A/N: This might look familiar to you if you read my collection of Wishlist and Yuletide fic entitled "Multitude". When I decided to make it into a series I snipped it from there and reposted it for easier reading. Ta da. Hope you enjoy - even if you are reading it a second time. :)
A/N 2: This was originally came from a prompt given to me by the lovely twisted_slinky.
Disclaimer: Post Season 7 BtVS, just general Glee. I own nothing. BTVS belongs to Joss Whedon and Glee belongs to Ryan Murphy.
“Hellmouth,” she flipped open her phone on the first ring and said right away, without any preliminary greeting.
There was a slight pause but then she got a response from the other side (from the other side of the ocean, actually). “Are you certain?” a smooth British voice asked her.
And Kit gustily let out a breath leaning heavily against the rough brick wall outside William McKinley High School. She tried to let the exhalation of air and the fact that he wasn’t doubting her judgment but simply asking her opinion, calm her nerves.
“No,” she kicked the ground absentmindedly with her combat boot. “No, I can’t be sure. It can still be a demon or something else affecting things but my gut’s saying Hellmouth. It’s just….,” she paused trying to explain, “I’m so jittery Mr. Giles. There’s this tension in the school and I keep just waiting for things to escalate. For some kids head to randomly explode or something. It reminds me of how it felt near the end there in Sunnydale. Before my folks,” her breath caught but she soldiered on, “and me left. Before your group fought. I can’t -,” she paused again swallowing and pulled at her black lace sleeves absentmindedly, suddenly cold, “I can’t be sure
of anything Mr. Giles but it feels too familiar here.”
“You know that just Giles, is fine,” he stated absentmindedly and she could almost picture him holding the phone against his shoulder and cleaning his glasses as he mulled over what she said.
“I trust your judgment of course, Kit,” Giles said after a few moments and she bit her lip tamping down on the feeling of happiness that simple statement by him brought. It was still an odd and cherished thing to her to have any authority figure – let alone one she respected as much as him – truly trust and respect her. Not look down their nose at her. Be able to look past her appearance and age and see that she had knowledge and experience.
“And in our business,” he continued, “feelings can mean just as much as any of the things we can concretely see with our eyes. But tell me, have
you been seeing any more of the odd behavior that caused you to be sent there?”
Kit adjusted the strap of her messenger bag as it started to dig into her shoulder. “Yeah, Giles. And I got to say, majorly majorly wiggy to the third degree.”
“And here I thought I would get through a phone call to one of you while still understanding all of the sentences,” she heard him mutter and had to fight down the urge to giggle.
“The casual abuse between students is just insane. There is this thing called ‘slushie-ing’ where one of the more popular students will buy a slushie simply to throw on one of the less popular kids,” she heard Giles hiss slightly at that. (Kit knew that none of the Scoobies had been exactly popular – even compared to how low Dawn, Carlos and she had been on the totem pole - and, especially before Buffy came along, they would have been prime targets for this sort of bullying).
“It almost seems to be a show of dominance. And I know there are cliques everywhere but the kids here seem extremely concerned about their popularity to the point they are willing to hatch very elaborate plots – sleeping with people, lying, threatening people, stabbing people in the back. Metaphorically,” she assured quickly. In their world that phrase could go either way.
“It’s almost as if in this school you just have to consider every normal reaction a person might have to something and take it to its craziest incarnation. And it affects the teachers as well. You hear about their relationships and problems – especially this Spanish teacher who is head of the Glee club too – almost as much as the kids,” abruptly she laughed.
“What, Kit?” Giles asked sounding bemused.
“It’s just-,” she pushed down her amusement, “- there was this one thing I overheard Ms. Sylvester saying about his hair yesterday. I think it involved Narnia or Star Wars…. or maybe both,” she snorted again. “I’m sorry Giles, I know I really should say that she is the worst part here – she can be just really really
awful - but I think hanging around the Scoobies has made me appreciate good one-liners too much.”
“Kit….,” he prodded, but she could hear the laughter in his tone.
