking over the statue while I went into ‘that’ room before he could think about it. It was just how we left it. Nothing changed, except that morning I added a pile of puke to the corner. There was no way I was letting Giles go back in that place. Thankfully, he was happy with my report. He also thinks the sword in the statue has shifted. I’m thinkin’ that means Buff sent Angelus to hell. After what he did, I can’t help hoping so. I hope he’s in a place where a hundred little Xanders spend all day kicking his evil ass. I know you tried, Willow, but you weren’t there to see what he did to our Watcher.

After that, we all met up at the school. Giles, of course, refusing to use his crutch or the sling for his hand. At least Willow was in her wheelchair. And no Buffy. My hand’s cramped up now, so I hope I covered most of what you guys need to know. He needs us, whether he wants to admit it or not. We can do this for him.

5/23/98 - Cordelia Chase

I suppose it’s my turn for this. So far, Willow’s plan seems to be working. Last night I dropped Xander off outside Giles’ place. He was going to give some story about his parents fighting and needing someplace quiet the crash for the night. I think it worked, because he never called me to go back and get him. We haven’t been able to talk without Giles around yet, so, if anything new happened, he’ll have to write it down for us later.

Anyway, here’s what happened with me today. I’m the only one with a free period before lunch, so, as we planned, I went to the library to make sure Giles was taking his pills. Of course, I had to set them up and watch him take them as usual. He keeps saying he wants to be alert if Buffy calls, but we’ve already seen that the pain pills don’t make him groggy or anything. You know, I think he wants to use the pain to punish himself. Like he has to make amends for some reason. He’s the one that was tortured, for God’s sake. What is it with men?

So, while I was in the library, Buffy’s mom showed up. She was like this crazy harpy, waving a note around and screaming at him. We finally worked out that the note was left by Buffy and she had written that Giles would explain the whole Slayer thing. It took her mom a couple days to remember who Giles was. Leave it to Buffy to drop everything in his lap, again.

You guys should have heard the awful things that woman was accusing Giles of. Now I know where Buffy gets her sanctimonious, holier-than-thou ‘tude. She was worse than that cop I had to set right on Monday. You know, I’m pretty good at spotting a sleaze bag when I see one. How can these people look at Giles and think he would do such things?

Buffy’s mom just kept shrieking at him. Accusing him of being all kinds of inappropriate with her daughter. Asking if Buffy gave him his injuries while she was fighting him off. And Giles just stood there and took it. He hung his head like he’d done everything she accused him of. Then she threatened to go to Snyder and get him fired, then call the police.

I held my tongue as long as I could, waiting for him, but damned if I’m gonna stand by and let a good man like Giles take that. He may be a king of losers, but he’s a good guy, you know.

So, I set her straight. Just like I did that cop before. I told her that Giles would never do any of the things her depraved imagination was coming up with. And what does that say about her anyway? I told her that, if it wasn‘t for Giles, her daughter, along with the rest of us, would be long dead several times over. Then I told her that he’d be all over going after her AWOL daughter if he wasn’t busy recovering from everything her ‘precious little angel’s’ psycho boyfriend did to him. She backed off pretty quick when I started talking about what Buffy let happen to him. Giles didn’t let me go very far once I got to that point, though. It was only because she looked like she might apologize to him that I stopped, for his sake.

She calmed down and Giles started to talk to her about how she could help in his plans to find Buffy. When I was sure he had everything under control, I left to get some food. Just thought you guys should know in case she got another bug up her butt. God, what is it with the Summers genes?

5/24/98 - Xander

I see that Cordy wrote something about me staying with Giles yesterday. Sorry I didn’t get a chance. Right now is the first time I’ve managed to hide in the stacks long enough to write anything. You guys are with him now. I can hear you joking around, trying to cheer him up. I hope you at least get a smile.

So, I’ve spent the last two nights at Giles’ place. Gave him a story that my folks were at each other again and I was hoping for a quiet place to get ready for finals. He seemed to buy it, said he was “glad that I was putting forth the effort”. Gotta tell you though, nights with the G-man right now aren’t as peaceful as they used to be. Willow was right about the nightmares. Even with the sleeping pills he’s woken up at least twice every night. Helpful tip… When he starts screaming, no one with a heart could not go and try to wake him. I think, even from a dead sleep, I took those stairs three at a time. But, when you do wake him, keep an eye on all the arms and legs. I’m thinking, because he couldn’t fight back before, he tries twice as hard now. More than once he’s knocked me down.

Oh, he talks in his sleep, too. Things that Angelus told him and did to him. I’ll warn you, just listening was enough to give me new nightmares. I don’t suggest doing much eavesdropping. But, I know, if we want to help him, the more we know the better. Hoping to have time to write down more of what I’ve learned later.

