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Disclaimer: Joss owns all. ‘Nuff said.

Disclaimer 2: My first Buffy fic. It’s a part one. No it’s not finished. But this part works on it’s own as a stand-alone thing. I’m going to try to accomplish that with the other chapters too. It’s written as a part of Buffy’s Journal. It’s sort of angsty – but not really. Bridget Jones’ Diary spawned this. And there are bound to be scenes that come further down the way that you’ll recognize.

Roughly beta’d by a friend (Thanks Jenn). Forgive any really nasty mistakes.

Spoilers: Uh, the series finale I guess? Has anyone not seen that yet? Even my friends in England managed to get a hold of it.

Rating: PG for some cursing maybe.

*****

When did I start turning into Giles?

I’ve always liked being Buffy, but recently I keep doing more and more Giles-like things.

Look at that – before I’d have said Giles-y now I say Giles-like. Yeesh.

And keeping a journal – of course, I can blame this one on Dawnie. She gave me this gorgeous ox-blood, leather bound journal when I left for England, and I finally couldn’t resist the urge to use it. It was just too pretty sitting on my bedside table, practically begging me to write in it. Of course, it’s not a ‘dear diary’ kind of book. It looks more like one of Giles’ watcher journals and somehow I just can’t see… writing Dear Diary. So I guess I’ll just ramble on in here.

I guess I’ll begin at the beginning, even though I didn’t start this journal at the beginning…You see after Sunnyhell became the world’s biggest pothole, our MIA dad Hank, actually ponied up and made with the caretaker vibes. He moved us (all of us – Giles, Willow, Dawn, Xander, Faith, Wood, Andrew and all the remaining potentials) into our old house in LA – he even signed it over to me. Apparently he doesn’t stay there much anymore anyway. Like that was a surprise.

Anyway, I enrolled in UCLA – surprised everyone when I switched my major from Psych to Ancient History. (Probably the start of my weird morph…) I figured if I was going to retire, I might as well make the Slay stuff work for me and you’d be surprised how much I actually picked up from Giles over the years. Dad was paying my way and sending nice looking support cheques – for both of Dawn and I – even though technically he didn’t have to send anything for me.

Things were really looking up…

That should have clued me in that things were gonna go to hell in a big hurry.

It wasn’t long after that that there was a huge flare up in Cleveland. I braced myself for impact, but it didn’t come – I wasn’t going. Faith, Wood and Giles were going to go down and avert catastrophe. Giles to get them set up, then he was to come home. I paced the night away every night, watching the phone, waiting for a call. I suddenly knew how mom felt, except much worse. I’d gotten used to Giles being here again, and it was killing me not knowing if he was alright. Not that I’d let him know that…

They averted the catastrophe all right, but Giles wasn’t coming home to me. Oh, he wasn’t dead and he was coming back – but only for a week or two. Nothing bad. At least not for him. No, he’d decided that it was time to pack up the little Slayers and take them home to England, where he could find them all Watchers.

Giles was being really hard assed about it too. I don’t know what the heck got into him. All of the sudden, he wasn’t my Giles anymore – he was that jerk who tried to kill Spike again – it was like he was possessed by the ghost of Quentin Travers. Anyway, I practically had to jump down his throat to make him back down about hauling Kennedy away. We got him to relent, when she insisted the only Watcher she’d accept was Willow. Yep, that’s right Willow the Watcher. Actually, it was Wesley’s idea. He argued that if Wood was good enough to be a Watcher for Faith (they’re sleeping together), then Willow was a natural for Kennedy. Of course, Giles went off on how it was improper for Slayers to have relationships with their Watchers. You should have seen the glare Wes gave him.

Though I think that may be credited to the little English hottie Slayer that he ended up coming home with after a visit to England. Kristin’s the eldest of the newly called – twenty – and a bit put out with it all. She was a medical student before she got called, and she’s very stubbornly trying to continue – though how she’s going to balance residency and patrol when the time comes I have no idea. She’s working at Angel Investigations right now and seems to take perverse pleasure in ‘accidentally’ almost staking Angel. Personally I think she’s trying to teach him not to lurk. I have to admit I sort of like her the best of all the new Slayers.

She’s also taken up permanent residence in her Watcher’s room, if you know what I mean. Which I guess is kinda cool.

It’s fun to watch them.

They have entire conversations without talking. As a matter of fact so do Will and Kennedy. Even Faith and Wood were making with the non-verbal before they left for Cleveland. I sort of remember how that was – when Giles and I could do that. I have to admit I miss it. Of course, since I’m retired I don’t need a Watcher anymore. Even if he hadn’t decided I didn’t need one long before that.

Anyway, there’s sort of an American version of the Watcher’s Council now, even if there are only three of them. Wes is teaching Willow and Wood the finer points of being Watchers. He’s nominally in charge – mainly because he has the balls (which seems kinda odd given previous history) to stand up to my ex-Watcher when he goes all Travers over somebody’s ass.

You know sometimes I wonder why I miss Giles so much.

I guess it’s because I miss *my* Giles. The one that used to come patrolling with me. The one that helped me study for the SATs (much of the reason I am now here in England). The one who called me a miracle. Not the fuckwit pillock that seems to have taken up residence in his body.

Note to self: Check with Wes if there is such a thing as a fuckwit pillock demon that might have possessed Giles.
The thing that frightens me most is that I’ve started to curse like Giles and I now understand things that he never meant me to. How far behind can the super long words be? And the accent? I’ve already begun to sound ‘muddled’ as my friends here call it and occasionally my English is so proper that I purposefully start using slang that I gave up years ago.

