Judging others and himself plays an important part in Giles's life.
A Giles-centric gen story.
Written: November 2010. Word count: 1,300.
ENTRY #08 FROM THE PRIVATE WATCHER'S DIARY OF RUPERT GILES.
A considerable part of my job as a Watcher involves judging others.
I assess my Slayer and her abilities; I need to know she is ready for the fight, ready to go into battle, ready to save the world. I teach her; I train her; I watch her; I do whatever I can to keep her safe from harm; to keep her alive.
Buffy, I believe, is like no other Slayer. Not only is she young, petite, very un-Slayerish, with a mind of her own, but she also has friends and a boyfriend who is a vampire. I cannot believe I am writing this down; indeed it is something no one must ever discover, especially not the Watchers' Council; they would not approve.
I should not approve. My entire adult life has been devoted to becoming a Watcher, to leaning all the rules, regulations and rituals that are involved. To learning and keeping the secrets of a world that must not be known abut by the majority of the population. Only the Slayer and the Council of Watchers should know about this other world, should know about the vampires and demons and werewolves and incubi and succubiand, the evil that exists in our world.
However, as with Willow and Xander, I made a judgement call when it came to Angel. I assessed the matter; I weighed up the pros and cons and I decided that to have Angel on our side, to have someone who knew from personal involvement and experience about this other world, to know more about vampires than any book can teach, to have experienced true evil of the kind I can never really know or understand, was of benefit to Buffy, to me, to the 'Scoobie gang'.
And my judgement has proven to be correct. Angel has helped us so many times. Angel has saved Buffy, has saved us all, Angel has killed vampires, even vampires who were of great importance to him. I judged Angel to be more than a demon, more even than just a vampire with a soul, more than the man he was. And I was not found wanting in my judgement. As with Buffy's friends, I watched him, I listened to him, I talked to him, I studied him, I considered what he could bring to our group. And as with the others, I decided he added to it.
So far my judgement of Angel and the others has been a good one. I know the Council would not agree; I know that if the day comes when they realise we have a vampire, even a vampire with a soul, closely involved in slaying other vampires, then life would become very difficult. I would be taken to task; I may even lose my position as Buffy's Watcher.
But it would not just be Angel of whom they would not approve. Despite the others having made, and making, important, vital, contributions to our cause, despite them having skills that neither Buffy nor I have, the Council would not understand. They would not permit the things I allow. Thus, it is far better that they do not know. After all, they are not the ones in the middle of it, they are not here. They do not see what I see day after day; they do not know how truly difficult, how frightening, it is to be responsible for saving the world.
They also would not approve or understand of my own involvement in the fight to defeat evil. I am a Watcher; I am meant to watch, to train, to teach, to mentor my Slayer. I am not meant to be actively involved in her duties.
But how could I, how can I, merely stand by and watch? How can I let the girl I love like a daughter, and the others I care for deeply risk their lives whilst I just watch? I cannot. I do not have it in me to merely stand by. It was another judgement call I made; I decided I would be more involved than most, if not all, Watchers. I would help in her fight; not just in an indirect way, but also in a direct way.
One day all of this, the latitude, may come back to haunt me. I may have to pay for what I allow, for what I do. However, as long as that payment is not Buffy's life, that is all that matters. Ultimately the Council can do whatever they wish to me, but as long as I can help Buffy, can help to keep her safe, can help her to remain alive, can help her to slay evil, that is all that counts.
I do have one fear, one that sometimes in the middle of the night when the darkness and evil seem even darker, even more evil, that my judgement is at fault. It is not as one might think that Willow or Xander will lose their lives in our fight. That does, of course, cross my mind, it does trouble me. However, I cannot allow it to be my major fear, for if I did, I could not allow them to be involved. And knowing them as I do, even if I forbade it, they would find a way to remain involved. At least if they do it with my knowledge, with my support, with my instruction, they have a greater chance of staying safe.
It is not even Buffy's death I fear; of course I do fear that. It would be my undoing, losing Buffy would be like losing part of myself. And if I lost her because she gave her life to protect one of her friends, someone whom had I not permitted their involvement would not have died, then I would truly have to accept, have to face, that I made the wrong decision; that my judgement had been faulty. But once again, I cannot allow myself to focus on this happening. I know, I have always known, that the chances of Buffy surviving more than a year or two, if that, are low. I know that most Watchers lose their Slayers; Buffy knows her life expectancy is not high; she knows it and she deals with it; as I have to.
So no, it is neither of these things. My fear is darker than this, it goes deeper and it concerns the member of our team who is the most helpful, the most able and yet the most dangerous. It concerns Angel. Each day I live with the possibility that something will happen and Angel will once more become Angelus, and if that happened Buffy would have to kill him. And I know she could not do so. My Slayer, my vampire Slayer, the girl who is meant to save the world to rid it of vampires and demons and werewolves and incubi and succubiand, rid it of all evil, could not kill Angelus. She loves him; killing him, taking his life even to save the world, would destroy her.
That task would have to fall to me and I know that I could do it. I could end his life, no matter what it did to Buffy, I could kill him. I would have to, for she could not. And that fact does give me the odd sleepless night; sometimes in the darkness I do believe my decision, my judgement to allow Angel to be part of the group was faulty. However, I made the decision; I judged it to be the correct one. All I can do is to stand by it and hope and pray the day I fear most never comes.
A considerable part of my job as a Watcher involves judging others. But it also involves judging myself.
Entries From The Private Watcher Diaries of Rupert Giles
Entry #01 - Not An Auspicious Start
Entry #02 - She Has Friends
Entry #03 - Buffy
Entry #04 - Willow
Entry #05 - Xander
Entry #06 - Angel/Angelus
Entry #07 - Rupert Giles AKA Ripper
Entry #08 - Judgement Calls
Entry #09 - Yuletide Musings
Entry #10 - Ethan's Return
Entry #11 - Vows To Be Kept
Entry #12 - Zenith Reached
Entry #13 - Might It Have Made A Difference?
Entry #14 - Unfamiliar Territory
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