Gileswench wrote me a lovely Buffy/Star Trek: The Next Generation crossover for my birthday, with lots of Q, Data and the Buffybot, and my surprise favorite thing of the whole story: Worf wanting to court Anya. She asked nicely for a birthday fic of her own.

Happy belated birthday, Gileswench!


Here were her specifications, edited down somewhat for brevity:
In Grave, Dawn and Buffy fight side by side and little sister kicks way too much serious ass to have gotten it all by just watching Buffy in the past. This looks like mini-slayer time. I'd like to see a fic in which Buffy asks Giles to stay in Sunnydale and help her figure out just what Dawn's powers are and why this has happened. Of course, since Buffy and Giles must work side by side as a fully adult team on this project, they become closer and either develop or finally admit, serious mutual attraction. In point of fact, they fall very much in love and get together. Sound easy? Well, we can't have that, can we? So, I'm adding a few elements that must ALL be included:
1) I would like to see Giles learn of Spike's attempt to rape Buffy.
2) Willow must face real consequences for her actions. What punishment does she face and who metes it out?
3) I miss Xander. I want Xander to be funny and brave and a real stand up guy, if a bit of a spazz. And I want an apology out of him for what he did to Anya, dammit!
4) Giles has been living in England for several months, and he's a virile, attractive man. I want to know what he's been doing for female companionship while he's been away and I want Buffy to find out, too. After all, jealous Buffy is never not funny.
5) Make any B/G sex as graphic or as gauzy curtained as you like, but please, no bondage, no pain, no dominance games. They kind of squick me.
6) I want to know where the hell the money is coming from to pay back all those stores for Dawn's klepto phase.
7) So, Spike has a soul. And William was a gentle poet. This means Spike is a sweet, sensitive guy with no badness left in him now, right? It's one theory. I have another. After all, Angel is all broody and noble, but Liam was a drunken, brawling, whoring lout. Make Spike bad or brooding or recklessly suicidal or whatever, so long as he's NOT a sweet, sensitive author of really bad poetry.
8) I hate Doublemeat Palace. I want that place destroyed somehow. Preferably with a large explosion and lots of bonfires and stuff. And witnesses. Lots of witnesses. And a really hokey cover story the Scoobies must make up in a hurry.

TITLE: A Questing We Will Go
AUTHOR: JK Philips
RATING: PG (It will probably eventually get to R, if not NC17. For now, plain PG)
SUMMARY: Where did Dawn learn to fight like that in “Grave?”
TIMELINE: Immediately after “Grave”
DISCLAIMER: I do not own these characters; they are the property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy & Fox. I simply am doing this for fun, and non-profit use.
EMAIL: . Feedback always appreciated.

Dear Diary,

I’m not sure what I’m supposed to be questing after. Buffy told me what she found in the desert, and to tell you the truth: a mountain lion may be cool to look at in the zoo, but I’m not sure how keen I am on meeting one without any bars between us. Do people ever get eaten by their spirit guides? Shoulda asked Giles about that. Nah. He probably woulda rolled his eyes and glared at me, like he did when I hummed the hokey pokey as Buffy jumped into and then out of that circle. She shook her gourd, and we sang the last line together: “And that’s what it’s all about!” before Giles turned his back on both of us and pointed me off into the desert. “Go quest,” he’d mumbled, exasperated at both of us, I suppose.

We’ve been trying his patience lately, I think. Plus, his ribs still hurt him some, though he tries not to let it show. But it makes him cranky, and it doesn’t help that Buffy and I have been in hyper-sister mode ever since she decided to drop the mopey attitude. I train with her most everyday, and all of our in-jokes go right over his head. He always sighs and shakes his head, and we giggle. It’s nice to have my sister Buffy back and not the zombie sister she was before.

It’s like she woke up from a year-long dream, and I know part of that is because of Tara dying. Bang. Today’s Afterschool Special brought to you courtesy of Mack Truck. The message we will run you over with is this: Time is short and you can lose the people you love just when it looks like you might get the happily ever after after all. I wish Tara didn’t have to die for me to get my sister back.

Part of the new Buffy also has to do with facing the end of the world together, fighting side by side as we waited for Willow to burn it to a cinder. Part of it was having Xander finally tell me what Spike did, I mean tried to do, and letting myself blow up at Buffy for keeping secrets, for shutting me out, shutting me out of everything. We yelled, had a little sword fight, hugged, went home for hot chocolate, and now things are good. But none of that is really what did it, I think. Buffy doesn’t realize it herself, and she’d never expect me to notice even if she did, but she missed Giles. And now that he’s back, I just wonder…

So here I sit on a rock in the middle of nowhere, writing in my diary as I wait for my spirit guide to show up and either lead me to my destiny or gobble me up whole. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a vegetarian spirit guide. They have vegetarian things in the desert, right? In the margins I keep composing and rejecting different questions to ask when I get the chance. Buffy said her spirit guide became the first slayer. I hope mine becomes Mom. It would make sense. Mom was always good with the advice giving.

