Title: The Will To Live
Author's Name: Laura Sichrovsky
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Rating: PG or FRT
Season: This is set in season three.
Summary: Xander finds Giles's Will.
Spoilers: None really.
Disclaimer: This is where I put the statement saying that I do not own Buffy, Giles (Heh! I wish!), Sunnydale, or anything
relating to the show. No one is paying me to do this and if you feel the sudden urge to send me gifts, you might
want to talk to someone about that. Joss Whedon owns all things Buffy and has not given me permission to
use these characters as I have so if you have problems with the story, please send the pretzel bombs to me, not him.
Author's Notes: I was working on a different story and used a line about Giles willing something to the kids. For some reason
that stuck in my head. I wondered what his will looked like. I also wondered what would happen in the kids
found out about it. So, here is what I came up with. We hope you like it. Thanks need to be given, and here
is where they go. Thanks to Joss for creating characters so fun to watch and to borrow for a bit. Thanks to
Tony Head for making Giles so amazing. I tried to fight it, but he was just too remarkable not to fall for. To
Ann, who always helps with the details, listens to me ramble, and who never runs out of patience, I owe you
so big! Thank you just doesn't seem enough. To Nikki, who called me on my mistakes, and helped me hear
my inner Brit, thank you,. I couldn't do it without you. Thanks to my amazing husband who not only doesn't
get upset when my writing takes over, but who doesn't freak about the men who live in my head. I love him so.
The Will To Live
Giles walked into his office, his nose buried in a book. He was studying the fighting techniques of Bailar demons, his attention riveted to the text. Some part of his mind alerted him not only to the fact that he was approaching his desk, but that someone else was already there.
He looked up, surprised to see Xander standing behind the desk, papers in his hands and a frown on his face.
"Xander? Is there something I can do for you?"
Xander looked at him and held the papers up.
"What is this?" Xander's voice was soft, just above a whisper.
"Those are my personal papers," Giles replied, finally recognizing the folded document. "Please put them down."
"I was looking for the extra key to the weapons locker," Xander said. He hadn't put the papers down and his voice was strained. "I was going to put a crossbow away. I saw the envelope on your desk and the name of the law firm caught my attention. You know the first thing I thought?"
"Xander…" There was something about the tone of Xander's voice that worried Giles.
"I thought they were deporting you. So I opened it and looked at the paper. Turns out, they aren't deporting you."
"No, they…it's an updated copy of my will. I made a few changes to it."
"What is this?" Xander's voice got louder, he seemed almost angry. "You are leaving us trust funds?"
"Those are…well, it's actually why I changed the will. Some investments I made paid off."
"And the money goes to us? To Willow, Buffy, Cordelia, Oz, and me?"
"Well, I wanted to…I wanted to see to it that you had something..."
"Watchers get good retirement, do they?" Xander spoke over him.
"And what does this mean?" Xander's voice was taking on an almost hysterical quality. " 'In the case of my demise before their high school graduation'?"
"Just what it says," Giles answered calmly. "If I die before graduation, the trust funds go to you lot."
"Is there something you aren't telling us?" Xander was looking at him intently. "Are you sick?"
"Of course not."
"You do realize that you are ruining your graduation surprise?"
Xander looked at him, completely bewildered.
"You'll get the trust funds when you graduate."
"Unless you die tomorrow." Xander's voice was harsh.
"I want to give you lot a gift to honor everything you've done, how hard you've worked. It isn't much, but…"
"You are leaving me your car?"
Giles blinked, momentarily confused by the subject shift.
"Well, yes. I thought you could use…"
"And your favorite sword? The one you're training me with?"
"Xander, what's wrong?"
"Buffy gets a flat in Bath? Willow gets all your spell books?" Xander didn't seem to have heard the question.
"Xander, I don't understand."
"Oh yes, I'm sure that Oz getting all those albums will make everything better."
"Your car. I get your car." He seemed bemused, his face pulled into a frown.