One more thing. Last night, after I woke him, he fell right back to sleep. I was so exhausted, I didn’t make it back down to the couch and fell asleep propped up on the bed beside him. The thing is, I think just having someone near him helped, because he slept the rest of the night. Gotta say, other than a kink in the neck when I woke up, it helped me too. For once I didn’t dream about finding him dead. Now, I’m not saying we should all start crawling into bed with the big guy, he might not go for that, but maybe we can figure something out to use that knowledge to help him.

And the pills… I told him that I need to take my pills at the same times he does, and that I forget and I can handle the pain without them anyway. He wouldn’t hear of that. Now he takes his just to make sure I take mine. How’s that for your backwards psycho-crap, Willow?

Gotta go…

5/24 - Xander again

We just talked Giles into letting Oz crash at his place tonight. The girls thought I could use a break. I guess it is wearing on me a little. So, Oz told him his building was getting bug bombed, and Willow start saying how she wished her parents where leaving sooner so he could stay with her, and she somehow talked Giles into offering his couch. Sometimes I think the big guy’s just as helpless against her as the rest of us.

Anyway, Oz, there are still a few bandages that need to be changed in places he can’t easily reach. They’re on his back and a couple at the back of his thighs that he can’t really see. Wrapping up the hand that had surgery can be hard for him, too. He won’t ask you, so you have to find a way to get him to let you help him. For me, I just stepped in and started doing it before he could argue. And, all of you should be warned, his bruises are really dark now. I don’t know what the bastard beat him with, but when you get him to lift his shirt or anything, just trying not to make a big deal. He gets upset. I think he worries most that we worry about him.

And I said I’d write about his dreams… So far, it’s been a lot of just plain screaming in pain. But there are times he seems to be begging. And I don’t think he’s begging for himself. He says things like, “take me instead” and “leave her alone” and “they’re only children”. My best guess is, while Angelus was hurting him, he was also telling Giles about what he planned to do to Buffy and the rest of us. Now, he sees it all happening in his dreams. I’m more sure than ever that having one of us near him can only be of the good. I just hope we don’t screw up so bad he’ll try to push us away.

That’s all I can think of to help you right now. Good luck, Wolfman.

5/25/98 - Oz

It’s Saturday. I’m sitting in the waiting room of Giles’ surgeon. I think, when he was telling me he had an appointment today, he was expecting me to just take my leave this morning. He argued a little when I offered to give him a lift, told me I didn’t have to bother. I think the fact that his car is a manual and is still hard to drive with his hand made it easier to convince him it was no problem for me. So, he’s in having that hand looked at now. I hope the doc gives him good news. I’m starting to think I get Giles. And losing function in a hand would take things away from me that I wouldn’t like to lose. I’m sure it’s the same for him.

Last night went well. I took my guitar with me and we had a good time talking music and some other things. You guys should try sitting down to talk with the man sometime, there’s more to him than just the Watcher thing.

I helped him with his bandages. Just stepped in and did it like Xander said. One thing I noticed was that he was tense the whole time I was touching him. It’s my guess he’s the same with Xander, too. This may be because he’s in pain or not used to people touching him, but I have another idea. I think it’s time we send in the girls. I’m not saying Giles doesn’t trust us not to hurt him. I think it’s our hands. The last male hands to spend time focused on touching him did nothing but cause him pain. I’m just thinking, maybe he’ll relax more with a different kind of touch.

As Xander warned, he did start screaming in the middle of the night. I agree, it’s tough to hear Giles scream. I mean, he’s the steady one, the one that has the answers when nothing makes sense. To hear him go through that kind of stuff is… intense.

I found my trick to get him to take his pills. I couldn’t use Xand’s and he just raised an eyebrow at me when I went the Cordy route. So, I just told him that the girls made me promise to make him take them, and, if he didn’t, they’d know it to look at me. Funny how he completely understood me not wanting to have Wil and Cordy mad at me. I think Xander’s right about the girls being able to get to him.

He was up early this morning. Made lots of phone calls. He’s getting in touch with all his contacts, trying to find any leads on Buffy. I think we’d better be prepared that he’ll want to start trying to go after her before he’s fit to travel. I don’t know how we’d stop him, but we’ll have to keep an eye open for that.

You guys are going to meet us at his place for lunch. I agree that this is working. Now doubt, Giles is a private guy, but he does seem to calm when some of us are around.

5/25/98 - Willow

We were all over at Giles’ for lunch when something happened. I know everyone was there, but I feel it should be recorded anyway.

We were cleaning up the dishes, and Giles went to sit in his chair and read a book. I sent Xand out with a fresh cup of tea for him. When the rest of us followed, Oz tapped my shoulder and leaned his head towards Giles. It took me a few seconds to notice what he was sensing. I think it’s a wolfy thing. But, Xander was just standing there reading over Giles’ shoulder. Giles had gone pale. I could see him almost getting smaller in the chair. He was starting to sweat and the tea in his cup showed that his hand was trembling.

I went to him. I knew he didn’t want us to notice, but I couldn’t help it. I knelt down in front of him and I asked him what was wrong. He wouldn’t tell me. It was Cordy who figured it out. She said, sometimes her mom got panic attacks and some looked a lot like this. And now we know what the anti-anxiety pills are for. Cordy went and got them but he wouldn’t take anything from me.