Will my guide tell me the future? Buffy’s guide knew she was going to die, although if Buffy had figured that out sooner, we coulda maybe been ready with a big trampoline or something at the bottom of Glory’s tower, saved everyone the death and resurrection heartache. I’m going to be a little smarter when I ask my guide. I figure it’s like those stories with the wish-granting genies: you have to be very specific and not leave any loopholes. I’m not going to give my guide the chance to be vague.

There’s just so much I want to know, I don’t know which questions to ask. Buffy and Giles sent me here to ask the big slayer question, but there’s also stuff I want to know just for me. And there’s something I want to know for Buffy, something I think will make her happy, but I gotta know for sure before I say anything.

The desert is pretty empty. And hot. And boring. Not much to do but sit and wait. So I guess now would be as good a time as any to fill you in on all the details, everything that happened since the world didn’t end…


Buffy headed Giles off at the door. He sighed, having hoped to avoid a lengthy farewell.

“Can I talk to you for a sec?”

He fingered the plane ticket in his pocket. “Now is not a good time, Buffy. I’ll call you in a few hours, alright?” Her eyes then landed on the duffel bag in his hand, and he knew he had lost all chance at quietly slipping out.

“You’re sneaking out?”

He sighed. “Not sneaking, Buffy. You knew I was going.”

“Tomorrow, you said. Leaving early without telling anyone… that’s pretty much sneaking out, Giles.” She planted her hands on her hips. “You do that an awful lot. Not enough guts to say goodbye?”

“I thought I had said all my goodbyes at the impromptu goodbye party you threw me two days ago.”

“The unappreciated goodbye party I threw you two days ago.”

He tilted his head in acknowledgement. “Be that as it may, I would rather forego any ceremony and simply depart quietly.”

She crossed her arms in front of her, her eyes focused on the duffel bag in his hand as she thought. The bag contained only the minimum of necessities: a few toiletries he’d picked up at the store, a change of clothes Xander had bought for him at the mall, the ripped and bloodied clothes he’d worn into the hospital. One didn’t generally teleport with more than the clothes on one’s back. Thankfully, Giles had also thought to slip his passport into his back pocket, so the return flight should prove uneventful.

She finally raised her eyes to meet his. “Fine. No big farewells. But you have to say goodbye to Dawn. It’s the rule from now on. Nobody else is just going to disappear out of her life if I can help it.”

He nodded, accepting this. Buffy was right, of course. He was sneaking out, and he was a coward for doing so. The goodbyes never got easier, and he was afraid a time would come when he wouldn’t be able to say goodbye. Better to slink out while he still could, before she had him wrapped around her finger again, before she lost this independence he had struggled so hard to give her. Had he been wrong to leave? Everything had fallen to pieces, and yet Buffy had emerged from the flames like the phoenix, reborn instead of resurrected, whole and strong and once again full of life.

He wanted to stay, but he couldn’t. Willow needed him in Devon. The coven would take her magic at the new moon, and he had promised Xander that he would be there for her. Buffy had reluctantly agreed. And so if he could not stay here in Sunnydale, it was better to leave quickly and quietly before he could find a reason to stay.

He followed Buffy out to the back porch. Dawn was barefoot in the grass, practicing some tai chi moves Buffy had shown her earlier.

“Dawn!” Buffy called. “Giles is leaving. Come say goodbye.”

Dawn stopped what she was doing and stared up at them, a sad frown creasing her brow. Giles felt a stab of guilt.

“Here,” Buffy called, “put these away before you come in.” She leaned over and picked something up off the second stair. He saw the flash of silver before his slayer began hurling knives at her sister. He took a quick step forward, a startled exclamation stuck in the back of his throat.

He registered a moment later that his slayer was intentionally aiming above her sister, none of the knives coming near enough to be a danger.

But more astonishing and unexpected than Buffy’s actions was the fact that Dawn was reaching up and catching each knife as it whizzed past her.

Giles’ duffel bag hit the porch with a thunk. He was fairly certain his jaw was hanging open.

Buffy brushed her hands off after she had thrown the last knife. “Oh, yeah,” she tossed off casually with a shrug of her shoulders. “That’s what I wanted to ask you about. What’s up with mini-slayer Dawn?”


Back Home Next: Part 2

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