Explaining Africa 2

Author: mkcrl120 <mike_curl120[at]hotmail.com>

Author: mkcrl120 - I don't have an author name yet as this is the second story I've actually written.

Disclaimer: All the characters mentioned in this story belong to Joss Whedon or Mutant Enemy or some other people. I own nothing and wrote this just to get it out of my system.

Summary: Okay, well the other idea I couldn't get out of my head demanded a sequel. Now I've got an idea for a third story in this little mini-series I've started and I'm scared to go there.

Setting: After season 7 of Buffy - pre season 5 of Angel. The remaining Scoobs are setting up in Cleveland, the Fang Gang have began to take over W&H and informed the Scoobs that Cordy is in a coma. Assume that when the Scoobs and the Fang Gang last spoke Spike hadn't shown up in ghostly form. Oh and probably the same day as Explaining Africa 1.

Rating: Noticed I'd forgotten this last time. Don't really know the American system anyway. Think its a pretty standard PG from a UK point of view. Nothing as bad as you'd see on the show anyway.

Giles re-read the email and poured himself a drink.

'Well in some ways telling them all about this would help ease the girls worry, especially Dawn and Willow.' Though Dawn had been the first to notice, Willow was by far the most worried. Faith hadn't helped in that area either. 'Willow seems to be under the impression that Xander's going to do something suicidal, she has known him the longest, was it something I should have been thinking of?'

'Dawn seemed to have complete faith in whatever Xander was up to. She even stated that he'd contact us when he felt the need to. Looks like she was right.'. He remembered back to the day 2 days ago when they'd first realised xander had gone.

*** Flashback ***

Giles had entered the room to discover Willow shouting at a group of the younger slayers.

"So no-one's seen him since Saturday!!! Is that what you're telling me?"

None of the slayers would meet her eyes.

"Red, look Xander can handle himself. The guy's got like a lifetime of experience from living on the hellmouth." This one from Faith from where she was perched on the table, 'Why can't that girl use chairs or ordinary furniture?'.

"He hasn't got a lifetime!!! He's got seven years, and he hasn't got backup."

"He lived there his whole life didn't he? Okay so he was only in the know from when B turned up, but he somehow managed to not become a snack for over a decade before that right? Face it, Xan's got instincts girl. He'll be okay."

"Face it Willow, Xander'll come to us when he needs to come home. Or he'll contact us or something." Dawn had entered the conversation. As Giles looked around he realised that some of the younger slayers looked like they were itching to join in the conversation now, though admittedly they still looked like they would raise their hands first.

'Dammit, we need Slayers not some frightened children who are too scared to join in when the 'adults' are talking. Though to be fair it hasn't exactly been a civil conversation so far.' He was about to say something when Buffy walked into the room.

"'Kay Willow, I've checked with Andrew he hasn't seen him for two days, that makes it Sunday as last sighting."

'Maybe we are getting somewhere at last' Giles considered, and then he heard...

"See Red, get a few more sightings like that and it'll turn out he's in this room having this conversation with us."

'And maybe we aren't.'


Buffy came to Willow's defence. "Jeez Faith, heartless much?"

"No B. Realistic. Face it, boyto..." Giles watched Faith quickly glance at Wood wondering if he'd noticed her slip, "Xan just needed some space so he went and got it... Maybe he just needed to drown his sorrows or get laid or something... Dawn's right, he'll come home when he's ready."

"This isn't his home, this is a new Hellmouth, one where he hasn't lived all his life and doesn't know like the back of his hand!" Willow countered.

Giles began to suspect Willow might be right about Xander not having the home-field advantage, he believed Faith might have thought the same, when her only comment was "Beginning to wish I'd gone with him..." then Giles watched in amusement as Faith quickly covered herself with a sort of apology to Wood. "The drinking that is... not the going to find a lay part."

Giles observed as Wood just stared at her looking for any sign of falsehood in her eyes. 'This has been going on for a while, I think Wood's starting to realise that the bad girl image is the only version of Faith that she'll let out to the surface, and I think he's growing tired of it cos he can't get past it, I think he was expecting to beat it down and be the one to 'save' Faith... nothing I can do for him there as if I knew anything on how to get past it I'd have used it myself to get her to open up a bit... whereas Faith... I'm not entirely sure what Faith's hanging on for. If I had to guess it might be so that she doesn't tread down the 'get some and get gone' path that she informed many of us was the only way to deal with men. She may also be hanging on as this is her first real relationship since I've known her, hell for all I know this could be her first real relationship ever...' As Giles continued to muse on the Faith scenario he was interrupted by Buffy saying "Yes."

'Yes what?' he thought as he turned around, 'Oh my god, one of them actually did it.'

