Rating: M (for chapter 4, everything else is a T)
Disclaimer: The characters here in are not figments of my own imagination. They belong to the creators and owners of the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I receive no financial benefits for this story.
Summary: In late season five Giles stumbles up on the right book and finds a way to keep Dawn safe from Glory. It's quite simple: Buffy and Spike just have to get married.
A/N: This is sappy, sweet, a bit sad and more sweet. I don't know. Maybe it's a long shot, but hey this is fan fiction. This is the closest I've ever come to writing some supernatural theory in my fiction. I'm not sure if Giles' research sounds believable but in this case it's the outcome that matters.
I'm not going for the Nobel prize with this one but I've been working on it for a year now and feel it's time to put it out there.
Something borrowed: Solution
Buffy opened the door to the Magic box and stepped inside. Giles had called her only minutes earlier and told her to come over immediately. Apparently he had some good news.
Anya was busy assisting some customers but pointed towards the training room when Buffy caught her attention.
She found Giles lying on the couch in the back. At first she thought he'd fallen asleep but he rose as soon as Buffy closed the door behind her.
"Oh, Buffy. You're here. I was just lying down for a bit. I've been here all night you see. I found this book last night." He skilfully threaded through the variously tall stacks of books that covered a fair part of the floorspace until he reached the table in the middle. He picked up a large leather bound volume from the top of stack there. Then he proceeded making his way back to the couch where Buffy had now taken a seat.
"Anything about Glory in that. Or how to beat a hellbitch's skanky ass, to be more precise?" the Slayer asked hopefully.
"No. Not about Glory. But a quite an amount of information about the Key, it's properties and uses."
"Oh. I guess that's good too," she tried not to sound too disappointed.
"Actually it's very good. It tells all about the origins of the key, the monks that are it's guardians, how it can be stored and protected. You see the key has a very long history. It was first…."
Buffy knew her watcher well enough to stop him right there. "Giles, spare me the history lesson. You can tell me this surely exciting and long story some other time. But for now could we just skip the ancient tales and prologue and come to what's important for me to know now."
"Alright," a slightly agitated librarian and lover of history sighed. "From what I've read, it seems that when the monks decided to bring the Key to human form and place it under your protection, they thought that it would be perfectly safe from those who seek it… creatures like Glory. But the monks were of a very secluded order and I'm afraid that they didn't keep up with changes in household patterns through the years."
"You see, the Key in its newly human form was an unbound entity. When they placed it in your care, as one of your family members, they thought that they had bound it to that entity, your family. But mystical entities are very conservative so in the mystical sense, which is very seldom relevant, your family is broken. A one parent family is not considered a whole entity." Giles made a small pause but soon resumed when he saw the confused look on Buffy's face. "This means that Dawn is still an unbound entity and therefore, if Glory found her, she could bind her to her own entity, which is exactly what she desires."
Giles had such an expectant look on his face that Buffy almost felt bad asking for clarification on what seemed to be obvious to him. "And this helps us how?"
Thankfully Giles' lack of sleep didn't block his usual patience for questions. "Mystical entities are very hard to brake from someone outside it and Glory has a limited time frame for what she wants to do with Dawn. So if we could bind Dawn to a mystical entity it's highly improbable that Glory would be able to succeed breaking that bond in the time she has. Dawn would be safe, Glory would not even be able to sense her as the Key if she stood face to face with her."
"Okay." This sounded simple enough. "Great. So how do we bind her?"
"There are different types of entities but a family is by far the most easiest to form. But with you two not being considered a whole family in the mystical sense… While your mother was still alive this might not have been a big problem. Your father could have maybe come back, or there was the option of her remarrying someone who you two looked up at as a father figure." Giles comfortingly laid his hand on Buffy's knowing her mother was still a very painful subject. "You must know, Buffy, that had I known this in time, I would have offered my services… although with her illness there's no way of knowing…"
"Thanks, Giles." Buffy gave him a weak smile. "I think. You know you are more of a father to Dawn and me than our real one is, so that wouldn't have been so weird. Except the mother being married to the father part."
Giles returned Buffy's smile before continuing. "A family, in the mystical sense, has to be composed of at least a pair of equals. Their children are added to it, if they come along. There don't have to be actual bloodties but the individuals involved need to perceive the relationships between themselves appropriately."