The way he looked at me frightened me more than any demon we’ve ever faced. Like he didn’t want to see me there. Like he didn’t trust me. I never knew until that moment how much his trust means to me. Then he said, “I won’t let you use Willow to make me hurt them.” A second later he called me Drusilla. He said, “I know it’s you.”

Now I understand. After Angel told Buffy what he did to Drusilla, I helped look her up in the Watcher Diary’s. We found that, since Spike had a thing for Slayers, a few Watchers had encountered Dru, too. They wrote about her having powers that vampires didn’t normally possess. Like some prophetic ability, and the ability to get into people’s minds. One Watcher wrote that he and his Slayer had rescued one of her victims, but the girl’s mind was so badly damaged that she was only fit for life in an asylum. If Dru used these powers on Giles, it explains why he doesn’t trust his senses, and why he thinks he failed Buffy.

When I realized all this, I started doing anything I could think of to convince Giles we wouldn’t hurt him. I took his hands in mine and said, “Feel, they’re warm. Vampires don’t have warm hand.” He told me I could trick his senses. Then, I noticed him taking quick glances up at Xand. And it hit me that that had to be what set it off. Xander standing over him. If Angel had him tied to a chair, he must have stood over him like that a lot. I asked Xand and everyone else to get down and kneel around him. Luckily, I think everybody caught on and did it without arguing. After that, I had Cordy put her hands on Giles shoulder and arm, reasoning Dru only had two hands and he could feel four. Giles argued Angelus was there, too. So, we continued with Xander and Oz, all of us gently touching him.

I could see in his eyes how badly he wanted to believe we were real, so I asked him again to take his pills. In the smallest voice I’ve ever heard from Giles, he asked, “Will they kill me?” That question nearly killed me. I wanted to curl up in his lap and cry until he told me everything would be okay, but that couldn’t happen. I’m the one that has to tell him right now. So I asked, “Do you want them to?” Then he whispered my name and took the pills.

I could feel his pulse slow, see him calm down. He even almost smiled at me. We got him a cool cloth to rinse his face and a new cup of tea. Then, knowing he was embarrassed that we all saw it, we quietly left him alone to rest for a while. Someone will go back for the night shift, but he needs time to himself.

I’m out of the wheelchair now, almost back to my old self. Soon, I can start taking care of him, too. That’s what I need to be doing.

5/26/98 - Cordelia Chase

I got Giles duty last night. I don’t really mind, it’s not like I’m being invited to the good parties anymore. I said I’d help out, and Cordelia doesn’t go back on her word.

So, I showed up last night, Giles opened the door, and proceeded to ask why I was there. He might fool the rest of you, but I know the man’s not stupid. If he hasn’t figured out what we’ve been doing, they should take his Watcher’s license away. So, I told him it was my turn to baby-sit a friend that needs a little help right now. He argued, of course, and I ignored him and went in to start fixing him dinner. You know, a little later I swear I caught a glimpse of him smiling at me. It’s as I say, everyone likes to be pampered every now and then.

He fought me when it was time to check his bandages. But, when Cordelia Chase sets her mind to something, not even a stubborn Brit can stop her. God, his back… I know you guys tried to warn me, but I’ve never seen that much damage on one person before. It was almost too much… Well, anyway, I did the major wounds. They’re still ugly, but the new tissue seems to be coming in well. He was tense at first, but I didn’t stop with the bandages. His back just looked so sore. I hooked his shirt up over his shoulders and started to lightly rub his back. At first, I think he wanted to tell me it wasn’t proper for him to get a massage from a student, or some lame thing like that. But, I’ve had enough of them in my life to know what feels good. It’s strangely gratifying to reduce such an eloquent, well-spoken man to groans and whimpers. Having one of us rub his back might not be the most proper thing in his uptight world, but he sure needed it. By the time I was done, he was relaxed enough to go right to sleep. Willow, hook up with me tomorrow at school and I’ll show you the muscle groups he needs the most work on.

I hopped him up pretty well on his sleeping pills last night. I think I gave him the maximum safe dosage on the bottle. Don’t worry, my mom takes twice that all the time. It’s just, the thought of screams in the night don’t appeal to me like the rest of you freaks. But he did scream. By the time I got up stairs it had turned into crying. He was whimpering, “If you killed them why not me, too?” Xander was right, that evil psycho had the poor guy convinced the rest of us were all dead. I didn’t wake him. Somehow, I knew he wasn’t ready for anyone to see him like that yet. Especially with what happened earlier that day. I quietly sat by him on the bed and put a hand on his back. Hey, did you guys know Giles likes to sleep on his stomach? Guess it’s not something most kids wonder about their librarian. So, I put a hand on his back and began to gently rub again, trying to get him back to that calm place I had him in before he fell asleep. It seemed to work. He settled down and started breathing normally. I don’t like it, guys. I don’t like Giles being hurt and upset. I don’t like seeing it. I don’t like caring this much. And I sure as hell don’t like sitting alone in the dark crying!