Vi slowly put her hand down. "Couldn't we like find Xander by... errmmm... checking out all his favourite haunts that sort of thing?"

Rona chipped in with "Ask around see if anyone's seen him or something?"

Buffy looked at them like they were from another planet, but Willow beat her to the response. "What favourite places? We've been here a grand total of two weeks. If any of you can name ONE place that Xander's been to more than once we'll go there right now... anyone, anyone at all? And who are we gonna ask? No-one outside of this our group knows him and we've asked all of them, can anyone name anyone else he talks to?"

Giles thought back and realised he wasn't that sure if he could name anyone HERE that Xander talks to much anymore. But he watched amused as Dawn responded. "Rona's right though, Xander's pretty noticable - unless Cleveland's got a lot of one-eyed males hanging around someone may remember him. That said if Cleveland has got a lot of one-eyed men around I vote for leaving right now as the place sounds pretty dangerous to me."

Giles figured that if anyone else had made comments about Xander like that there may have had to have been a beat down sometime soon, but Dawn could get away with it. He just about caught Vi's whisper to Rona "If all the one-eyed men look like Xander I vote we stay til we can bag a few.", and Rona's giggles 'Oh God I'd thought I'd got past this when they all graduated'.

"Its a Hellmouth Dawn" was Buffy's reply "It is dangerous. But Rona's plan is the best one we've got, time to start asking around people."

"Right split up, Willow you're with me, we're gonna take the slayers to check out the nightclubs and cinemas and so on, Giles" Giles swung around to face Buffy "You take Faith, Wood and Andrew and check out the bars."

**End Flashback**

But Buffy's actions hadn't come up with any clues that night nor the night after. Earlier today Willow had gotten more and more certain that something had happened to Xander. Faith had tried to reason that there was nothing that could have happened to Xander that he wasn't able to handle. Willow had countered that the local big bad using him as bait or maybe killed him to send us a message. Faith responded that they hadn't seen a big bad, and that the only nightlife that was around were the regular vamps and so on that you find in any city, then she'd attacked Giles stating that Cleveland was essentially less of a hellmouth than LA or Boston and could they remove the title or call it 'Cleveland the Lamest Hellmouth in the World'. Willow had responded with several paranoid theories that involved the big bad knowing we were in town and keeping a low profile, then she attacked Faith stating Faith's latest comments had jinxed us all and Xander was sure to be dead now. This was the point Giles had chosen to leave the room, the last thing he heard was Faith's comment about it being so quiet that they hadn't even discovered where the demon bar was and EVERYWHERE had one of those.

It was after leaving the room because of the argument that Giles had intended to log onto his computer to see if the council had any expertise in tracking people that they could use when he discovered xander's email.

That had been an hour and three shots of whiskey ago.

'Dammit' Giles thought. 'I wish he'd come to me before starting off on his little errand. That way I could have stated that I was the one to send him on official business and stopped this whole thing before it managed to reach the current stages.'

He sat down and re-read his reply.


To: Xander <x_harris@hotmail.com>
From: Giles <rupert.giles@w_council.co.uk>
Subject: RE: Road Trip - the sequel.


Glad to hear you are well. Possible no-one even noticed? You wouldn't believe the commotion that's gone on in your absence.

As you may imagine most of the newer Slayers (and yes you must stop refering to them as Potentials) didn't know quite what to make of the scenes that were the result of your unscheduled vacation - especially those that were'nt with us back in Sunnydale and honestly didn't seem to know quite what you did... heh heh, you'll probably find this funny I've had accusations that you were a contractor assigned to help us with building the property to slayer standards - this girl demanded that I talk to your firm and state you'd gone missing before setting up the new gym; others believing you were a watcher and thought you were off 'recruiting' newly discovered Slayers; two other girls didn't even know your name and weren't aware that you were the one everyone was talking about, they seemed to refer you as the hunky Snake Bleskin.. (Blaskin? I can't remember) type of guy. Faith assures me you wouldn't take offence at this but so far I've been unable to figure out what they mean, Blaskin is not a breed of snake that I am aware of. Maybe you could explain it.

As for the others well its kind of been a split decision, with Buffy and Willow believing that you need help (admittedly Willow more than Buffy) and need to be located immediately (I think Buffy thought you just needed alone time after Anya... after Anya - much like she seems to have shut herself off from most of the group regarding the Spike situation - I think she just wanted to ensure that THAT was the reason and then she'd let you be, Willow went through every paranoid conspiracy theory you could name and probably some you couldn't).