Of course, Wesley came up with the ever clever idea that when I come home from Oxford, degree in hand, that I should join them in being Watchers. There are always new Slayers appearing – it seems as though Willow’s spell is still in effect, activating potentials as they come of age. Plenty of girls that need a helping hand…

And who better than me? I mean I’m the Slayer that died twice. If anyone could train a Slayer it’s me, and now I’m showing definite talent in the Watcherly arts. Wes thinks it’s a sign of things to come, where Watchers will be Slayers that have earned the right to step back from the very front lines, who have the experience to guide the younger ones. I don’t know if he’s right. In a way I hope to god he’s not… We need Wesleys and Willows and Woods and Gileses. Normal, extraordinary people. People who allow us to be normal girls. People who keep us grounded in reality. Especially Gileses.

Well, at least Gileses that don’t act like a horse’s ass.

I keep on about being retired of course when he presses it. Or how it will wreak their Watcher/Slayer pairing thing they’ve got going. I mean no offence to Will and Kennedy, but I like boys and at last count there were no boy Slayers. Boy watchers, no boy Slayers.

My destiny is Slayer. Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt – twice. It feels like I’ve seen more apocalypses than birthdays.

Crazy idea isn’t it? Buffy Summers, Slayer Extraordinaire … Watcher.

Then god, why am I so tempted…

You’d think being out of the game; I’d want to stay out. If I was smart I would. Maybe I’m not smart.

Or maybe…

Maybe I’m trying to fill this gap I feel in the middle of my life. A gap I can’t fill, because the piece that fits it decided not to be here anymore.

Lets not go there, Buffy… Bad, bad place.

So - Buffy Summers, Watcher? What do you think?

Well one thing I know, I have to perfect my journaling skills if I decide to continue down this weird path of morphing… I missed a major part of this story. How I ended up in England and more importantly at Oxford.

I did well… Really well at school. Honours. Scholarships. All the Scoobies were so proud. Well, all the Scoobies that knew.

It wasn’t that hard either. Giles had always said I underestimated my own intelligence. I think it had more to do with how much I studied and all the resources I had. After all I had adopted a strict ‘no boys for Buffy’ rule. Wesley was lending me his books to study from and no one questioned when I went into the room that Xander had converted to a library for us and cracked open one of Giles’ old books. More often than not, just to feel closer to him. The studying did that too. Brought him back to life in my head. I could hear him when I studied, sometimes so well that I expected to turn around and see him behind me.

Of course, the man in my head was just an illusion. That Giles was long gone. That Giles was the one who would have been truly proud of what I’d accomplished. That Giles would have wanted to see my marks, hear my news. He wouldn’t have given the automatic answer of ‘Well done, Buffy’ and moved on to other subjects.

Not that the real Giles had a chance to either – mainly because I didn’t call him, didn’t tell him. Not even when I wanted to so badly I could taste it. Not even when I got the offer from Oxford for a scholarship and bursary, something that I could hear my mental Giles burst from pride over. I couldn’t bear the idea of giving him the chance to break my fantasy. I knew my mental Giles would disappear at the wrong word from the real one. I couldn’t bear it. I needed the Giles in my head, because the real one had made it clear he wasn’t a part of my life yet again.

Willow and my father were all about what a great opportunity it was. I mean Oxford is like one of *the* schools right?

That didn’t matter to me … all that mattered was that it was his school and I wasn’t going to go.

I didn’t think I could handle being in England. My fantasies about England had included tours from Giles. Seeing his childhood home. Falling asleep on his shoulder as we road the train from place to place. Rain trickling down the window outside of the flat we were staying in as we looked out into the night. Far from Sunnydale and our duties. Things that would never happen in reality.

Going there in reality meant risking running into him. Yes, I know it’s a big country, but Oxford is like his territory. Ancient history - his thing. I had tread into his territory to give myself a little piece of him back. Going that deep in, risked someone finding out who I was, whom I knew and out of ignorance bringing him back into my life. Giles, out of duty, coming to check on his one time charge. I couldn’t bear seeing that I was just that, a duty to him.

So I’d made up my mind. Then I talked to Faith.

I know… Faith.

Out of everyone, she got it. She got why I’d done so well, she got why I didn’t want to go. She knew the big empty hole I was living with. She got how I looked at her, Kennedy or Kristin and felt like they had everything and I had nothing.

Her advice was harsh. I had to do it. I had to go. I had to do it for myself. Confront what I didn’t have anymore, claim what I’d done for me and move on.

I had to let go of the Giles in my head. I had to grieve for what I lost – that closeness, that link. I had stopped being the Slayer. So I had to let go of my Watcher. Otherwise everything I was doing would end up as hollow as that hole that was left inside of me.

When did that bitch get so damned smart?

Except, instead of letting him go, in some ways I’m becoming him.

Or maybe that’s just my way of remembering my Watcher. My Giles. Making him a part of me. Accepting him as a part of me. I’m letting him in.

Whatever it is, these days I’m getting the marks without Giles’ voice in my head, without studying full stop and I don’t go to class worried that I’m going to run into him by accident. No matter what the real Giles said or did now, I’d thank him for being who he was when he was it. For helping me become this person I am now.

Because you know, I really rather like her. This strange mix of Buffy and Giles. Most of the time I don’t even notice when I do something Giles-like any more. It’s just me.

Elizabeth Ann Summers, Watcher. Sounds better than Buffy… But I’m not quite there yet.

And my kettle’s whistling. Time to make tea.
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