And, by the way, his couch sucks to sleep on. I guess I’m the one that’ll have to fix that, too.

This morning I helped Giles pick out some new glasses from a catalog. He was gonna go back to those round things that make him look surprised most the time. Or, maybe that’s just him trying to figure out what we’re talking about. Anyway, they had this awesome rock star looking pair that I bet would look pretty hot on him. It’s hard to tell when he’s all buttoned up tight, but he could work it for an old guy if he loosened up a little. And, Xander Harris, if reading any of this makes you jealous, you’re dumber than I give you credit for. Giles wasn’t going for the rock star look though. We finally found a soft rectangular shape that should work well with his facial features. I bet Miss Calendar would have loved him in them. Of course, I didn’t tell him that. I can’t stand that look he gets in his eyes when anyone mentions her name.

While we were doing that, I think I solved another one of our mysteries. I hate to tell you guys, we’ve all learned enough for a lifetime of nightmares as is. But, we all promised to write everything down. Giles and I were having a nice time with picking out the glasses, so I tried to make a joke. I said that vampires had no class at all, breaking a man’s glasses. He agreed, but I saw that look in his eyes. You now, the shift when he goes back to that night for a split second. When he did, I saw him run his tongue along the stitches in the roof of his mouth. I think that’s what happened. He probably said something the psycho didn’t like, and that bastard tried to make him eat his own glasses. How sick is that? I don’t know about you, but at this point I’m hoping never to see Angel again.

5/27/98 - Willow

Okay, so we left Xander at the school to help drive Giles home when he finishes his work. Oz, Cordy, and I have just left Cordy’s house. Her mother is redecorating their den, and she said we can do what we want with this big, comfortable recliner that’s practically new. It really is comfy. Xand might hang off a little, but it will be perfect for the rest of us. It’s in the back of the van now. We’re taking it to Giles’ place.

The plan is to put it in his room. That way we won’t have to mess with the stairs in the middle of the night. It’s also so I can start staying. The guys are still a little worried that I might be a little unsteady trying to hurry on those stairs. Who knows if Giles is gonna let us put the chair up there? I know we’re kinda invading his space. But haven’t we been doing that anyway? He must know we’re just trying to help.

We’re here. Here goes nothing…

CONT. - Willow

We did it! They got there the same time we did, so there was no sneaking it in. Likely a good thing, since it took Oz and Xand to get it up the stairs. Giles offered to help, but we wouldn’t let him.

At first, Giles really didn’t think it was a good idea. I don’t blame him, he likes his privacy. We promised we weren’t planning on hanging out up there or anything. We just wanted to be there, hoping that having someone close will help him sleep better. He couldn’t deny that a full night’s sleep was something he’d begun to think of as a fantasy. I think he was trying to make a joke when he asked which one of us was planning to brave the first night in the old man’s cave. I told him I was. He must have seen it in my eyes that he could have argued all he wanted and not changed my mind. He finally just nodded and gave me the tiniest smile. Like he finally understood that I needed him close as much as he needed me. We can get through this together. I like the sound of that.

Tomorrow’s the last day of school. Well, it is for us. I know Giles and the faculty still have a few more days of work to do. But, it will be hard for all of us to hang out in the library with him when it’s summer break. I’m thinking I could probably get away with hanging around to help him, what with my wonder-nerd credentials and all. The rest of the gang might look suspicious. And Snyder is already looking for ways to give Giles a hard time anyway. We’ll have to be extra careful.

5/28/98 - Willow

It’s about three in the morning. Right now I’m on the bed. Giles still has his arms wrapped tight around me, but he’s sound asleep. Hopefully, having the gurgles of my belly under his ear will ease his fears a little. I managed to get the diary and my little reading light out of my bag without waking him. It’s a miracle I got him back to sleep, but I’m not expecting any more for me tonight after what he told me.

It started out to be a good night. We had dinner and read for a long time. Giles is one of those people you can just be with quietly and still have a nice time. When it was time, he went up to get ready for bed and I changed in the bathroom. I waited ‘til he called that he was settled and went up to the recliner with my pillow and blanket. I could tell he was still nervous about having me so close at night, but we managed not to stutter each other silly as we said good night and turned the lamps off.

I’d read what all of you have written. I thought I was ready for it. I mean, it’s not like I’ve never heard a man scream before, what with the fighting evil and all. But, this was different, it was Giles. It’s like pain is just the least of what makes up the sound. He also sounds so utterly sad, so helpless, so discouraged. It’s like a combination of all the things inside him that he never dares show any of us. All the things he spends all his time protecting us from.

