Title: Memoirs of Loss
Author: Angryteabag
Rating: Teen/PG
Genre: Retrospective, sad!fic, romance, angst
Pairings: Giles/Jenny and Giles/Willow if you squint real hard.
Summary: Giles composes a letter to the ones he loves.
Warnings: One or two swear words if I remember correctly.
Spoilers: All of Buffy, kind of into the series 8 comics. 
Other: Many thanks to the mods here, and to my beta's for the story skull_theatre, and oh best friend of mine hakuchou_kaoru who is 18 today!!!

Dear Buffy, Willow , Xander and Dawn,

“Here you see people lament, others cry, others strip themselves to the skin, others die. Others become black and deformed, others lose their minds. Here you are overwhelmed by intolerable smells.

Here you cannot walk but among corpses.

Here you feel naught but the constant horror of death. This is the faithful replica of hell since here there is no order and only horror prevails.”

- Cardinal Spada.

The plague at Bologna , Italy in 1630 was described in great detail by the scholars and men of faith at the time, Bernando Cardinal Spada helped organise the health care system and detailed along his way the great horrors than befell people.

Through my extensive and exhausting studies I, of course, knew the differences between the separate types of plague, and I know how a nation could fall because of us. It takes just the failing of j ust a few of us, to bring down the world.

Plague can spread in so many ways, rats, fleas, marmots, the American prairie dog – since the dawn of time, but it was never as ferocious as another plague, a plague among men that over the centuries, from the beginning of time had consumed more than the buboes, the fever and the blood spitting combined – a plague of demons, a plague of darkness.

The darkness had begun so, so long ago, and the men of the time raped a girl into becoming a weapon, forcing a demon inside of her, forcing her and thousands of other girls down the millennia to fight a war for them, to fight a war of darkness.

And it echoed down the ages, fighting, maiming, killing, punishing, until today, and now it lies with you my children.

**************************************** *****************************

My life as a watcher had been one of sacrifice. Childhood dreams to become anything, to be anyone had been dashed from such a young age, because I had a destiny. I couldn't be a fighter pilot or a grocer. I was ordained to be a watcher, like my father and my paternal grandmother before me.

Instead of reading Charles Dickens or H.G Wells I devoured James I's Daemonologie, parchment centuries old and the Watcher diaries of those who came before me.

Instead of attending the Boy Scouts like my school friends I studied the arts of fencing, judo, karate and tai-chi.

While I rarely knew what I was missing in my childhood, in my later teens, while studying at Oxford I finally realised everything I had missed.

Everyone has loss, even surrounded in the middle of battle by twenty slayers flanking either side, the fear and the loss was ripe within the air. Like the first slayer they all live in the action of death, the blood cry, the penetrating wound; they are destruction, and even now despite their sheer number in the end they will be alone

The loss in the fight of demons is one that can outstretch any disease, and plague, and disaster. My loss to demons started at Oxford .

During my student days I resided in a small one bedroom flat j ust off the Radcliff Infirmary, on Jericho Street . At first it was a simple affair, I knew a few other potential watchers studying, a year or two older. We'd talk about ancient history, philosophy, religion, art and what we thought it would all be like, and it seemed so attractive, so magical, so romantic. Yet it wasn't long till one fell short of the crowd and dragged me with him.

There really is no better drug than magic, nor a better high; we were never short of another hit. Ethan Rayne, Phillip Henry, Deirdre Page, Thomas Sutcliff and myself. We had dabbled for what seemed like years, but in reality was only months, alcohol, magic and sex, we tried everything, and then we found him, the sleepwalker.

Egyhon, the Etruscan demon, who for a few short moments we fancied our plaything. It all went wrong almost immediately. Thomas sacrificed himself so that we might live, might stop it.

If only it had worked. Two decades had passed, my old youthful indiscretions long hidden in the recesses of my mind, until Deirdre died. Because we didn't stop it, we let it fester, trapped in another dimension, and it led to the loss of Phillip.

Deirdre didn't have a death related to that of our world; she died of a simple medical condition, but she was still linked to Egyhon, because we all marked ourselves, promised to him. Phillip's death nearly dragged my beloved Jenny with him in the fight, before he lost and was sent back to where he came.

University cost so much in the long run, forgotten secrets and lies, the beginning of a life lived alongside death.

**************************************** *****************************

The next person taken was Jenny, the first person I had let myself love in a long time, because she knew the truth about the darkness. They called her Janna Kalderash where she came from, the tribe that had cursed Angelus with his soul.

My techno-pagan, with her love for computers and this modern world, could not understand we were so different, but really were so similar; both the last of our lines, both struggling to follow the concepts of our upbringings.

While our short-lived relationship had never gone beyond those snatched moments between the horrors of death and decay closing in on us, I fell to madly in love with her, as I can only hope she did with me; in our world of demons we knew it could not last; nevertheless we lied to ourselves.

Her almost sleeping form still haunts my dreams to this day, even after five years I still wake up in a cold sweat of the pain and hurt.

Because loss haunts you, it stalks you; wherever you step it's there j ust at the back of your thoughts. It creeps into your consciousness. Everyone you know, everyone you knew, and they all return to haunt you eventually.

