Ever want to tell a voice in your head to shut up? No. Really. I'm going insane over here.
I blame fangirl drooling over the Homicide: Life on the Streets S4 DVD set at Borders this weekend. I. Want. It. Especially since I just finished watching my shiny new copy of S3.
Byaliss won't shut the hell up. He wants in on the post-Chosen world. We keep arguing. I'm still polishing up the end of Living History but he's all NOW NOW NOW NOW!
It doesn't help that I started picking at the fic a few weeks ago while watching Homicide S3. Imagine: Xander, Faith, and Bayliss in the same room? Specifically, an interview room in a prison? Xander and Faith are so very much toast. *small voice* I'm scared...
I don't do crossovers (well, I did but waaaaaaay back involving Battlestar Galactica and Red Dwarf that a friend I did for kicks and for fun because we both hated our jobs and were bored) but this one won't go the hell away.
I know I'm going to finish it. I know it. I just started re-watching Homicide S1 and taking notes about the Adena Watson case, I'm re-reading the book the series was based on (Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets)and I ordered the Homicide reunion movie (got it on Ebay for $10).
Now, the Homicide movie...there was the guest cast from hell. They had everyone who ever appeared in the credits show up for that (including the soapy and pretty cast from S7). If you thought Law & Order has a revolving door for the cast, that's nothing compared to Homicide. I think there were four characters in the movie that were there from the first ep and stayed through the show's run: Bayliss, Giardello, Munch, and Meldrick.
The movie, overall, was a mess because it attempted to catch us up on everyone who ever appeared in the credits (including characters that had died during the show's run...it wasn't as nearly cheesy as it sounds).
But near the end there is this one scene that's maybe three minutes (if that long--but it feels like it goes on forever, and I mean that in a good way) between Bayliss and Pembleton. It has to be probably (IMHO) the best-acted scene ever on any broadcast television series where Bayliss just emotionally destroys Pembleton when he confesses to something. Just watching Kyle Secor's physical acting and hearing Andre Braugher's voice begging him to stop speaking...chills. And I haven't seen that scene in something like four or five years. *shudder*
The book the show is based on is interesting because the series (especially in the early seasons) hit every single case that was mentioned in the book, including the Adena Watson case (it's a different name in the book). It's also equally interesting how the characters on the television show became so completely different from the officers profiled in the book. It's a cracking good read, but be warned: It's written in what I call "journalism style" (the author was a reporter for the Baltimore Sun) so if the dry observer-style of writing drives you up the wall, don't read it, whatever you do. In it's defense, I'll just say that it did win an Edgar Allen Poe Award for true crime writing from the Mystery Writers of America.
What? I pay attention to this stuff...
Anyways, you probably are bored already, so, here's a new Living History part in which Giles makes Xander an offer he can't refuse (no, it doesn't involve a horsehead in his bed):
Up to part 49 can be found here
Continued from here
Xander firmly told himself not to feel guilty about goofing off with Lisa and the Playstation. Everything that could be done had been done and all that was left to do was wait.
They scouted the cemetery last night and spotted the damaged crypt, but no dirt monsters; they broke into teams and came up with strategies, although he really wished someone would just forget about the damned walnuts already; and they went through final gear checks this morning.
Since sunset was still hours away, he was left with two options: bounce off the walls and wait, or get in some quality slacker time and wait.
Since bouncing off the walls meant his brain would betray him and actually start thinking about his very fucked-up life, slacker time with loud, computer-generated explosions and body counts seemed like the way to go.
Lisa whooped as her computer-generated woman stomped on his computer-generated male ass.
“Ahhhh, think you’ve won, hunh?” Xander nodded, eyes not leaving the screen, “Watch and learn. Your health points? Not so good. But I, the Joystick King, knoweth this: I will rise again with full health points and you will be sucking electrons.”
“Joystick King, hunh?”
“King, Emperor, God, but all my friends simply call me your highness and worship at my feet,” Xander said as his avatar popped back into existence. Zero on points, low on weapons and ammo, but full of health. He grinned. “Die! Diediediedie!”
