Author: astarte lydianna
Rating: NC-17 (or at least the story will be this chapter is more M)
Season: During 3 and then I wander off the plotlines a bit :)
Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy the fandom or characters or anything else recognisable and make no money from this.
Summary: After a slayer turns 18 the cruciamentum isn't the only thing she faces. Council are creepy in this and there will be adult content.
"She passed, you didn't." Travers commented. "The slayer is not the only one who must perform in this situation. I have recommended to the council and they have a agreed that you be relieved of your duties as watcher immediately. You're fired."
Both slayer and watcher looked at him in surprise.
"On what grounds?" he asked.
"Your affection for your charge has rendered your incapable of clear and impartial judgement." the older man told him. He frowned; affected hadn't always been something the council had scorned so he was curious why it would matter now. "You have a father's love for the child and that is useless to the cause." It was that last comment that made him realise exactly why they had a problem with his affections. "It would be best if you have no further contact with the slayer-"
"I'm not going anywhere." he interrupted.
"No well I didn't expect you would adhere to that." Travers conceded. "However if you interfere with the new watcher or countermand his authority in anyway, you will be dealt with. Are we clear?"
"If you're firing me for what I think you're actually firing me for then I call the right to appeal." he said, when the older man looked surprised for a moment he knew that his suspicions were correct. "When the new watcher arrives and the situation is explained, I appeal for the right to be chosen instead."
"Very well, then currently you are suspended without pay pending your termination." Travers nodded smugly. He thought this was over, although truthfully there was only a slim chance that it wasn't. "Congratulations again." Travers said bowing his head to Buffy as he made to leave.
"Bite me." she spat out.
"Yes, well...colourful girl." he chuckled as he headed out of the library.
The moment he left her whole body seemed to slump. Giles watched her reach for the cloth in front of her and crossed the room to help her. She was shaking, shock probably...her body wasn't used to feeling this level of pain. She let him; he took that as a huge improvement from the fight that they had had earlier. She winced at every cut and bruise that he cleaned but continued to watch him as if trying to read something on his face.
"So you're fired?" she asked quietly.
"Not quite yet but probably." he nodded. "If you want me gone I'll go, but otherwise I'm not going anywhere."
"I don't want you gone." she whispered her voice croaking as tears started. "I don't want a new watcher."
"Buffy...I probably shouldn't tell you this but Quentin is going to assume I will anyway so...the test isn't the only thing that happens to a slayer when she turns eighteen." he told her. "You don't have to take my word for it; I can show you the journals so that you can read for yourself."
"Tell me." she pleaded softly.
"She is bonded to a watcher; the severity of the bond depends on the slayer's requirements in the eyes of the council. It is seen as a way to prevent rogue slayers." he told her. "Whether they plan to send two watchers one for you and one for Faith or plan to bond you to the same one I do not know. I would imagine that you will probably have one each, as they'll most likely want strong bonds. You'll notice that Faith is a bit...overzealous should we say? When slayers become adults the power sometimes goes to their heads, I mean who can stop them?"
"Drugs?" she replied flippantly. He hid his wounded look as best he could, he deserved it after all
"The council have been working with slayers for centuries Buffy they have learnt how to manage them however a rogue slayer can cause a lot of damage before the council arrive to stop them." he told her. "So they created a way for a watcher to control his slayer should he go against his wishes. A bond. The bonding can be done several ways, you don't know to know the details but it often isn't pleasant. It can't be forced exactly but the council will manipulate and threaten you until you are bonded, likely they will use your mother as a weakness. Once bonded if a slayer is acting against her watcher's orders the watcher has the ability to either temporarily drain the slayers supernatural abilities to render them near harmless or to cause them...pain...much like training through electric shocks."
"That's barbaric. That's insane." she growled. "Some guy I've never even met taking my power or training me like an animal. Its sick."
"They've seen the results of a rogue slayer Buffy, you may not be like that but can't you imagine the damage you could do if you decided that you took the law into your own hands. How many humans could you kill before the council could arrive?" he asked trying to get her to understand the severity of a rogue slayer. He didn't agree with the council's methods in this area but he did understand them.
"You said something about an appeal." she said after a while of silence.
"Ah, well...just another option but um...Quentin has agreed that once all has been officially explained that you can choose me instead for the bond." he replied awkwardly.
"Then why did he fire you, that doesn't make any sense? Fire you for caring then let me choose you anyway it can't be that easy." she said shaking her head.
