COUNSEL THY SELF
Set during Helpless.
Giles makes a decision.
A Giles-centric gen story.
Written: August 2009. Word count: 500.
What have I done?
What have I done to Buffy?
I have betrayed her.
I have betrayed Buffy.
I have betrayed my Slayer, and for what?
Because of some archaic, ancient, ridiculous, cruel, inhuman task set down eons ago by the Watchers' Council, I have betrayed the person who means the most to me.
I was acting under orders. I was doing my duty. I was being a Watcher.
But that is not who I am. That is not all I am.
Buffy is no ordinary Slayer; thus I cannot be an ordinary Watcher.
I have sent her, I have allowed her, to go out and face her most deadly task yet - without her strength. What person, what man, what human does that?
Apparently I do. I, Rupert Giles does.
She is eighteen. Still so young, still the child, yet older than I; older than Quentin; older even than Angel.
She is eighteen and I have betrayed her. I, not the Council, I. For I did the deed. I put the needle into her; I put her into a trance and stuck a needle filled with muscle relaxant into her. I did that to Buffy. How could I have done that thing to her?
I cannot sit here and wait for her to be killed, wait for her to try to fight without her strength. That is not a real test; the real test is what she undergoes every single day. The real test is surviving, and she has done that - but to do so she needs her strength.
The Council will be angry; the Council will be more than angry. However, I no longer care. I am used to giving advice to Buffy, to the others, so now I am going to give advice to myself. I am going to put an end to this horror, this pathetic, evil ritual. I am going to tell Buffy the truth and face whatever she and Council throw my way.
SEVERAL HOURS LATER
It is over.
My job as Buffy's Watcher is over.
According to Quentin I have 'a father's love for the child, and that is useless to the cause'. So be it. He is not incorrect in what he said. I made my choice and I stand by it. I could not, I would not, stand by and watch Buffy risk her life over something so pointless. I'm not certain the Council understand that they could have lost the best Slayer they have had for quite some time, simply to fulfil some stupid rule.
My job as Buffy's Watcher maybe over, but I am thankful, I am more than thankful, that my job as Librarian is intact.
But even more than that, I am relieved, deeply relieved that Buffy forgave me for betraying her. She is not a child any longer; she is an adult. She understood why I did what I did and knows the cost of what I did.
She let me tend her wounds, like the child she still is.
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