“Right,” she took a deep breath collecting herself and casting her eyes over to the football field absentmindedly. “I guess the oddest part is that everyone seems to think that this is normal. That it’s just high school – what everyone goes though. And I know that I’m not a good one to judge the ‘normal’ high school experience but, honestly, I’m pretty damn sure this isn’t it. It’s given me a serious case of déjà vu for Sunnydale Syndrome.”
She heard him sigh over the phone and shuffle around his office; Kit simply waited patiently for his decision. A group of jocks walked by her, just finished from practice, and one of them looked her up and down (eyes lingering on the length of fishnet covered leg exposed between her boots and skirt) in what he probably thought was a flirtatious way. Kit smiled at him and pretended to flip her hair with the hand not occupied by the cell phone but when her hand became level with her face she let her expression drop and very deliberately gave him the finger.
Scowling and pushing at his laughing and jeering friends they left and she rolled her eyes. Kit had seen those creeps being absolute assholes to anyone lower than them on the social food chain since she got here, there was no way she was even going to pretend she was interested.
A few of the guys had been hanging behind the rest seemed to support of her response - the mowhawk guy was smirking at her approvingly and the kid with the wheelchair flat out gave her a thumbs up as they passed. Kit smiled despite herself, looking down and flushing slightly at all the attention.
“Kit?” she heard over the phone. “Kit?”
“Yeah, Giles,” she said instantly concentrating again. “I’m here. Just had some people walk by. They’re gone again now.”
“Ah,” he said. “I see. Well. I’ve checked schedules and if it’s not a time sensitive emergency the soonest I can get a full team out to you is next month. Do you think it will sit until then?”
Kit squinted thinking hard and honestly considering it. “Yeah, I think it will. Who are you sending?” she asked more out of curiosity than anything else. A “full team” always included at least one magic user, one slayer, and one researcher (although many of these roles tended to blend) but other than that the members of any given team tended to fluctuate.
“Willow, Faith, Spike, and Fred,” he listed off and she almost choked on her breath.
“Wow,” she finally got out. “Sending in the big guns.
“We take the possibility of another Hellmouth very seriously,” Giles explained. “But you can see,” he continued in a slightly more tired tone, “why it is a tad bit difficult to sync up schedules.”
“I can understand why,” she said still feeling stunned. Last she had heard, after her breakup from Kennedy, Willow had went off on a roadtrip with Faith, of all people (who had been dumped by Kit’s own dear former Principle right at his bedside in the hospital), popping all over the world and simply decimating lots of the worst clumps of demon infestations . They were making a name for themselves striking fear into the supernatural world everywhere with the savage joy the Dark Slayer seemed to take from fighting and the flat out power the Sorceress wielded so effortlessly.
As for Spike and Fred, after everything had gone down in L.A. (something Willow and Faith had arrived at not long after the fighting started) they stuck very close together. Fred was….damaged now. No longer Illyria, but no longer fully quite herself either. She had the sharp wildness of a cornered animal to her at times that Angel whisperingly claimed had been there since he first met her in Pylea (only buried for a time perhaps).
It was in stark relief now that Illyria had left her of her own free will (with the extra push of an entire Coven of witches and the blood of Slayers poured down her throat into her convulsing body. That – that had been a truly horrifying and electrifying ritual to watch. Deity ceding control of human form back to its rightful owner. She had nightmares for weeks after – still did sometimes. A singular image seared into her brain of a back bowed at an impossible angle for a suspended moment. Blood dripping up
the sides of her face. Wide eyes changing from electric blue to soft brown. The transition when, just for a second
, you couldn't really truly tell who was who - the terror of God-king and human an equal and almost living thing, in and of itself. That is what she now equates in her head as real
Fred could be sweet southern softness one second and raw and almost frightening, to the point of scaring the younger Slayers, the next. Only Spike seemed able to handle her, able to understand her moods. To have the patience to soothe and calm her when her body went tense and she looked ready to either pounce, run, or grab one of the many weapons she accumulated throughout the day and hid somewhere on her person. (The others would whisper of a female vampire named Drusilla and Angel would look incredibly pained.)