Lisa’s former ass-kicker exploded into a sticky red goo, allowing Xander to steal all her weapons and ammo.
“Ooooooh, I’ll get even. You’re not the only one who’s mastered the joystick,” Lisa grinned. “Mano-mano, may the best woman win.”
Xander blinked and looked at her, just as Lisa’s representative reformed and began beating on his electronic head. “Unh, don’t know if you noticed but…”
“I noticed,” Lisa said, tip of her tongue between her teeth as she concentrated, “but since I’m the only woman here, you are allowed to reach your own conclusions.”
“Hey! No fair! Distracting me like that!” Xander was back to maneuvering his player in a desperate attempt to stay alive. “Cheater!”
“Says the guy that there’s no such thing as cheating when it comes to Slaying,” Lisa giggled.
“Video game! Video game! Different than Slaying!” Xander protested as he executed a perfect flying kick to Lisa’s torso.
“Xander? Are you free?”
Xander looked up to see Giles standing in the doorway.
“Go ahead. I’m kicking your ass anyway,” Lisa said with a snicker.
“You pause that game missy, because when I get my second wind…”
“I’ll just kick your ass again.”
“No respect, no respect,” Xander grumbled good-naturedly as he ruffled Lisa’s hair and the girl’s giggle shot up to eleven on the loudness scale. He got up, wincing from the stiffness of sitting too long in one position, and hobbled over to Giles.
“Not here. I’d rather speak to you in private.”
Xander shrugged and followed Giles through the kitchen and into the courtyard. He eased himself on the steps and watched Giles pace. “Easy there. You’re gonna wear a hole in the ground.”
“Xander, I’ve been thinking…”
“That’s what you _do_,” Xander interrupted. “Not a big announcement there, Giles.”
“If you would let me finish,” Giles snapped. He sighed. “Sorry. This has been a stressful time for all of us and the prospect of going into our first en masse battle since Sunnydale has not been balm for jangled nerves.”
“Ms. Tikri must be driving you bats,” Xander commented. When the Watcher gave him an irritated look, he mimed zipping his mouth shut.
Giles sighed and fought a smile. “It has been a stressful time, but I’ve been noticing more and more how stress sometimes brings out the worst and the best in some people.”
“You’re just noticing this _now_?” Xander asked. “Where the hell have you been? Even if seven years of nonstop shit raining down on your head didn’t give you this big revelation, the last _year_ should’ve pounded it through your skull.”
“No need to get testy.”
Xander winced. “Sorry. It’s just that whenever someone starts a conversation like this, bad things are going to follow.”
“Not in this case, at least I hope not.” Giles watched Xander thoughtfully. “I know in our informal structure, we’re all technically Watchers, including the Slayers with some experience. Sooner or later, we need to formalize the Council and its membership, if only to handle some of the difficult questions we face.”
“Formalize,” Xander repeated. He sighed and looked down to study his hands. “I’m not going to like this, am I?”
“That’s just it. I don’t know.”
“You know, I thought about leaving,” Xander admitted. “Just go off and live a normal life because I can, but…”
“But…” Giles urged as if he were hanging on Xander’s every word.
Xander returned his gaze to Giles and admitted what had been bugging him about their brave new world since they landed in Cleveland. “I’m not in love with some of Robin’s ideas and sometimes, I don’t know, sometimes I think everyone is so busy looking at the big picture that they forget about all us little people trapped in the middle.”
“I would think that our friends from the future might be loath to call you one of the ‘little people.’”
“I’m not going to have my life dictated to me,” Xander snarled.
“Yes. You never did let fate, destiny, _or_ prophecy get in your way,” Giles mused, thoughtful look back on his face. “Funny how I forgot that.”
“Yeah, well, that’s me. The ultimate screw-up,” Xander shrugged.
“A screw-up who saved Buffy when she was sixteen even when every reliable prophecy insisted that she die,” Giles commented.
Xander shifted uncomfortably under the unexpected compliment.
“The thing is, despite what little you know, I don’t believe you _will_ let it dictate your life.”