I’ll admit that when the first one woke me I couldn’t move. It was like my heart went cold and everything I ever feared before amounted to nothing more than kid stuff. But, then he started crying out my name. God, I’ve never heard anyone say my name with such desperation, such terror. I had to go to him, to stop whatever he was seeing. I shook him, unsure of what to expect. When he finally opened his eyes, he looked at me with such wild fear. I’ve never seen that kind of emotion in those eyes. Then it was like it suddenly clicked that I was there, and real, and whole. And he grabbed a hold of me, pulled me into his arms, and held on like he feared I was going to disappear. In the middle of the night, in the dark, Giles held onto me and cried. I guess it should have felt weird, holding and rocking a grown man, stroking his hair, crying with him, but it didn’t. I could feel how much he needed it, someone to share his misery with. Somehow, I’m sure he never would have chosen me in the light of day, but tonight it was just us alone in the dark. Even though it hurts, I’m glad for it. Glad to be here for him.

When he finally calmed, I asked him what he was dreaming. He didn’t want to tell me. I said that it would help him to talk about it, that he didn’t have to go through it alone anymore. He was quiet for a long time with his head buried in my shoulder. Then, when I thought he had gone back to sleep, he started whispering, telling me his dream. It was about what Angelus said he was going to do to me in front of Giles. I’m going to write down what he told me as best I can. As you might tell, my hands are still shaking thinking about it. I’ll clearly mark the beginning and the end of the dream so any of you can skip it if you feel the need. It’s pretty graphic. I hope you don’t mind the third person story format. I’ve thought about how to do this for a long time, and detaching myself is the only way I’ll ever get through it.

GILES’ DREAM

Giles was tied to the chair, his hands strapped painfully behind his back as he came to for the, he didn’t know how many, time that night. As he tried to focus, Angelus grinned at him.

“Hey, Rupert Buddy. You gotta stop checking out on me like that. All the waiting around for you to decide to be conscious is really getting kinda boring.”

“Sorry to… inconvenience … you,” Giles breathed.

“No worries. Truth is, I have a nice little present for you.”

Giles waited silently, steadying himself for whatever the vampire had in store for him next. With a cocky bounce in his step, Angelus went to the door and quickly returned dragging a bound and gagged girl behind him.

“No,” the Watcher shook his head, refusing to believe what his eyes were telling him.

“What’s the matter? I thought you’d be happy to see her.” Angelus held the prisoner’s face up in a vice-like grip, making Giles stare into the frightened eyes of Willow. “See, I’ve been thinking. All the other Slayers I’ve come across just had their Watchers, but yours has a whole little troop of these guys. Now, it’s your job to put a stop to that, and since you haven’t, you must like having the little ones around, too. And I’m willing to bet your life that this one’s your favorite.”

“No,” Giles shook his head emphatically. “She’s not. Just a nuisance that I can’t get rid of.” He shut his eyes against the hurt that crossed Willow’s face, praying she’d one day understand he was only trying to protect her.

“Oh, is that right?” Angelus clucked his tongue. “Guess you won’t care what I do with her then.” He began dragging Willow away by the neck.

“Just let her go,” Giles howled. “Do what you will to me, but let her be.”

The vampire grinned widely. “It’s not nice to try to lie to me, Rupert. Now I have to decide which one of you to punish for that.”

“Please… you have me. You’ve no need for her.”

“I have an idea. Instead of punishing you, I’d rather give you a reward.” Giles fought down the urge to cry as the vampire took the gag from Willow’s mouth and cut the ropes at her hands. “Now,” he whispered to her, “you’re going to do everything I tell you. And for every time you disobey me, I’ll have to punish you by breaking one of your friend here’s fingers.”

Willow looked desperately at Giles. “Please don’t,” she whimpered. “I’ll obey.”

“It would seem you’ve trained her well,” Angelus laughed. “First, I want you to kneel in front of him. Go on, scoot right up close. He’s not going anywhere.” Willow did as she was told. She was looking up at Giles, kneeling between his knees. “Very good. I wonder, how far have you gone with that werewolf boyfriend of yours? I’m willing to bet you’ve never even looked at a man before. Well, here’s your chance.”

“Please don’t make her do this. She’s an innocent.”

“And we both know what innocents are good for. Don’t we, Ripper?” Giles winced at the friendly pat on his shoulder. “Willow, I want you to unfasten his pants. Go ahead. Undo the belt and unzip him.”

Giles stared into her frightened eyes. “You don’t have to, Willow. He’s going to hurt me anyway. Nothing he does is your fault.”

The vampire moved slightly next to him and twisted one of his fingers harshly, causing the Watcher’s breath to catch. Willow went quickly about the task of opening his pants.

“That’s a good girl. Now, go ahead and take him out.” The redhead looked up with questioning eyes. “No one’s that innocent. You know what I mean.” He bent his face closer to hers. “Either you do it, or I will. And, if I do it, I will most certainly hurt him.”

“But, I…” she whispered in a small voice and turned her eyes up to Giles. “I don’t want to hurt you.”

He swallowed hard, his need to kill this vampire boiling inside him as it never had before. But, he kept the calm in his voice reserved just for the girl. “Your gentle touch can never hurt me, Willow. You don’t need to do anything you don’t want to. This pillock brought you in here because he knows he’ll never break any of us regardless of what he does.”