Dawn of course had complete faith in you and that you'd call or turn up when you were ready, personally I am so glad she was correct on this. The other person on Dawn's side was surprisingly Faith, though I think she was more similar to Buffy than Dawn (don't ever tell Buffy I told you that), in that she also thought you just needed space but she gave you credit to handle most things and to know who to call if you didn't.

I think I played the referree role quite well considering how heated the debates got.

But anyway, back to your point.

I agree with you on the Spike scenario. It may be worth discussing with Angel about his own actions when he first had a soul, as you said there seems to be almost a century worth of history missing there. If that's how long it took for Angel to come to terms with it then can we allow the same for Spike. But unfortunately the same is true, if Spike comes back and he doesn't harm anyone then does that give us reason enough to stake him considering what he could be capable of when he has come to grips with it. I for one, have enough issues with Angel, but have to force myself to rise above them so that I can acknowledge the good he does do currently. Can we do any less for Spike?

Re-thinking that, if Angel had strayed a few times in the past in order to be the person he is now does that excuse what he did? If Spike started to do the same could we risk it when we couldn't be sure of the outcome? I'm afraid this whole thing is causing my reasoning to keep going around in circles. As a watcher I was trained to think long term and the big picture, unfortunately you saw how this can be displayed in people who only do that, people like Travers. But all of you changed that, fighting alongside you all back in the good ole days as you say made me re-think those opinions made me realise that everyone had a story and every single person counts in the long run. That was fine when I was just a field watcher, but now I find myself at the head of the council I need to learn how to blend the 'long term' thinking with the 'caring about the people' thinking to try to make the council start off on the best foot in the best direction I can.

I'm afraid that I cannot come up with anything for certain, even if I could get the full backstory of Angel's indeterminate years then who's opinions do I count? Don't worry this isn't something I intend for you to answer, nor is it something I intend to shoulder alone.

I think you had the best idea, all we can do for the moment is be as fully aware as we can be. So continue with your research into the soul scenario, I will be getting watchers back in England to start researching different methods of soul return, as I you say if they can be trusted having a vampire on your team can prove very useful - but as we said if they can be trusted - this is one of those long-term projects that we need to look into, but as to current issues there are two souled vampires that we know of - one isn't our responsibility (at least while he continues to walk the correct path anyway), the other most likely could be - anything to be decided should your investigation discover that his current method of ensoulment is less reliable than the gypsy curse will be done on your return as you present all the available information.

I will be transferring funds to your own account as a loaner so that you do not spend your own money on something the council needs to be aware of.

On a side note, I'm extremely proud of you and how you are attempting to deal with the possibility of a future Spike scenario, I felt from your previous email that you may have had something to prove. Believe me my boy when I state that you have nothing to prove to me. Should you wish to continue your quest alone do so with my blessing, should you wish colleagues to aid you in your quest simply name them and I will do my best to 'persuade' them to join you.

Good luck,



Pouring himself a final shot of whiskey he pressed send.

He took the glass raised it and made his toast "Xander, here's to your unofficial entry into the watcher's council", then down his drink in one. 'Wonder if he'd accept if I did ask?'

'Sometimes I wonder if he wanted to be more involved like his friends were or liked the distance that working in construction allowed him.'

With that final thought he went into the other room to find the argument still ongoing.

Dawn's high pitched cry was the most obvious over the general racket "He isn't dead. Willow will you please stop staying that!"

"How do you know? How are you sure? Answer me that?"

"Jeez Red I think we need to calm down a little here, Little-D ain't your enemy."

Giles began to polish his glassed as the arguments continued around him, 'Sometimes I wish I could be involved in something seperate to this. Ripper ole chum, it might be time to buy a guitar again.'


Silence followed, apart from a few younger slayer who were muttering between themselves, Giles glared at them until they were silent 'You've gotta be smarter than that girls, if when I shout two experienced slayers and possibly the world's most powerful witch obey then maybe that's a hint that you should too.'

"As I was going to stay, I've just recieved a phone call from Xander."

Pandemonium began with the "What did he say?", "Is he alright?" and "Where is he?"s. Giles swore he heard a "Snake's okay?" somewhere in the background.

Giles composed himself and prepared himself for the lie, "He's chosen to take a vacation to mourn Anya's passing properly. I've asked him to run a few errands for me.."

This time it was Buffy, "Giles you can't do that if he ne..."

Giles cut her off "I know, they weren't important errands, just enough so that he'd be checking in with people who work for me every few days, this way we know he's safe without it looking like we're checking up on him so to speak."

"Sneaky, watchman very sneaky."

And with that a hint of normalcy overset the proceedings, as normal as they got for Giles anyway. "Thank you Faith, now in Xander's absence it seems that we will be an experienced person down for chaperoning Team C's slaying schedule so Buffy and Faith if you could divid...."

The End