The Watchers' Diaries: The Apocrypha
Entry 9 - Support
Box was dark, just as it had been since Anya had closed for the wedding,
the only illumination provided by what light filtered through the grating
over the main window. Spike supposed he should feel some guilt at sneaking
in while she was away, but there was the small matter of seeing if he
had mail from Giles.
quite a bit of mail piled up on the floor under the slot, along with a
few notices for packages being held because they couldn't fit through
the slot. Spike scooped the material up and carried it to the counter.
Quickly, he sorted through the stack: circular, circular, invoice, circular,
circular, chamber of commerce birdcage liner, circular
was there, about halfway down, so he had no idea how long it had been
waiting for him. For the first time since their correspondence had begun,
Spike felt some trepidation at the idea of opening one of Giles' letters.
He'd had few regrets in his one hundred and twenty-odd years; letting
Harry mail his pitiful wailings was one. He couldn't remember everything
thing he wrote, but what he did was pretty pathetic. How the Watcher would
respond had been weighing on Spike's mind ever since.
that no one would interrupt him in the shuttered store as long as he didn't
turn on any lights, Spike tore open the letter, tilted the pages to catch
the filtered light from the windows and began to read.
and read both your letters. You may not believe this, but your news did
sadden me, if only because of the pain it has clearly caused you. I am
glad Buffy has broken it off because I feel it is the best thing for her
to do -- which I am certain is no surprise to you -- but I am sorry for
the manner in which it happened. While I may question some of your actions,
I have come to believe you have honestly tried to make things better for
Buffy and to care for her as best you know how.
Of all the
things Spike had imagined Giles would write, nothing had prepared him
for this. He swallowed, unable to continue for the moment. There was a
part of him that longed for someone to acknowledge he was trying to do
right by her, and here it was from the last person he'd expected it from.
of a relationship is never easy; it is far too easy to get caught in the
trap of recriminations, bitterness and might-have-beens. From what I know
of your history, while you have a number of years on me, I believe I may
well be your elder in this arena. If you will allow, I would like to trespass
on our familiarity and offer some advice.
not insult you by mouthing platitudes; the pain you are feeling is quite
real and will not be dismissed by a few quaint phrases. Only time will
dull the pain and that process is individual to each of us. Remember that
for all she has been through, Buffy is still very much a young woman and
finding her way in this world. For all the hellgods and apocalypses she
has faced, she is still somewhat sheltered and unsure of herself. I say
this not to excuse her, but to remind you that your own experience is
much broader. Even laying aside the issues of a vampire and a slayer,
you were reared in a very different time and place with a different set
of ideals and values. You each see the world in a way that may not be
that you spoke at the wedding; do not try to read too much into it. I
left Sunnydale not because Buffy could not stand on her own two feet,
but would not, despite my efforts to help her do so. As far as
I know, Buffy has never spoken with Dawn about the incident at Halloween;
she left that completely in my hands, despite my prompting that she needed
to provide some guidance for her sister. I had hoped that by removing
myself, she would be forced to take up her responsibilities. Instead,
she simply found another place to hide.
Just as Spike
had accused her of doing. Another swallow, and he decided that it was
best to settle himself on the floor. He'd likely be here for a while.
this failing in someone I care for as a daughter is neither easy nor pleasant,
but I think we are both keenly aware of Buffy's flaws. They are a part
of her and their presence has done nothing to diminish our feelings. But
we should not ignore their presence or let them cloud our judgement. If
Buffy is to ever find a place for herself in this world, she must learn
that she cannot simply place her future in the hands of others. If you
truly love her, do not let her use you as a way to avoid her responsibilities.
and foremost, you need to tend to yourself and your needs. Allowing yourself
to be used only diminishes you and I feel you have far greater potential
than what we have seen. Yes, when we lost our memories I said that when
I looked at your I felt familiarity and a vague sense of disappointment
because it is true. I have seen you show courage, fortitude and loyalty
in the face of insurmountable odds; I have also seen you act maliciously,
cowardly and for your own gain with no thought for those around you. You
are better than that. I still feel that the placement of the chip in your
head was for a higher purpose than mere government experiments, but only
you can uncover that purpose. Perhaps the time to do so is now.
let your love for Buffy so consume you that everything else in your life
is lost. It might be time for you to leave Sunnydale -- not because I
desire you to be away from Buffy, but so you can discover who you are.
Do not, under any circumstances, however, go to Los Angeles and confront
Angel. It would not please me to learn he had dusted you.
a smile. Maybe old Rupert was just being polite, but he certainly had
a way with words. If he didn't want Spike dusted by Angel, it was most
likely because he wanted to reserve the pleasure for himself.
a visit home would prove a restorative for you and I am certain there
are ways to smuggle you into the country even with the heightened security
that accompanies travel these days. If you do decide to return to England,
you have a place to stay, William -- as long as you promise not to eat
all my Wheatbix and rinse your mug once you've finished your blood.
