Guardian Angel

By Teri


Summary: Giles searches for Willow's whitelighter to help her deal with magic rehab. His search yields some surprising information about someone he knows. (Borrows the Charmed concept of whitelighters, but not an actual crossover)

Disclaimer: Don't own them, really wish I did. Maybe if I wish real hard Anya would grant them to me. I wish . . .

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Giles drew a circle on the ground and placed the herbs and candles in the places he remembers from the last time he had tried something like this. He had run out of ideas. So he was going to summon one of the elders, one of the Powers that Be.

He chanted and quickly in the circle appeared a dark blue flash of light followed by a human looking woman. "Rupert, why have you summoned me after all of these years?"

"My lady, I beg your indulgence. I am trying to help a young woman in my care. She has allowed her magic to overtake her. I am seeking a way to assist her. I have requested your presence in order to petition that she be sent a whitelighter, the guardian of witches, to watch over her and guide her." Giles said. When he looked up, he noticed the woman smiling at him.

"What makes you think she doesn't already have one?" She asked in amusement.

"My Lady?" Giles asked in confusion.

"Rupert, you should know whitelighters cannot force their charges on the right path. Her whitelighter can only be there to guide her and offer her support." She looked at him, as a mother would explain the most basic of concepts to a child. "Your Willow still has free will. She chose wrong." She paused a moment to allow him to digest what she had said before continuing. "We watched as her whitelighter tried everything within human power to dissuade her from her path, but she wanted her path."

"Lady, was Tara her whitelighter?" Giles asked. "Is that why she is gone now, because she failed in her mission?"

"Child, have you not been listening. The whitelighter did not fail. Willow did." She sighed. "To answer your question, no Tara was not her whitelighter."

"No one tried harder than Tara to help Willow. If it was not her. . . " He trailed off lost in thought.

"Does it matter?" The lady asked.

"Yes. I believe it is important for her rehabilitation for her to know there is one person who will always be there for her." He explained.

"Does she need a whitelighter for that?" The lady asked. She noticed Giles confused expression and continued. "Does she not have a friend who meets that description?"

"Buffy tries, but it is difficult for her. She has had to bear much in last number of years." Giles told her.

"As have all of you. Surely there is another?" She pressed.

"Xander has been there for her all of his life, but of late they have grown apart."

"Yet, he is the one who talked her down, prevented her from destroying the world?" She asked.

"Yes, still…" He began.

"Still? Perhaps they have grown apart for a reason. Perhaps he counseled her to avoid her path and to choose another?" The lady asked with a smile.

"Yes, of course that would make sense. He had even expressed his worry to me on several occasions. Still, he has his own life and she is not his priority. She needs that. If she has a whitelighter, can he please make himself know to her?" He asked becoming tired. Why was it the powers liked to talk in circles.

"Perhaps." She answered enigmatically. "Child, do you know how whitelighters come to be?"

"I believe they are humans who died in the service of others. They are chosen because of their compassion and sacrifice to help guard those who try to make a difference in the world. Sort of a guardian angel?" Giles asked.

"Very good. You understand that a whitelighter often has more than one charge?" She asked. Giles nodded. "This whitelighter guards not only Willow, but the slayer, the key, and potential whitelighters, as well."

"That is quite a responsibility." Giles thought aloud.

"Yes it is. What do you know of their powers?" She asked.

"They can transport themselves and they have the ability to heal. They are also very hard to destroy."

"You are right, but the Hellmouth pulls much of that energy. A whitelighter there can hardly heal and often can not orb." She noticed that Giles did not seem to understand the word orb. "Orb or Orbing is the power whitelighters use to transport themselves." She explained.

"So in Sunnydale a whitelighter would seem like a normal, average, person? A ordinary person with responsibility for Buffy, Dawn, and Willow?" He asked more confused than before and feeling a bit sorry for someone responsible for the three of girls.

"Yes, now I think you are finally beginning to understand."

"I understand nothing my lady."

"Have you ever met a whitelighter?" She asked.

"Yes. I knew one in my youth and I also know one living in San Francisco." He explained.

"Ah, yes Leo; a wonderful example. Now describe him to me. Don't mention his powers."

"He is a very kind, loyal, dedicated man. He cares for nothing more than his charges and his close circle of family and friends. There is no sacrifice for them he is not willing to make." Giles answered. "But, I still don't understand."

"Didn't you use to be quicker?" She mumbled to herself. Then answering aloud. "Now of those you know in Sunnydale, who does that describe?"

"Xander, of course, but I still don't understand . . .where . . . this . . . is heading," A look of comprehension and dread appeared on his face. "Oh good heavens. You are not saying that Xander is a whitelighter. That would be impossible. He is very much alive. I have watched him grow from a boy."

"Yes you did. A fine young man who gave his life for his classmates at his graduation." She told him.

Giles looked stricken. "How?"

"We knew from the moment of is birth that he was destined to be a whitelighter. When he died, we placed him back immediately. Once the danger of graduation had passed he came to us for instruction."

"His road trip. He said he wanted to see all 50 states." Giles was stunned.

"And he did. When he was done, he went back to Sunnydale. We knew that Willow would be powerful and needed someone she could trust." She explained. "Now do you understand?"

"I think so." He started hesitantly. "You have given her all she needs. The rest is up to her."

"Yes." She lady vanished in a flash of blue light. "Good bye child."

To stunned for coherent thought, Giles mindlessly began to clean up the remnants of the summing spell. That being complete, he decided that he needed to have a talk with a certain young man.

He picked up the telephone and dialed home.

"Summers residence." He immediately knew the voice was Xander's.

He could hardly breath. He realized that this young man had given his life for them all and now he is still trying. He was the only one who never quit. Buffy had run away before and she had given up after she was brought back. Willow had turned evil briefly. He himself had returned to England. Angel, Cordelia, and Wesley had all gone to LA. Oz and Riley had left too. Even Spike had run. This young man had died and he was still there.

"Is anyone there?" Xander asked.

Jolted from his thoughts, Giles finally found words. "Xander it's Giles."

"Is Willow all right? How is she?" Giles could hear the concern and worry in his tone.

"Actually, Xander her rehabilitation is going slower than I had hoped. I think it would help her if you were to come visit her for a while." Giles told him trying to sound normal.

"I am not sure I can do that Giles. As much as I would like to. Buffy and Dawn need me here. Besides I can't really afford the airfare." Xander explained.

"I am not suggesting you come here for an extended stay." He took a deep breath, he could say this. "Just an hour or two each day with her for a couple of weeks."

"G-Man. Did you hear what you just said? That sounds like an extended stay to me."

"No, just drive as far out of town as you need to in order to use your orbing power." There he had said it.

"What?" Xander asked.

"You heard me my boy, I think she needs her whitelighter and more importantly her best friend." Giles told him. He suddenly heard the line go dead.

"How?" Giles turned to see the boy standing next to him as a light layer of blue sparked light dissipated around him.

"I thought you couldn't orb from the Hellmouth?" Giles asked confused.

Xander grinned. "I have been practicing." Then more seriously. "How did you know?"

"Is it important? I needed to find Willow's whitelighter and I have. I do wish you would have told me yourself."

"I am not suppose to reveal myself to my charges." Xander said thoughtfully. "I probably shouldn't have admitted it even when you told me you knew."

"I wouldn't have told the girls without your consent and I still won't."

"Giles, I am not suppose to reveal myself to my charges." Xander repeated emphasizing the words.

Giles looked at him shock. "Me?"

"You!" He grinned. "Now tell me how I can help."

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I hope you like it. Please let me know.

Teri (