She wasn’t just being looked after though, (although all of the surviving AI team would have gladly done that for her) Fred was still very
obviously an asset to the Council. Through everything that happened to her she had kept that intelligence that just blew everybody else out of the water at times. Could find solutions that no one else could see, could construct weapons with bits of junk that were surprisingly effective.
……And if you caught her too of guard, could shove you through two walls without meaning to. Illyria was gone. Fully. They had done extensive tests. But, there were remnants. Things her muscles remembered.
So, Giles was definitely sending her a full team. Trusting her ability to judge a threat and reacting to her assessment.
“Thank you,” she whispered quietly.
“Of course, Kit,” he said warmly. “And how have you been? Are you making any friends?”
She snorted at the turn in conversation, how much it sounded like something a worried TV parent might ask. “I’m on assignment, Giles,” she reminded him almost sharply. “I haven’t been too concerned about making friends.”
“Kit,” he chided. “You might be there primarily to check out the reports we had been hearing about, but you know that you were also assigned to Lima to finish up your Senior Year.”
Kit pouted feeling like an actual teenager for the first time in this conversation. “I know,” she said petulantly.
She heard him take a deep breath letting it out slowly. “I’m not telling you that you have
to go make friends, Kit. I know the difficulty inherent in that when there are so many secrets. I am simply saying don’t cut yourself off. We don’t want any of you to feel that the mission is more important than you living your life. There is a choice now in The Council, one that was never there before - and it goes for the Slayers and the Watchers. This life is a choice
. But just because you choose it, it doesn’t mean it has to rule or define you.”
Kit blinked and her chest felt tight, “It’s hard, Giles. I’m not like the others. Even if I wanted to, I’m not that good at making friends. I don’t really even like people all that much – they make me uncomfortable,” she admitted.
And it was true. She had totally lucked into her friendship with Dawn and Carlos. And the Council was a place where her oddity barely made a blip. Where just the simple fact that she was willing to help (and had a heightened ability to See
ghosts…and sometimes other things) made her an asset.
But Carlos and Dawn were in the same boat as her, all three of them sent off to investigate anomalies while finishing off their schooling. Carlos’ last letter had come by owl and he seemed utterly annoyed by both the weather and their insistence to do magic almost primarily through wands (or as he liked to call them “utterly ineffectual stakes”). Dawn though had somehow lucked out and got a gig at a school with superheroes kids – she got to ride a flying bus to school.
The Lima school bus smelled like vomit.
“Kit,” Giles said firmly and she stood up straighter automatically. “You are a wonderful, smart, brave young woman. You three are the next generation and I couldn’t be prouder of that fact. You are extraordinary
. Anyone around you can see that. But, if you don’t feel comfortable making friends there - that’s fine
. However, anyone who is lucky enough to become your friend will be better for it.”
“Gi-les,” she said in a choked voice, laughing slightly then biting her lip. “You’re going to make me smear my eye liner.”
“Well,” he said chuckling. “We can’t have that. But, Kit -,” his voice became serious again, “I do mean it.”
“I know,” she said, barely a whisper. “And Giles?”
“Yes?” he responded.
“You make a good Dad,” quickly after she made the statement Kit snapped the phoned closed and held it to her chest.
Car crash. Right on their way out of Sunnydale. They had been driving day and night - something seeming to push them away from the Hellmouth. Making them evacuate, simply abandoning the home they had lived in their whole life one day. Her Dad was at the wheel, tired but refusing to switch with Mom.
Screeching of tires – so loud. Darkness.
She woke up in the hospital, injured but alive. They were both dead.
(She left the hospital hours after she woke up - against doctors orders. She couldn’t stay there. Couldn’t let herself chance possibly See-ing them.)
When she got a call from Dawn a few weeks later that they had won, she caught up with them all right away. Carlos joined them soon after – telling his parents that “The Council” was an apprenticeship program that he had been accepted to.
And….and Kit found a new family. A new purpose.
She slipped her phone into her bag and turned around to re-enter the school. She had thought about it a lot (been encouraged by Dawn that he wouldn’t turn her down) and Kit decided that after she graduated she would ask him.
….ask if she could officially become his daughter. Kit Giles had a good ring to it after all she reflected with a smile.