“Enough of the pep talks!” Angelus stretched a cold hand down between them, but Willow lashed out at it without thinking, possessively batting it way form its target. The vampire only grinned and motioned for her to proceed.

Giles closed his eyes, bracing for the unthinkable contact. He felt her soft, tentative hand slide beneath the material of his shorts and stop uncertainly as it reached its mark. His stomach jumped and twisted. He felt sick at his own animalistic wave of pleasure that came with her light touch. His hips shifted of their own accord, helping her bring him out into full view of the room.

“Very good,” the vampire purred. “And impressive, Rupert, for an English dog, of course. Do any of these girls know you’re hung like that?”

Giles clenched his jaw and ground out, “Of course they do, you Irish twit. Didn’t you know they all take turns servicing me every week?”

Angelus laughed as Willow’s eyes went wide but stayed glued on the newly discovered male anatomy laid out before her. “And here I thought you were a blushing virgin,” he quipped in her ear.

“But I… I…”

“It’s all right, Willow,” Giles breathed. “Everything will be fine.”

“Sure it will,” the vampire laughed. “We only have one problem. He’s not ready to fully participate yet. Why don’t you see what you can do about that?”

“I’m not going to let you use my body to hurt her,” the Watcher growled.

“Your body? I just thought you’d like to be a little more invested when you watch me fuck her in front of you.”

Willow whimpered, shaking with fear. “No… please,” she cried, clutching onto Giles for dear life.

“Don’t worry…” Angelus laughed. “If you can get him into it, maybe I’ll let you put him in your mouth.”

Giles twisted his wrists against the rough ropes binding him, focusing on the pain as Willow’s hot, panting breath wafting over him threatened to draw a response from his body. He was desperate to spare her even the least bit of humiliation possible.

“Go on, touch him. Every teenage girl I’ve ever come across loved the opportunity to explore the forbidden. I’ve seen you look at him. I know you’ve wondered what it’d be like to touch.”

“Please, don’t make me.” Willow stared up into Giles eyes. He could see the fear in her tear-filled gaze, but that wasn’t holding her back as much as the need not to be the source of his torment.

“Geez, Girl, this is the easy part!” Angelus grabbed her hand and shoved it down onto Giles’ exposed member, squeezing roughly. The pain that shot through Giles never made it to his eyes, still fixed on Willow’s. The small well of courage churning inside her giving him strength. “Now, rub!” She left her hand still, using it to cover him instead of bring the shame their enemy was searching for.

Only a few minutes passing was all it took for the vampire to run out of patience. He barley kept the jovial tone in his voice as he said, “Ah, Rupert, I didn’t peg you for a guy that can’t stand at attention. Well, if you’re not gonna offer her any kind of tasty treat, I guess she’ll have to settle for mine.” Angelus growled in frustration when neither prisoner looked at him. “Fine, you want to gaze into each other’s eyes, be my guest.”

The vampire stood behind Willow and, hooking his hands into her hips, lifted her to her feet. He hurriedly bent her forward, placing her hands on Giles’ knees.

“Don’t,” Giles pleaded in a shaky whisper, still captured in the emerald eyes.

“Oh, you better keep your eyes on this, Old Man. You’re gonna watch everything I do to her, Watcher. And if you dare look away even for a second, it will be ten times worse for her.”

“I’m so sorry,” he whispered to the young girl inches from his face. “I should have protected you from this.”

He watched her eyes go wide with pain and flood with tears, a strangled scream caught in her throat as the demon behind her plunged in, ripping through her virgin flesh. Waves of nausea washed over him, but he didn’t dare look away, unable to fathom what more the vampire could do to her. Tears streamed down Willow’s face. She was forced forward, her head coming to rest against his chest. He saw a smile spread on cursed lips and the demon’s true face emerge as it grunted its orgasm. Then it looked into his eyes.

“You know what, Rupert. I was looking forward to savoring your blood myself. But now, I’m thinking you’ll make a much better first meal for her.” He savagely grabbed Willow by the hair and yanked her upright, burying his fangs in her neck.

“Willow!!!”

END GILES’ DREAM

Giles told me that after Angelus described in every detail how he was going to rape me and make him watch, he laughed and said, “Too bad I can’t. My men left the poor girl crushed under a pile of your books. But, maybe we’ll have some fun with the brunette.” He made Giles believe I was already dead.

It makes me so mad that he used me to torture Giles like that, even when I wasn’t there. I never say Angel’s name in front of him anymore. I don’t talk about the spell or any of that stuff. It’s all too much. Seeing so much sadness in his eyes.

Looks like I’ve accomplished my goal of not going back to sleep tonight. Sunlight is starting to peak through the window. Funny how I managed to not think about it by writing it in detail. Now I’m going to try getting back to the chair without waking Giles. It’s one thing to confide in the only person around when it’s dark, but I don’t think waking up like this with me will help him. He might not even remember talking to me last night. Part of me hopes he doesn’t.