It was that word that made the offer sincere and real. Oh, Giles would
be glad for him to be gone from Sunnydale, but perhaps there was some
genuine sympathy there. Whatever the motivation, Spike could feel the
tug inside to see the Mother Country again. It would nice to walk green
hills, enjoy actual weather. The last time he'd been in England, Dru had
been sick and there was precious little time to do anything but worry
over her and get them transportation to America, Sunnydale and the Hellmouth.
If he returned
now, he could linger, think through things, decide what he should do without
all the distractions life here presented. Wasn't sure how he'd feed, but
Bath likely had a butcher shop that would be willing to sell blood.
truly believe there is a possibility you and Buffy to build a lasting
relationship built on mutual trust and respect as well as affection, then
you should follow your heart in this matter and stay. It is not what I
wish for Buffy, but if you believe it to be possible, it is not my place
to stop you. If, however, she cannot return your affection, I urge you
not to pursue it. Doing so will only cause you more pain. Try not to let
your heart blind you in this matter, but listen to your head as well.
of England flew from his head. Was Giles giving him his blessing? Upon
re-reading the words, Spike realized that was far from the intention,
but the words were something much more. For whatever reason, Giles was
actually giving advice based on what was best for him, not what
the watcher wanted or what he might think was best for Buffy.
back, letting his head rest on the glass of the counter. Follow your
heart. He wanted to so desperately, but he knew Giles was right. If
she couldn't -- wouldn't -- love him, it was better to walk away. Problem
was, it was difficult to know if there was any hope as long as she played
the game of being kind in private, rude in public. Until the moment she
admitted she could speak with him without having to justify it as shaking
him down for information or some other foolery, they were locked in a
game that wouldn't change and only hurt them both.
advice I can offer is to think before you act. When one is hurting, it
is all too easy to lash out blindly in an effort to numb the pain. I know
too well the temptation to give in to that urge and you were witness to
one such occasion. The effect is only temporary and often causes more
harm than relief. If you have managed to pass that point with only the
attempt to parade another girl in front of Buffy to make her jealous,
there may be hope for you yet.
On a happier
note, I must confess to a bit of envy that you are able to watch Dawn
blossom into a young woman. I'm looking forward to the pictures though
I confess a bit of trepidation at your description of the dresses. Suffice
to say Xander does not love Anya for her subtle and refined taste -- not
that Xander would know such if he tripped over it.
So he wasn't
the only one who thought the Whelp an uncultured oaf. That was a consolation.
I am still
working on the compensation issue. Miss Chalmers has uncovered several
situations where Slayers were actually paid stipends by the Council because
of varying circumstances. We are attempting to work this into a coherent
presentation as to why this should be extended to Buffy as a way of making
certain she can perform her calling without resorting to seeking menial
rush to any decision concerning your status in Sunnydale. Think through
your options and let me know. Take care. Be well.
He sat quietly
for a long time when he'd finished, watching the light patterns on the
floor slide into longer shadows. There was much to consider in Giles'
words, some of which he didn't particularly want to. The man spoke the
truth, though. He'd let Buffy use him and not called her on it, so glad
to just have her near him for a little while, lose himself in the fantasy
that she might care. Hell, in some ways it was like shagging the bloody
bot -- only the bot didn't hit him.
kept her dirty little secret, but the time for that was past. There'd
been too many secrets since she'd come back: where she'd been, how she
felt, what had passed between the two of them -- and she wasn't the only
one. Willow casting spells that went bad, Dawn's stealing, there were
others, he was sure. Problem with secrets was that sometimes vital information
was hidden until everything blew up in the worst possible way. Even if
it didn't blow up, it festered inside you.
down at the pages in his hand. They weren't friends, not by any definition
of the word. They seemed to understand each other, though, two men who
loved the same woman and wanted to see her safe and well. Their methods
differed, but the purpose was the same. Maybe he couldn't ask for friends;
maybe the best he could ask for was an ally. If that was so, he could
certainly do worse than Rupert Giles.
than he had in some time, Spike levered himself off the floor and stuffed
the letter in his pocket before heading for the stairs that led down to
the basement. Making his way toward the trap door to the sewers, he considered
snagging some Burba Weed, but didn't. Wasn't actually any fun knicking
the stock when Demon-Girl wasn't there to complain or threaten to make
him work it off. When she came back, then he'd do it.
to come back, anyway, when she returned to open the shop again. There
might be more mail from Giles and Spike thought it wouldn't hurt to see
how Anya was holding up. After all, he thought, us demony-types
gotta look after each other. No one else will.
the pocket that held the letter. Make that almost no one else.
Continued in Entry 10 - Back to Normal