"What you are saying is," Buffy stood up and started pacing back and forth in front of the couch. "that with my mother gone, I could get married to a father figure for Dawn and we would be a whole family again, in the mystical sense?"
"And then Glory couldn't hurt Dawn."
"She would be perfectly safe as long as the entity is whole."
"What can break an entity?" Buffy asked next.
"As I said, they are very hard to break from the outside. The most common reasons of them breaking are death of one of the parental figures, divorce or one of them leaving, or breaking whatever wedding wows have been said."
"Okay." Buffy took a deep breath. "I have to get married… at twenty… with no boyfriend. Boy, it's not easy being the Slayer with a hellgod wanted key sister."
"Of course you don't have to…" Giles tried to point out the option of not doing it but there was no conviction in his voice.
"We both know that's not true. It's the only way we know to keep Dawn safe and it's a fairly simple one at that."
"It would rid us of many problems," he admitted.
"Right…" Buffy chimed. "So let's find me a husband."
"Well…" Giles started to say something but was stopped by the assessing look Buffy was examining him with.
"What?" she asked innocently when she noticed the horrified look on his face. "We have to do this as fast as possible and for that I think the real thing is out of the question, with the before mentioned lack of boyfriend and all. So it would seem a good idea if it's someone I already know and knows the sitch. And you said you would have done it for my mom…"
"Buffy. I'm extremely flattered. But you should know that for an bond to form the marriage has the be… ehm… carnally consummated."
"Oh." Buffy's face flared to bright red.
"But that is not the only thing standing in my way as a possible candidate. Firstly you said it before. I'm like a father to you. The mental connections are very important. The man you choose, Dawn has to accept him as a father figure and you have to think of him as your mate… even if you would only consummate the marriage once. Secondly I couldn't marry you because the parents in the family have to be equals in the cosmic plane. You being the Slayer makes you a bit more than human and therefore no longer my equal. You need someone more than human to mate with."
The blond glanced carefully over at the man beside her. "You might not like the idea, and there are some kinks to be worked out, but would Angel be a possibility?"
"I've already looked into that, but no. He's ehm… not available. Anyone can only be part of one entity at a time. And don't ask me how this came to be but he is firmly bound to Darla and their unborn child."
Buffy's eyebrows rose in surprise but she soon shrug her shoulder at the news. "I guess he's finally moved on then. Okay. No Angel. Other mystical creatures we know of that are available and would not be too gross for me to have sex with."
"There is one option that I would never suggest unless under these extreme circumstances."
As soon as she caught on to whom Giles was referring to her face disfigured in disgust.
The only way for Giles not to join her disgust was to consider this payback for the sounds he had to endure during that spell over a year ago. "You do have and ex-fiancé who is quite fond of Dawn. And the chip makes him a better candidate than any other vampire."
"You're suggesting that I have sex with Spike?" Buffy tried keeping a straight face to enjoy Giles' uncomfort with her blunt words. But actually her own thoughts at the sentence were ruining the moment for her. She knew that she should be disgusted at the thought, but she wasn't as much as she should be. Deep down the thought made her tingle. The memory of the two days she and Spike had been engaged wasn't as terrifying as is it should. At least she had been engaged. That was more than she could have expected in her life.
But she Giles was right. There weren't really that many options in this situation and Spike was the easiest to get.
"Fine" she said rising to her feet again. "'I'll go talk to him or propose or whatever."
"Are you sure about this?" Giles asked concerned. "Of course you can break the bond when Glory has been defeated, but Buffy," finally he managed to catch her eyes, "it is still a marriage."
"I know Giles." She answered finding a fascinating spot on her shoes to look at. "It will probably be my only one with Slayer mortality rate and all." There was a short silence. "And with everything that's been going on, I honestly don't have the energy to make a big deal out of this. It's an acceptable solution to a big problem. If Spike's up for it I can handle it. At least I get to get married."
Once again Buffy had managed to dumbstruck Giles with the reality of her life as the Slayer and the limitations it had. He rose to stand beside her and gently put a hand on her shoulder. "Alright. I'll do some more research. Make sure there's no other way… and look into the bonding spell itself, if there's something we need to keep in mind for that. Please let me know how it goes with Spike so I can get the preparations started."
"Okay." She said closing the door behind her and trying to shake the gloomy mood that had suddenly come over her.