“But I don’t know anything about me, remember? Bastard enchanted that damn journal so I could only read what he thought I should read and nothing more,” Xander said. “And what I read told me nothing, well, about me anyway.”
“You also know that you become a Watcher and that Catherine is a direct descendant.”
Xander convulsively swallowed. “Okay, those two things and one other thing, which I’m _not_ getting into, but I don’t know how I get there or even _if_ I should go there.”
Then Giles did the oddest thing: he eased himself onto the step next to Xander and placed a comforting hand on his shoulder. “A sensible attitude,” he quietly said.
Xander’s eyes narrowed as he turned to face Giles. “What’s going on? You’re suddenly looking at me like I’m Watcher material, aren’t you? Is it because of the whole…”
“Frankly, I was thinking you were Watcher material since we got to Cleveland,” Giles said with a wave of his hand. “But I didn’t want to bring it up until you found your feet. We’ve all had some terrible losses, you especially, and no one was in any position to make any decisions.”
“And I am _now_? Giles? I’m not even sure how I feel about what I _know_,” Xander protested. “You’re practically pushing me in a direction that I’m not sure…”
“Suits you, yes I know,” Giles admitted. “And I’m not pushing you. It’s your decision and you can change your mind at any time. I’m asking you to think about it.”
“You must be desperate.”
“I think you mean lucky.”
Xander was pretty sure he looked as surprised as he felt.
“The fact is, the old Council always _did_ concern itself with the big picture, the sweep of history, and the never-ending war against the darkness. Individual Slayers, individual Watchers were all interchangeable. We could all be replaced. A Slayer dies, a new one is Called. A Watcher dies…”
“..or is fired.”
“…or is fired,” Giles agreed with a smile, “and a new one is sent in to take his or her place. People don’t matter. Emotions don’t matter. Opinions don’t matter. The greater good, or what the Council _perceives_ is the greater good, _that’s_ what matters.”
“Remind me _again_ why I didn’t like your Council buddies.”
“Which is why we _need_ you,” Giles said. “Your insistence on individuals is a point-of-view that was sorely lacking. It’s one that’s doubly need now.”
“I don’t see why,” Xander shrugged. “Slayers are even more replaceable now than they were before, that’s if you follow Robin’s and maybe even Buffy’s reasoning.”
“There may be more Slayers out there, but they _are_ still people, something which tends to get lost while we focus on the big problems. Yet it seems to me you _haven’t_ forgotten. Much as you irritate Robin, you bring always bring up a number of salient points that are with listening to.”
“And the fact that I irritate Robin isn’t a nice bonus in your mind?” Xander asked slyly.
“Perish the thought. I always listen to both of you with the most impartial of minds and carefully weigh what you both have to say.”
“Even if Robin would’ve been right at home with the old Council and I would’ve been shown the servant’s entrance if I knocked on the front door,” Xander responded with a grin.
“You would not have been shown the servant’s entrance. They would’ve never let you on the grounds in the first place.” Giles’s responding grin was enough to tell Xander he was only sort of joking. “And that would’ve been their loss. I just don’t want it to be ours.”
“I’ll think about it,” Xander promised. “I really don’t know right now.”
“Take as long as you need,” Giles said. “Whatever your answer, even if there’s no answer at all, the offer will always stand.” Giles stood up and brushed off his pants. “I must be getting inside. That awful Tikri woman wants to hear details about Buffy’s early days as a Slayer and how you and Willow got involved.”
“And you’re just loving every minute,” Xander stated.
“Certainly not,” Giles sniffed. “I am merely trying to set the record straight. The misconceptions these people have about us are simply abominable.”
“An outrage for the ages helped along by a little undiluted Faith,” Xander agreed. Just as Giles was about to enter the door, he added, “Giles? Thanks. I will think about it, you know.” Strangely enough, he realized that he actually meant it.
Giles ducked his head and Xander could almost imagine an indulgent smile on the man’s face. “I have every confidence that you will. And you don’t need to thank me. I think you should reserve the thanks for that extraordinary man you see in the mirror.”