I’m not sure how we’ll do it, but we’re going to get him through this. We have to.

5/28/98 - Xander

Willow handed off the book to me and went to her last class. I’m sitting here in the middle of the school courtyard and I can’t scream. I can’t hit something or break something. I can’t do anything I feel like doing after reading what Willow wrote last night. Reading what Giles went through. FUCK ANGEL!!! He couldn’t just stick to breaking the big guy’s bones and messing him up physically. He had to go for the major mind fucks, too. God, I hate that son of a bitch. I hate him for everything he did to Giles, and I hate him for even thinking about touching my Willow. And my Cordy. I can’t… I can’t think about this anymore.

I volunteered to be a library assistant today. Snyder gave me that look again. I’m sure you guys know the one. It’s that one where we’re supposed to be too immature to want to help around school. The one where he can’t understand why we would give a shit about the librarian. I don’t think he understands caring about anyone. Giles sent me out with reminders to give to all the teachers. They’re supposed to give him the list of books they’ll need next year so he can order them. Or, as he said, try stretching the nonexistent budget to the barest essentials.

I have to go back in there now. Face him with a smile knowing what happened last night. Knowing more of what he went through. Sometimes I wish I could get away with the little comforting touches Willow can give him. But I know, if I tried, he’d just look at me and try to figure out what I was possessed with this time. Actually, there’s something comforting in the thought of that.

Sorry about the cussing, Wils. I know you don’t like it. But, this is for our feelings too, and those are my feelings right now.

5/29/98 - Oz

Willow insisted on staying with Giles again last night. Even after her first night, or, perhaps, because of it. I stayed, too. Took the couch while she slept upstairs in his room. With school being out, the only protest he could think of was that we had better things to do than look after the ‘old man’. He puts himself down like that a lot. I know it can’t be easy for him only having teenagers around all the time, but it’s not like he’s really that old. I think he’s the only one that ever points the age thing out as well, and Buffy used to. Maybe it’s because he’s still hurting all the time. Maybe… Has it occurred to anyone else that when Angel killed Miss Calendar, Giles not only lost his girlfriend, but the only other adult who knew what’s going on around here? Gotta be doubly tough on him.

His nightmares didn’t wake me last night, but I did hear something when I got up during the night. I crept upstairs to see what some mumbling was. When I peaked in, Willow was holding him again and they were talking. She saw me in the doorway, and gave me a wink to say they were all right. I don’t know what he was telling her this time. She’ll let us know if it was important.

As far as we can work out, he doesn’t remember telling her things at night. Maybe the pills let him think it’s all part of the dreams. I’m just glad Wil can get past his guard and help him. She has that gentle way about her.

She went with him to the school today. Said she’d help him with getting all of the last minute returns in the computer and with the online ordering. I’ll take them some lunch in a bit.

One more problem. The full moon’s coming, Guys. We’ll have to work out how to deal with me. Giles usually takes most the shifts for watching me. I’d hate to stress him more than he already is.

5/29/98 - Willow

I only have a few minutes. Oz and Giles started talking music. I have no idea what they’re talking about when they do this, but the little smiles both of them get is really cute.

Giles did tell me more last night. He confirmed what we thought about Drusilla getting into his head. She used Miss Calendar against him. He said he saw her, that she was there and alive and she kissed him. And she wanted to help him, so he told her the secret. But it was all just Drusilla tricking him. It was her touching him and kissing him. Yuck, vampire kisses… Well, I guess Buffy used to like them, but the thought just gives me the wig.

From what I can guess, this came at the end. Giles was already exhausted and in agony from everything Angelus had done to him. No one could have taken all of that and still been strong enough to withstand those kinds of mind games. But he blames himself. He thinks it’s his fault Acathla was activated, and Buffy had to kill Angel, and Buffy disappeared. I can’t say anything to convince him none of this is his fault. I don’t know what to do.

Oz is right that he doesn’t remember telling me things at night. I can tell by the way he looks at me. I think he counts it all as dreams, and maybe secretly wishes it could be real. But it is helping him. He’s slowly starting to relax. Anyone else wouldn’t be able to tell, but we can.

5/30/98 - Xander

It took me half an hour to talk Willow into letting me take last night’s shift with Giles. Now that she’s able to help him, she wants to be there for him all the time. I can’t say I blame her, I feel the same. But, like you guys told me, there are four of us so no one has to carry too much of the load. That goes for Wils, too.

I could tell that the big guy was a little wigged at the thought of me crashing in the recliner last night. I’d brought pizza, a celebration for getting his stitches out, and during dinner he joked that if I snored he’d smother me with a pillow. I get it. Even though Willow can be bullheaded, she has this non-intrusive way about her. People feel safe with her. Hell, I’ve known it since kindergarten. I finally let him off the hook. Told him I was too tall for the chair and preferred the couch. The look on his face, it was like he was relieved and disappointed at the same time. I think he’s getting tired of us, but he’s also a little afraid of being alone.

