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Author's Chapter Notes:
Disclaimer: Joss and company own them, I just borrow for fun. “My Immortal” belongs to Evanescence.
Distribution: You want it? Really? Just ask.
A/N: *sighs* My muse hates me. WARNING!!! SERIOUSLY DARKFIC!
CHARACTER DEATH/SUICIDE! If you are looking for my usual happy stuff, this is not it. ~~flashback~~
Dedication: To Antenna for making sense out of something written at 2:45 in the morning and then pushing for more.
Buffy Anne Summers
Beloved Sister
Devoted Friend
She Saved The World
A Lot

He stared at the words etched deeply into the stone. They forgot to add “Slayer”, “Chosen One”, or “My Love”. Rupert Giles sat on the grass in front of her tombstone tracing the words with his fingers. The quiet of the night interrupted was interrupted by the occasional owl, or cricket. Giles heard none of this, lost in his grief. She had died to save the world, to save her ‘sister’. It was unfair. It was wrong that he’d had to bury her. But that was how he’d known that as a Watcher he’d done his job. He’d gotten his Slayer killed.

But there was no coming back this time. Something inside of him had snapped, that final thread of his logic, perhaps. Her death had been senseless; there should have been another way. After they had buried her, they had followed him to his apartment, crowding around him. Willow had tried to talk to him, telling him Buffy had always counted on him being her Watcher. Xander had used that damned nickname and told him they would be there for him. They were all so incompetent. Did they not see how he grieved? Were they blind to how he felt? He’d pushed them out of the door, ignoring their protests. He did not want to hear platitudes and sympathy. He wanted a fight, to kill, but he’d already done that. He turned to the only coping method he had, alcohol.

He could never tell her now why he’d almost left, why he’d stayed when she asked. Buffy would never know what was in his heart. He had loved her, not as the daughter Quentin had suggested, but as a woman. She was his equal and he could never tell her, never hope that she would return the love. Giles relived the last fight they’d had, about sacrificing Dawn. The last words he had spoken to her were in anger when she had needed support. Every night Buffy had gone out and he’d worried that if would be her last. He had told himself he would be prepared when she did die, again. He hadn’t counted on being in love with her. He hadn’t been sure what he was going to do at first, then he looked at the bottle of single malt in his hand and it came to him. He knew what he would do so he could be with her, but not before he attended to one thing.

Reminded of how Willow had reacted to Glory’s attack on Tara, he had put a binding spell on her, done it in a moment of rage and passion. The witch had already started on a dark path; he would prevent her from going further. Giles would not allow Willow to try anything to bring Buffy back. She would stay dead; Buffy had earned her final peace. He had gotten blind drunk after that. He would need the liquid courage to face what was next. He had sought out Spike. The vampire had refused, despite the chip. Claimed that if he really loved Buffy as much as he said he did, he would live, fight the good fight. Wanker. Pillock. Spike could have no understanding of how he grieved. Giles had wanted to stake him then and there, but lacked the motor skills to do so. Instead he went home and passed out. In the morning he packed despite the hangover.

He traveled, using the money from the retroactive salary she had extracted for him from the Council. He hired a private plane and a pilot who didn’t ask questions. He went to Europe, Asia, Australia, seeking the impossible. How ironic that he found it back in the States, in California, L.A. to be precise. In the land of sun and light, he found the darkness. He had spent that last day watching the light, the sun as it set over the city. The oranges and reds, bold and bright like she was, like she would never be again. The yellows reminding him of her golden hair, something he could no longer touch. The heat a counter to the cold he had carried since he left.

He captured that moment, knowing it would be his last, wondering if the memory would haunt him; stop him before he took that last step. He had found one who did not know who he was or what he was. It had taken him two long years, but he would finally fulfill the mission he had set out on the day she fell. There were easier ways to accomplish it, but somehow this had seemed fitting, he was subverting everything he had been trained for. He was giving the Council the ultimate fuck off.

So here he was, back in Sunnydale. No one knew he was here. He had made a will, divided up the remaining money between her friends. As he sat here waiting he remembered her voice, teasing, taunting, flirting, mocking.

~~~~ “I’ve both been there and done that. I’m moving on.”

“You can’t leave me. I can’t do this alone.”

“Whenever Giles sends me on a mission he always says please. Then afterwards I get a cookie.”

“Your eyes. You’re the only person in the world that can look that annoyed with me.”

“I think I know this ritual. And the ancient shamans were next called upon to do the Hokey Pokey and to turn themselves around.”~~~~

And of course there was that song. He’d heard it everywhere this last year. It had played endlessly on the radio while he was in cabs and hotels. It played in stores and markets. It haunted him because it echoed all his feelings, steeled him more to his purpose. He sang softly to the tombstone, breeze blowing as the moon shone brightly above him.

He broke down singing the last notes, a blood red tears rolling down his cheek. He whispered to her about his unending love, his fight to keep her alive that had finished in a never ending nightmare. Her presence haunted him no matter where he went. He could feel the sunrise just peeking over the horizon. He laid himself on her grave, he was ready. He had spent two years getting ready.

“I’m coming, Buffy,” he whispered. “I won’t be alone anymore, you won’t be alone.”

As the rays of light hit his body, he felt a peace he had been searching for so desperately. He sighed in relief as the light penetrated him. The flames consumed him, but he felt no pain. Rupert Giles turned into dust as the sun reached its zenith and his ashes spread over Buffy’s grave. They were now joined together for all eternity.
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