Title: Prospekt’s March
Timeline: Post series, AU.
Synopsis: The aftermath of the carnage left by a demon’s rampage.
Author’s Note: Album fic. Song and lyrics can be found here.
Giles coughed, holding his ribs as he groaned in pain. He spat at the ground, not surprised that most of what he spat out of his mouth was blood. Narrowing his eyes, he looked around at his surroundings…or what he could actually see through the smoke.
He saw destruction…he saw fear and pain. He could feel the waves of sadness emanating from the survivors as they held their loved ones…dead or dying. He tried to quell the panic building up within him at the realization that no one was here at the moment to hold him.
He stumbled and looked down to see what he had tripped over. He closed his eyes when he saw that it was a shoe…with a foot still inside.
“Christ, Buffy…where are you?” He whispered to no one as he continued through the ruined roads of the town.
He heard a groan on the side of the road and turned towards it. A badly injured man raised his hand weakly, beckoning Giles to him for help. Giles made his way over, carefully sitting down next to the man.
“My…my name is Rupert…”
“Brian.” The man replied, pain evident in his voice. “What…what happened?”
Giles had spent many years covering up the destruction caused by demons. He had blamed the mayhem on everything from snakes in the sewers to natural gas explosions to Mother Nature’s fury. He regarded Brian and sighed sadly. Brian wouldn’t survive much longer…he deserved the truth.
“A group of Fire Demons led by Prospekt ripped through the wall of reality and destroyed this town…and everyone in it. My Slayer, Buffy…”
“Slayer?” Brian swallowed, his unfocused eyes blinking against the grime and grit in the air. “Fire Demons?”
“The world is not how you imagine it, Brian. We…Buffy and I…and our friends…we, we protect the world to the best of our ability…”
“Am I dying?” Brian asked softly.
Giles nodded, reaching out a trembling hand and gripping Brian’s shoulder. “Yes.”
Brian looked away for a moment and then nodded. “Are you?”
Giles swallowed, grimacing at the overwhelming taste of copper in his mouth. “Quite possibly.”
Brian stared at Giles, tears welling in his blue eyes. “Who are you?”
Giles wiped the back of his hand across his mouth, smearing blood onto his hand. He had no doubt that there were some internal bleeding issues. He wasn’t surprised considering that he had to dig himself out from under a mound of rubble.
“I’m…I’m Rupert Giles, Watcher. I…I have spent the last few years…training…the current Slayer, Buffy Summers.”
With Giles’ help, Brian sat up and leaned against a broken concrete pylon. He heard the hesitation on the word ‘training’. “What is she to you? Besides…besides a Slayer? And…what is that?”
Giles smiled weakly. “She…she is my love. And a Slayer is the one girl – ”
“You shouldn’t bore him with that, Giles.”
Giles and Brian both looked towards the voice. Brian barely heard Giles breathe the name ‘Buffy’. He grasped Giles’ forearm, his lips quivering as Giles turned towards him.
“Thank you…for…for the truth.” Brian whispered, glancing at Buffy as she knelt next to Giles. “Take…care of him…”
A single tear slipped down Giles’ cheek as Brian closed his eyes, one last gasp being heard before Brian’s chest stopped moving.
He turned towards her, his ribs protesting the movement. “I…didn’t want to die alone…”
Buffy swallowed hard, wiping the blood from the corner of his mouth. “You’re not going to die period, Giles. Not now…not here. We’re getting you to a doctor.”
Giles closed his eyes as a wave of pain coursed through his body. “We?” He croaked on a hoarse whisper.
A car screeched to a halt in front of them and Xander jumped out of the driver’s seat. “Oh God…”
Buffy looked up quickly, fixing a soft glare on him. “He’s going to be fine, Xand…we just need to get him to a doctor.”
Slight amusement flickered in Giles’ darkened green eyes. “I look that bad, do I?”
Buffy shook her head quickly, gazing into his eyes. “You look hurt.”
“I’m dying.” Giles whispered in a tone that only Buffy could hear.
“No you’re not.” She replied with no hesitation, lovingly rubbing her thumb over his bottom lip. “It’s not your time, Giles.”
Giles glanced at Xander, who was staring at him anxiously, and then took as deep a breath as he could. “I’ll bleed out before you can find a doctor, Buffy.”
Buffy looked at Xander and gave him a quick nod. Xander returned the nod and ran back to the car.
“Shh.” Buffy murmured, leaning into him and placing a
soft kiss on his trembling lips. “Don’t
worry, but…he’s calling
Giles’ eyes widened. “No, no…she shouldn’t be doing magicks, Buffy. It’ll – ”
“I’m not losing you, Giles.” Buffy interrupted. “We are not losing you.”
Giles stared at her, tears glistening in his eyes as he swallowed. “How long?”
“I don’t know yet.” She whispered honestly, sliding her fingers through his hair. She bit her lip when she realized that what she had thought was sweat matting his hair was actually blood. “Giles, please…”
against a sudden flash of light next to the car, nodding as
“Yes?” Buffy confirmed urgently.
Giles licked his lips, forcing another steady trickle of blood to roll down his chin. “Yes.”
Giles smiled thinly, his strength quickly diminishing. “Haven’t felt this bad since then either…”
“Willow, please.” Buffy whispered, her eyes pleading with her best friend.
Giles gave a slow nod, his eyes moving in and out of focus. “I…I have to be here for them.”
Buffy’s bottom lip quivered as her tears finally broke free. “Please, Will…he doesn’t have much time left.”
Xander knelt beside
of Buffy, his left arm around her shoulders, as
She felt a flutter in her abdomen as Giles’ eyes met hers. The darkness of his eyes lessened as his injuries quickly healed. When he smiled and reached out to cover her hand with his, she knew…
Prospekt’s march had come to an end.