Well, I started out on the couch, until the first nightmare, dozed off in the chair after the midnight climb. When I woke him, he just whispered thanks and laid down to try and relax again. I wanted to tell him he could talk to me too, that I would understand. It doesn’t surprise me that he’s not comfortable enough to open up around me though. I’m just the silly boy making dumb jokes all the time. But I can see the thanks in his eyes. Almost the same way he looked at me when I got him out of the mansion. I don’t know, maybe it’s the things we don’t say to each other… Two guys just being there in a tough time that counts.

When I woke up, he was already down stairs making breakfast. He’s meeting Willow at school again to finish up his work for the summer. I never knew school librarians had so many responsibilities.

He still looks at his answering machine every five minute, hoping for a message from Buffy. I’ve seen him nearly destroy all the healing his body has done lunging for the phone when it rings. No Buffy, no leads… He wants to start looking, I can see it. The first lead he gets he’ll be after it. I’ll be ready to go with him.

I promised him I’d go check on Buffy’s mom today. He worries about her too, but doesn’t think she’s ready to forgive him yet. I’ll try to work some Xander charm when I see her. Put in a few good words for the big guy. She’ll understand at some point.

5/31/98 - Cordelia Chase

Okay, so last night was the first night of Oz’s wolf thing. We all met in the library for dinner. Xander and I picked up Chinese food for everyone. It was weird that it was kinda nice eating there together again. Kinda like old times, except without something evil trying to destroy the world and kill all of us.

For some bizarre reason Snyder was hanging around. I mean, he hates being at the school as much as the students. We heard him shouting at one of the poor cleaner people and were able to hide with the food before he burst into the library. Well, Xander and I hid. Willow took her spot behind the computer and Oz sat reading while Giles fiddled with a cart full of books. The little troll-man came tearing right at Giles. Asking him why he was allowing students to be there and all sorts of stupid questions. I have to hand it to Giles for keeping his cool. He said ‘Miss Rosenberg’ was helping him with the late returns and her boyfriend was just waiting to take her home. And then Snyder started going into Giles’ ‘unnatural’ attachment to his little group of delinquents and at least the lead delinquent was gone. By the way, I’ve never in my life been called a delinquent. That little man was lucky Xander was holding me back. But, somehow, he kept going on about Buffy even when the look appeared on Giles’ face. We all saw it. The look that makes us all start thinking about places to hide the body. Ever since that Ethan guy showed up, we’ve been calling it the ‘Ripper’ look. I was watching though the stacks, just waiting for him to knock the little jerk into next week.

Somehow, Giles rode it out. It was getting close to dark and I think he focused on getting Snyder out before we had to lock Oz up. But, I bet the principal had no idea how close he came to death last night.

So, of course, Giles wanted to take his watch with Oz. Both Willow and Xander stayed with wolf-boy, and I practically had to drag the man home. God, the grumbling last night. He’s like a big child when we don’t let him do everything he wants. So, I sent him in to take a hot shower because I had planned on giving him another back rub. He might be healing up, but anyone can still see how sore he is just by the way he stands.

This time I was ready, and I brought my favorite lotion. When he came out of the bathroom I made him take a sniff. He ran straight back in and threw up. It took me a while to work it out. I realized it smelled like roses. We found his apartment full of roses the night… It must have reminded him of what it felt like to find her. Guys, I’ve never felt so awful in my life. I should have put it together before that. By the time he came back, I had put the bottle away and scrubbed the smell off my hands. I apologized the best I knew how, and suddenly he was the one trying to comfort me. What an absurd situation.

After that, we sat and had a cup of tea to calm down for bed. He kept glancing from me to the loft and started blushing. Men. No way was I going to tolerate that couch again. I told him, if he didn’t want me sleeping in my comfy chair in the same room as him, he could take the couch and I’d be happy having a bed. Then I could see his mind churning and that he was about to offer me his bed. Stupid men! Last time we had him sleep on the couch because he couldn’t do the stairs, he was moving like he was made of stone the whole next day. I cut that one off at the nub. I told him I was going to change into my night things, and when I got up there I wanted to find him face down on that bed with just his pajama bottoms on. And get your mind out of the gutter, Xander Harris! I had some backup lotion that smelled like coconut and he was getting his massage. Even if I had to tie him to the bed to give it to him.

I was right. He was so tight, and he needed to be rubbed down so badly. This time I just kept going until he was sound asleep. There’s magic in these fingers I tell you.

There was only one incident during the night. He called for Jenny. I can’t help but think it was my fault, because of the rose thing. I went over and rubbed his back some more. It worked like it did the other night. Only I couldn’t stop him crying in his sleep. I’ll rub him and do my best to help him sleep, but don’t expect me to wake him and let him start blubbering all over me. Eww. I refuse to be a human tissue. Willow can have all of that she wants. I just wish I knew a way to give him good dreams for once.