"It isn't." he told her putting the cloth down and looking at her seriously. "The council choose the type of bonding ritual required, most slayers have been trained before being called and are reasonably compliant with the councils wishes, therefore bonding may be easier. There are a great many different bonds that they can choose from. I suspect the reason I was fired has everything to do with the type of bonding that they have chosen for you, you are after all an unknown element almost. You were allowed to live a normal life until you were called and even then have been allowed to maintain friendships and schooling and such." He got up and walked to his office to retrieve a couple of the diaries and returned with them. "It was the words he used that clued me in. He said I have a father's love, which implies to me that the bond they will require of you will at the very least require a sexual component to the ritual itself. They probably have the type of bonding picked out already, probably before they even arrived and you insulting him to his face will have only cemented the idea. The reason he wanted me fired is because the ritual requires me to see you in a sexual light and vice versa something that cannot happen if it is a father's love."
"Is it?" she asked quietly looking lost again. He didn't know how to answer that question, the answer was no, not really. He loved her in a way but he wasn't sure how, it wasn't something as easily categorized as a father's love. It was the pride of a teacher, the protectiveness of a parent, the understanding of a friend, the softness of a lover and a level of unity that only came from fighting side by side as watcher and slayer. How could he ever explain something he himself didn't fully understand?
"In a way I suppose that part of what I feel for you could be considered parental but the way I care about you is very complicated as with most watcher slayer relationships." he shrugged, deciding on a vague honesty. "Even when we first met I didn't view you as a child, yet I didn't view you as an adult either. Teenagers fall in that awkward in between phase not to mention the extra responsibilities that you face which undoubtedly age you with their burden. Anyway, I think the ritual they will enforce will be one of these two. In these diaries are two examples of each. There are more examples of them or diaries that follow the events after these if you wish to read more."
"So why did he agree?" she asked taking one of the books from him.
"Because he knows that you wouldn't want to see me that way either." he replied. "I'm sorry Buffy; I wish there were a way out of this. If anyone can get out of it it's be Faith, she has no strong ties to blackmail her with but I imagine they will track her and use the drug to neutralize her first. There's no getting away from this. You never know perhaps the new watcher won't be what you think."
They didn't talk for much longer before he gave her a lift home. She stayed up all night reading the journals and her mother called her in sick the next day so that she could recover. Luckily she could feel her strength returning by morning not all of it but she had some sign that it was wearing off which filled her with relief.
The rituals she was reading about however did not. One of the rituals was a death bond; it was performed by a spell and then some kind of sex act that ended with the seed of a male watcher inside the slayer, for what she was reading it didn't seem to matter where it even went or if the slayer was conscious. This bond meant that the watcher could hurt his slayer as if she were as weak as he was. Only he could hurt her that easily but he could. The downside was that when the watcher died the slayer died and vice versa. The other was just twisted; from the example that she had read so far the watcher practically raped the girl and trained her to serve him using his bond with her to inflict pain until he had her trained to serve his every command. He practically bragged in his diary about the twisted things he made her do until her death just four months later. She wasn't sure she wanted to read the two other accounts let alone more, the council expected her to do this. They expected her to become nothing more than a battle dog, an attack dog...she'd rather die.
The next account was better, it was a repeat of the second ritual where the slayer was trained using pain to follow orders but it was different. This slayer submitted to the ritual willingly, it had a rocky start but by the end of the journal the watcher seemed to have a genuine relationship with his slayer and sounded almost heartbroken when she was gone. The last account that she had to read was the death bond again. The council had almost not allowed the bond at all because they suspected the watcher of being in love with his slayer and suggested that he wouldn't be willing to use his power to harm her when necessary. In the end they had allowed it because they believed that if the world was at stake he would make the right decision and she had been an obedient slayer so far. That account had read like the love story that it was until both watcher and slayer had been killed by a Glarenic demon six years later. Anna Prince was one of the longest serving slayers recorded, she served from the age of sixteen when she was called until she died at twenty-four.
That story gave her hope. The problem was that she had the choice of being bonded to a complete stranger or to Giles. Giles! She hadn't ever thought of him like that, he was an old watcher guy not a guy, guy! Sure he was reasonably good looking and he was a nice guy but he was like forty! She didn't quite think of him as the father figure that Travers had assumed either, more like an old friend or family acquaintance. Someone that you love and trust but just don't ever think of in terms of being male. She couldn't have sex with Giles.
Giles and her were difficult to explain; he was her watcher, he was an adult…but he was also her friend. She cared about him and felt that she could perhaps call it love but not the same kind she felt for her mother or father, nor the same as for Angel or even Willow and Xander…it was confusing.