"Is there something you'd rather have?" Giles asked gently.
"Yes, there is." Xander came out from behind the desk and started to pace.
"What is it?" Giles asked, picking up a pencil.
"I want you to give the car to my son."
Giles turned to look at Xander, completely confused.
"Xander, I don't…"
"I want you to give it to him in person. On his sixteenth birthday. It would be the perfect present from his Uncle Rupert."
"Well, I can't see you letting him call you, Grandpa Rupert. Maybe Grandpa Giles? I guess we can worry about that when I actually have a son."
"Xander, what is this about?" Giles was completely lost.
"I want you to give him the car after years of playing with him and hundreds of pictures in my wife's album. I want you to eat a piece of cake at the party like you do every year and then you can give it to him. That's what I want. Why aren't you writing that down?"
"Xander, tell me what's wrong."
"What's wrong?" Xander whipped around to face him. "If I get your car or your sword, or your money, it's because the Watcher has left the building."
"Well, I don't want any of it. I want you to keep your car. I want you to keep teaching me how to use the sword."
"Xander, it's just a precaution," Giles replied, finally understanding the reason for the boy's distress. "This is a Hellmouth."
"You don't…" Xander resumed pacing, his voice getting angrier. "My family…my parents…and then you come. And now…I…no. I don't want any of it."
"You asked what I wanted. I told you. Write it down. I want the car to be given to my son. Promise me."
"Xander, I can't…I'll try."
"Not good enough."
"I won't make a promise I can't keep. You know that."
"Yeah, I do." Xander had stopped his pacing and stood, his back to Giles. "That's why I want you to make the promise."
"Xander, I can't."
"Then lie to me."
Giles looked at Xander. He couldn't see his face, but the set of his shoulders told Giles of his anguish. Giles would never understand the boy, but he understood the need for comfort.
"I promise. I'll…I'll even teach him to drive it."
Xander turned to face him. The tension in his shoulders eased, but not by much.
"I'm sure he'll appreciate that," Xander's voice was just above a whisper. "Almost as much as those camping trips we're all going to take together."
"Yeah. You, me, my family, Buffy's family, Willow's, Oz's. We'll go every summer when school is out. We can rent some cabins. Unless you want to show us how to camp with tents. We can fish and relax. I've never been camping, but I understand families do it all the time."
"Yes," Giles said gently. "Families do."
"Then we'll have to do it," Xander said nodding absently.
"You know, it might go smoother then if we practiced now."
Xander looked up at him.
"We could go this weekend? You, Buffy, Willow, Oz and me?"
"Just the family?" Xander asked.
"We should talk to the others. If you'd like to that is."
"Yeah, I would." Xander seemed to have relaxed a bit. The panic was gone from his voice. "Hey, can we bring marshmallows?"
"Of course," Giles replied with a smile. "I'll supply some tents and fishing rods. You have a sleeping bag?"
"Yeah, I do. Fishing? Really?"
"I know a good spot in Breaker's Woods by the lake. We can set up there. I do have to warn you though. I tell very good ghost stories."
"Ha! I'll bet mine are scarier."
"Only one way to find out," Giles laughed. "Will you tell the others?"
"On my way right now," Xander said, heading for the door. "Giles?"
Xander ran out of the library, a huge grin on his face. Giles walked to his desk , picking up the will and putting it back into the envelope. He'd never tell Xander that just knowing he had someone to leave everything to was a comfort to Giles. He thought he'd spend the remainder of his life by himself and die alone.
And then these children had forced their way into his life. He fussed and complained about it, but the truth was that he could never repay them for what they brought to his life. He sometimes wondered if they only shared their company out of a need for his knowledge or out of pity.
Giles smiled as he put the envelope in his briefcase. Moments like the one he'd just had proved to him that he was more to them, that he meant something, that he had a family.
As he walked out of the library, mentally making a list of what they'd need for this weekend, he was smiling.