An old friend...

The buzzing of an approaching Immortal woke Giles from his slumber, sending him scurrying across the room to where his sword sat on a shelf. He picked his way across the apartment as quietly as he could, slowly reaching the door just as the doorbell chimed. Sword gripped tightly, he opened the door.

"Hi, Rupert." A tall, blond haired man with a lopsided grin and slight Greek accent stood rather shakily on the other side. "Can I crash here tonight?"

"You're drunk." Giles lowered the sword. "Again."

"I've been drunk for more than 3,000 years; why change things now?"

"I don't know why I put up with you . . . "


"Giles, you up yet?" Buffy used the key her Watcher had given her to let herself in, confused by the loud snoring coming from the sofa.

"In here, Buffy," he called from the kitchen. "You'll have to forgive the mess. I have an unexpected house guest."

"Oh, who?" the Slayer asked.

"That would be me," a voice from the depths of the sofa answered. "There had better be coffee if I'm being woken up this early."

"It's your own fault you're hung-over." Giles passed a steaming mug of black coffee over. "Please excuse my friend. He's not had a lot of luck with mornings." Giles sat down with his own morning tea. "Buffy, meet Achilles. Achilles, this is Buffy Summers, the Slayer."

"Achilles?" Buffy raised an eyebrow. "As in . . . "

"Yes," Giles nodded. "As in Achilles, son of Peleus and Thetis."

"He's an Immortal?" Buffy looked shocked.

"I am that." Achilles rubbed his aching head. "For whatever sins I committed before the gods."

"You don't sound that happy about it." Buffy looked at the unshaven hero.

"3,191 years ago, I lost all my friends, my home, everything I had." Achilles rubbed his eyes. "I've spent most of the time since drunk."

"How do you survive?" Buffy asked. "I would have thought that there are a lot of other Immortals who'd like to be the one to take your head."

"He gets by on reputation." Giles smirked. "Would you want to fight the Legendary Achilles? Besides, as the second oldest Immortal known, he's had a lot of experience fighting."

"How old is the oldest?" Buffy asked, intrigued.

"From what I hear, he's about 5,000 years old," Giles shrugged. "Although I've never personally met him."

"As far as you know," Achilles grinned, then looked at his watch. "I'd better be off. I hear that they're making another film of the Trojan War, and I'm going to see if I can get a job as an extra." He stood and stretched. "It was good to see you again, Rupert. Maybe next time, you can crash at my place."

"You'd have to own a place first," Giles said wryly as he shook his friend's hand. "Watch your neck, old man."

The End