She eventually fell asleep only to resume her thoughts when she woke up and this continued for several days. Her new watcher could be totally hot, she doubted it but he could be hot and nice...then again how would she know for sure? This guy could show up pretending to be a real charmer and then the second she let him complete a ritual turn on her. She wasn't always great at spotting liars...Angelus had played her emotions like chess.
It was nearly two weeks before Buffy walked into the school library to see several men in suits. She walked in cautiously as they turned to see her.
"Ah, Miss Summers." Quentin's voice greeted her. She didn't bother to reply and instead made her way past them to sit on the table near where Giles stood leant back against it. "Allow me to introduce the new watchers to you, for Faith; Mr Wesley Wyndam-Price and for you Mr Gareth Privett."
"And you escorted them all the way here, how sweet of you." she bit out. She was surprised that both watchers were younger men. Wesley tall, slim and dark haired, he looked cute in a dorky kind of way. Faith would eat him alive. Gareth was even taller, slim and blonde. He was gorgeous.
"Pleasure to meet you Miss Summers." Wesley said offering his hand.
"Are they evil?" she asked, looking to Giles.
"I assure you that they've both been thoroughly trained and inspected." Travers told her.
"Are they evil?" she asked again.
"Not in the um...no Buffy, not evil as far as I can tell." Giles told her with a small smile.
"Buffy?" Gareth asked as if testing the name out. He held his hand out to her. "Pleasure to meet you; I'm sure we'll get along just fine."
"I trust you still want your appeal?" Travers asked Giles, looking rather smug with himself as he watched Buffy looking the new watcher up and down.
"Well, that's rather up to Buffy isn't it." he sighed looking a bit resigned. "But I won't fight the decision, you have my word that I won't try to hinder her new watcher in any way."
"Good, I gather you have already told her about the ritual?" he asked.
"He told me something about a bonding being why he was fired. I gather you're going to explain that to me?" Buffy spoke up before he could. He was surprised that she had chosen to lie but then perhaps she hoped to gain more information by playing dumb.
"A slayer in adulthood is near unstoppable, at least to all natural forces. The risk to human lives should the slayer decide to go rogue is too great to leave uncontrolled. For centuries the way to control the slayer has been to bond her with her watcher, this allows him to be the one person in the world with the power to control the slayer." he explained. "This is done through a ritual, I believed Rupert to be incapable of carrying out the ritual necessary and unwilling to use the power to control you when necessary. That is the reason for your new watcher although Rupert has been officially granted the right to appeal so you are still free to choose him."
"And if Faith and I don't want to be controlled?" she asked.
"I'm sure we can convince you otherwise, resisting really is rather foolish. There were times were if a slayer was considered a liability the council would simple be sent to drug her and execute her, we do endeavor to use more humane methods now. Slayers can be retrain." he told her.
"You call "retraining" a human being like they're some kind of animal humane?" Buffy asked in disbelief.
The library doors burst open as Faith entered the room.
"Ah, this is perhaps Faith." Wesley smiled.
"New watchers?" Faith asked.
"New watchers." Buffy nodded.
"Screw that." Faith muttered before turning on heel and marching straight back out. Wesley stood there looking surprised and trying to find something to say.
"Wesley, go back to the car and contact Jones and Kane and retrieve her." Travers barked.
"Buffy, really do we need to get dramatic about this?" Gareth asked, turning his attention back to Buffy as Wesley left the room. He took her hand and tugged it until she stood up off of the table. "You seem like a smart girl, I'm sure we can learn to work together wonderfully. There's no need to resort to nasty threats is there?"
"I choose Giles." she said clearly. Giles stared at her in shock, had she not read the diaries he gave her? He stared at the younger watcher for a moment in confusion, he was considerably younger and better looking...what on earth was Buffy thinking?
"Perhaps you might want to know what the ritual entails first my dear." Quentin Travers said with a smile.
"Doesn't matter. Giles has kept me alive so far, I trust him with my life." she said firmly. Travers handed her a book already open to a page and then another book again open.
"Take your pick, the council has approved ether of these rituals." he said smugly.
"You can't force me to have sex with anyone, that's rape." she replied, passing the books to Giles.
"Miss Summers, we can do this the easy way or the hard way. We'll get this bond from you one way or another, so I suggest you agree sooner rather than later." he told her. "We can set up the ritual for you and Gareth this evening and this'll all be sorted by morning."
Buffy looked at Giles almost apologetically before she spoke again. "I...If I have to do this, I still choose Giles." If it weren't such serious situation she would have laughed aloud at the expression on her watchers face right then.
"You understand the requirements of the bond?" Travers asked her again.
"Unfortunately I do." she nodded. "You guys are sick you know that? I have class now."