The New Bodyguard
Summary: As she says goodbye to Frank, Rachel thinks about her newest bodyguard and how to let go of her old one.
Challenge: AerynSpeedleCaine's challenge on the TtH forums for a Whitney Houston songfic.
Timeline: end of the movie for 'TB' and several years post-'Chosen' for BtVS. Adjust the calendar dates to match up.
A/N: In case anyone can't remember (I couldn't), Frank was Kevin Costner's character and Rachel was Whitney Houston's.
Thanks to my betas:none.
Disclaimer: BtVS and AtS characters belong to Joss Whedon / Mutant Enemy. The Bodyguard characters belong to Lawrence Kasdan, Mick Jackson and Warner Bros. I claim no rights to any copyrighted material. Please do not copy or take this story without my permission. The song 'Where Do Broken Hearts Go' wasn't written by Whitney, but she did sing it.
Rachel sent her son, Fletcher, back to the plane so she could talk privately with her former bodyguard/lover. Part of her wanted him to stay…not as her bodyguard, but as her lover. The selfless part, however, knew she had to let him go. Just like she couldn't give up music, she knew he couldn't give up protecting people.
Still, she had to rib him about the person he handed her security over to – especially when he gave her such an opening by asking her what she thought of the new person. "She's nice, I suppose, but she looks like Barbie's little sister!*"
Giving Rachel a little smirk, Frank retorted, "I don't trust you with a guy." Then he grew serious and added, "Honestly, she is a far better choice for you than somebody like me. Buffy knows how to blend into your world. You wouldn't think it to look at her, but when she needs to she can disappear from sight while remaining at your side. Male bodyguards protect mostly by intimidation, but Buffy just waits until you need to be saved and does it."
Really not liking Frank's fond tone when he raved about the blonde beauty, Rachel narrowed her eyes. "Oh, and just how do you know her?" she attempted to ask casually.
Another smirk from Frank told her she wasn't successful, though.
"She came to me several years ago to adjust her skill set in order to become a bodyguard. Said she needed to feel needed again," Frank replied in an annoyingly vague way. "After a couple surprises, I decided to train her."
Unhappy with his revelation – or lack of a good one, in her opinion – Rachel demanded a kiss goodbye. She grit her teeth when he kissed her temple while giving her a one-armed hug. Okay, to be fair, his other arm was still in a sling, but it felt like it would be one-armed even without the sling, dammit!
Once they got seated on the plane and started to taxi away, Buffy leaned over and whispered, "C'mon…you gotta give him a better goodbye than that!"
Rachel glanced over and saw the same damn smirk on her face that Frank gave her moments before. Then her words sunk in and Rachel cried out, "Wait!" She ran off the plane and almost tackled Frank with her embrace.
To his credit, he didn't even give the slightest indication that her more in-depth goodbye was causing his injury any pain – even though it had to hurt terribly. All she could think of was that if she wasn't going to see him again, she wanted some good memories to cling to.
After several minutes, they finally broke apart, and Frank walked her back to the plane. Standing at the bottom of the stairs was Buffy, giving them a bittersweet smile while keeping her eyes out for any danger. The smile made Rachel wonder again what was in Frank's past with Buffy.
"You take good care of her," Frank ordered sternly.
Buffy just smiled again, this time with less pain in her expression. "Like she was family," she assured him. Once Rachel was up the stairs and out of earshot, she continued, "And when you're ready to retire, I expect she might be."
Ignoring the shocked look in his eyes, she made her offer again, "Whenever you want, the Council will hire you as a trainer for the girls. A lot of your skills work just as good for killing as they do for saving."
That was a point that Portman just made abundantly clear, Frank thought as he slightly rolled his sore shoulder. "Too bad the advanced healing doesn't work for family members like they do for Slayers," he complained lightly. He loved his daughter dearly, but could admit – at least to himself – that he was jealous sometimes; jealous and worried about her.
She handed him a bottle of salve and said, "This will help; I just couldn't give it to you until you wouldn't be seeing Rachel for a while." When she saw he was about to ask something, she held up her hand to stop him. "Please! Like that lame-ass goodbye was going to be the real one? I knew we'd have another chance to say our own goodbye, old man."
"Brat!" Frank retorted with a smile. "I'll think about your offer," he said, squeezing his child's hand instead of hugging her; he felt the need to regain his professionalism a little after the earlier slip with Rachel.
On the plane
A few hours later…
After watching Rachel brood for the first half of the flight, Buffy had enough. She leaned over again and said, "It sucks, I know, but use it."
"What do you mean?" Rachel asked.
"Don't you write songs?" Buffy asked back. "'Cause of all the times in the world, this seems like a perfect one for venting your feelings."
Rachel thought for a moment, then nodded. She reached into the compartment in front of her and pulled out some paper and a pen and began writing. She took some artist license with the words, but it felt…authentic to her. She especially liked the chorus.
'Where do broken hearts go
Can they find their way home
Back to the open arms
Of a love that's waiting there
And if somebody loves you
Won't they always love you
I look in your eyes
And I know that you still care for me'
A year later…
By the next February, the song had music to go with it, had been practiced more times than Rachel could count, and she was about to debut it at the Oscars. It felt right to sing it in public for the first time in the place she realized how much she loved Frank.
Of course the media was in a frenzy, talking about how courageous she was for going back to the place where she almost was killed a year earlier. Rachel knew it wasn't courage…just trust. Despite her mini-Barbie look, Buffy proved over and over again that she was just as good of a bodyguard as Frank. There was no reason to fear as long as she was around.
It didn't mean that she missed Frank any less, though. Hopefully he'd be watching tonight and understand that she still loved him.
She stepped out onto the stage as the music began…
A/N: *I mean Barbie in the 'pretty blonde look' way.