Set a month after Chosen.
Giles is back home in England and thinking about what will happen now.
A Giles-centric gen story.
Written: March 2013. Word count: 1,485.
ENTRY #12 FROM THE PRIVATE WATCHER'S DIARY OF RUPERT GILES.
This may be the last entry I ever make in this my private watcher's diary, for in many ways I am no longer a watcher. At least I am not a watcher in the way I have spent the last six years being a watcher. The Watchers' Council will go on, but whether I will remain a part of it I have yet to decide. You see everything changed just over a month ago in Sunnydale. And it wasn't just that everything changed; it was that in one way everything I knew came to an end.
In some ways it was exactly the same as it has been for the last six years: Buffy saved the world; or rather Buffy and her friends saved the world; or to be completely accurate Buffy, her friends and a vampire saved the world.
Yet in other ways it was so very different. The vampire who helped Buffy save the world, the vampire who chose to die in order to save the world, the vampire who put humanity before himself was not Angel as it had been so many times over the past six years - it was Spike. And it wasn't just the Scoobie gang who helped Buffy save the world, they were involved, just as they always have been, but they were helped, Buffy was helped, by a group of girls who are potential slayers; girls who were destined one day to be the slayer. And that is the biggest difference of all; there is no longer only one slayer.
These girls, these potential slayers, are in effect slayers; there is no longer just one. Not that there has been just one for some years, not if I am honest. There have been two slayers since the night Buffy died and Xander revived her. For those few short moments in which she was technically dead, another slayer was called - was that perhaps the beginning of the change? First we had Kendra and then Faith; Faith who was also by Buffy's side during the final battle against the First Evil.
Faith: whom I still cannot truly forgive for what she did to Buffy, to the Scoobies, to us all, for the way she betrayed us. Faith: whom I find it harder to forgive for what she did to those about whom I cared than I found it to forgive Angel for what he did to me. Angel at least had a reason, an excuse you may say, given he was once again Angelus; Faith had no reason; she was human. Faith: whom Wesley helped break out of jail. Faith who seemed somewhat different, who seemed sorry, whom I believe is now with Principal Wood - certainly they seemed to find something in common, something in one another that brought them together.
Faith: whom I should have handed back to the authorities so that she could return to jail and continue to pay the price for what she had done. Faith: human and yet so beyond humanity. Faith: the girl I had once tried and failed to help. Faith: whom I believe always had a dark side to her, who was always more evil than good. Faith: who went up against Buffy when she tried to take Angel's life. Faith: whom I stood by and watched walk away, free to do whatever she cared to do. Faith: whom despite the fact I despise her, I let walk away, free to do whatever she cared to do.
And with this final battle the Scoobie gang dispersed. Willow is somewhere with Kennedy (another girl whom I did not like) why someone like Willow would choose a girl like Kennedy, I know not, especially not after Tara. But love is a strange thing; there is neither rhyme nor reason to it; it is not something one can understand - you only have to look at Buffy and Angel and maybe even Buffy and Spike to realise that. Did my slayer love Spike? I believe a part of her did; the older, the more jaded, the more cynical, the darker, the hurting Buffy I believe loved him because he was the only one who could understand her pain, her darkness after she had been pulled from Heaven by her friends.
Xander is - I am not entirely certain quite where Xander is at the moment, nor what he is doing. I know with Anya's selfless death part of his world crumbled and may never be rebuilt. I know he did not consider Anya's sacrifice to be a worthwhile one - she saved the life of a boy who had if not murdered himself then had stood by and let it happen. And yet to save the life of someone unworthy, to choose to give one's life to save someone unworthy, especially when you are so afraid of death as Anya was is truly the greatest sacrifice of all. Anya made a conscious choice and whether or not I think it was the right one, I have the greatest respect for her and of her choice. Maybe one day Xander will feel the same - but I suspect not yet.
That is one reason I brought Andrew to England with me and encouraged him to become involved with the Watchers' Council. It wasn't that I wanted his company; it wasn't that I thought he'd make a good watcher or even a worthwhile one; it wasn't that I thought he would bring anything to the Council. It was simply because I wanted to ensure he wasn't responsible for the death or destruction of another person. I wanted him and Xander as far apart from one another as I could get them - and if that meant I had to become, at least initially, responsible for Andrew, that is what I would do. I brought him to England with me not for his sake but for Xander's sake and for the sake of Anya's memory and her sacrifice. However, as I write this entry I will confess that Andrew has in the month he has been here surprised me; it appears there is more to him than it always seemed.
And then there's Buffy; my Buffy; my slayer, except she isn't any longer - not in the way she used to be. She has no real need of a watcher any longer, or at least she has no real need of me. Even though we saved the world, even though we closed the Hellmouth in Sunnydale I feel I failed her.
I failed her as a watcher; I failed her as a father; I failed her as a friend; I failed her as a mentor. I stood by and watched her fall in love with a vampire and I did nothing because I put the safety of the world before Buffy. I walked away from her at a time I believe she needed me most of all, and yet I did so for all the right reasons - at least that is what I told myself. I walked away from her only to return when her best friend came even closer to destroying the world than some of the vampires and demons did. Yes, I failed her.
My slayer no longer needs me, because she is no longer alone - and I don't just mean the Scoobie gang. She is no longer the only one; she is one of many; she does not have to stand alone against the vampires, the demons and the forces of darkness. She is no longer The Chosen One; the one born with the strength and skill to hunt the vampires, to stop the spread of their evil. She no is longer meant to save the world and rid it of vampires and demons and werewolves and incubi and succubiand, rid it of all evil. Or rather she no longer has to do so alone.
Her time in many ways is over; she can to an extent relax, maybe even enjoy her life; do things she wishes to do, not things she has to do. She can find out just whom Buffy Anne Summers really is - the girl, or I should really say young woman, not the slayer.
With the closing of the Hellmouth in Sunnydale so much has changed; so much has come to an end. I even wonder if I will ever see Buffy, Willow and Xander again - or whether they will just be a fond memory. It will not be the same; the world I grew up knowing, the world of the watcher and the one slayer has gone. Is this way better? Perhaps, but it is so very different. What I knew has ended; the zenith has been reached and I am not all together certain I am ready for what will happen next.
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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