Hundreds upon hundreds of slayers can battle rising darkness and demons, but they cannot hold off the darkness in your heart.

So many have fallen, from the very first slayer, to the oldest strongest slayer to grace our plane – Buffy Anne Summers.

The first time she died, she knew she was going to, she threw it in my face and pleaded with the gods for a reprisal. I knew she was going to die, we all did, but the knowledge didn't stop her, it never would.

Prophecies, destinies, fate, they all just makes it worse, that tedious inevitability of death from unnatural means.

Buffy died twice, technically three times if you include when her heart stopped in that hospital, shot by Warren and saved by dark magic.

My darling girl, the first time you died shattered my heart, I had failed you child, my daughter. I failed you so completely. You walked to your own death with complete acceptance; you were strong, as I wish I could be. You returned, more alive than before, the strongest since this god awful tradition began.

After you died to save your own sister, to save the world, I didn't want you to return; you were happy; a higher being; I buried you at peace. We buried our grief in the sae casket, to carry on, for the sake of Sunnydale, for the sake of Dawn.

Your second death was much worse than the first; we couldn't bring you back with such ease and it took my poor Willow 's heat and light to do it.

Willow Rosenberg, you are possibly the most powerful witch across all the plains, and you came of such humble traditions. You always were intelligent, resourceful, but I could not have even guessed you would have risen to this. You were there right at the start, before even Buffy, devouring books, always being interested. Your progression into magic was so much like my own; I never tried to hold you back, only protect you. Magic can be addictive, even from that first ma j or spell to restore Angelus' soul; it was such a long spiral down.

My sweet Willow , I harboured thoughts of you from such an indecent age, and you became something unrecognisable, and I was terrified for you. I saw so much in you that I saw in myself, Ethan, Phillip, Deirdre and Thomas, and I feared, hoping our actions wouldn't haunt you.

I wish so much I had realised at the time, I wish I could predict what would happen and save you from all that pain, but I got there too late.

I called you an amateur, but you were far from that, you were a goddess and startlingly beautiful, even in your rage at the pain of Tara 's death.

To lose someone you love, to lose someone so close to being your soul mate. Your darkness came of loss; you loved her and no one can ever take that away from you.

Your childhood was taken from you, the constant reminders of death, it drove you mad, it drove you into the arms of darkness, but you were so painstakingly beautiful.

**************************************** *****************************

The ancient Greek god of the heavens Zeus is to blame for mankind's desperate search for their misplaced half. Plato describes a world where humans began discussing how they could ascend to the heavens and overthrow the gods. The gods angered by this suggested that they destroy mankind. Zeus, however, had another idea, so they cut every being in half, to make them less powerful. Only it left everyone searching for their remnants, their soul mate.

However the chance of finding ones soul mate are slim to none, so many people in the world, spread through time and space, forever lost. So instead we cling onto those we find a connection with, fall in love, fuck, or we get so lucky that we find that person. I'd like to think you have all been so lucky.

Buffy you got lucky with Angel and Spike, your champions.

Willow , so did you, with Tara , your love. I remember you telling me how it wasn't that you were gay, but rather that you were meant for each other, and gender didn't come into it.

And Xander, Anya was yours, and she always will be, because in the end she died for you, because she loved you.

The sad fact is, many of us do not find our one true love, we settle for a connection, we cling onto the people who love us, and sometimes we give ourselves completely.

**************************************** *****************************

The Council of Watchers, the Shadow men who used their magic to create the first slayer from the essence of a demon. After the first the watchers became no more, and after Wesley's death I was the last true watcher of the old order.

To lose millennia of manuscripts and parchment is nothing, but to lose your friends, your co-workers and your family is everything. And I had to stay strong for you, and for the other potentials out there. I'm so sorry I was distant, that I couldn't be there for you.

I've spent my final years rebuilding the council into something better, sending the girls to scavenge for information, hoping I can guess at what is to come, prophecies; we need to know what is going to happen.

Amina mundi, the spirit or soul of the world, it governs us, she tells us what to do and all we can do is trust her.

Amina mundi, mother earth, our life force.

Amina Mundi guides our steps, keeps some of us, like Willow , like Tara , like the coven and Ms Harkness in charge of our destinies.

It keeps my girls, my slayers, in touch with the light, and you must follow its will.

Inevitably one will fall, to demons or to darkness, and inevitably one of you will end this world.

**************************************** *****************************

I am Rupert Giles, and as with all, even I must come to dust. I would hope that you would lament – mourn me in your own special way, but I do not wish that you will cry. I cannot bear to think that my passing will bring tears to my children's faces, to my friend's faces.

Xander, my son, you rarely disappointed me, and never hurt me. Ironic as it sounds you are the one who sees everything, and I can only hope that you saw me in the same light I saw you, as family.

Willow , my darling girl, you've been dealt a hard life, you never had the chance to be anything special, but you were always special to me, always beautiful in both your loyalty and your darkness. I was so scared for you; I wish I could have been there to help you with your pain. No regrets Willow , no regrets.

Buffy, my daughter, my slayer, you were the one who kept me going, kept me fighting. I love you child, please remember me as the bumbling librarian with a book and a cup of tea.

Please do not cry, don't lose your minds, and do not follow me down this final path for many, many years to come.

I love you all more than you could imagine,



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