Disclaimer: As you know these characters and concepts don't belong to me, I'm just borrowing them for a while and I make no profit from these stories (though they do help me get through sleepless nights).
Title: Parts of a Whole
Author: Alec Star
And now to the story.
Parts of a Whole
by Alec Star
I know I'm being petty, and I'm trying my best to keep him from noticing, but he's too observant and he knows me too well. I'm happy for him, I really am, it's just that he is my Guide... and he should know by now that Sentinels are territorial. I can't help it. Even though I know how long he's been wondering about his father --and while I'm glad that they found each other and I really like Giles-- well, he's my Guide only suddenly he has all these people around him and now that we are back in Cascade I can't help but wonder where I fit in.
I saw him when we were in Sunnydale, how hard he tried to be accepted by all of them, especially by Buffy... the way he opened up in order to reach her. What he did with her was nothing short of amazing. It not only helped to remind me of what he can do when he sets his mind to something but it also managed to shock his father.
If I had known just what Blair had in mind when he asked me to get Giles out of the room so that he could have a little talk with Buffy I might have handled things differently. If I had known I might have given them more privacy. I would have at least made sure that we were out of earshot rather than just out of sight, but I didn't know and I was still uneasy about leaving him alone with her so we stayed close... close enough for both of us to hear what was being said. Needless to say that neither one of us was particularly comfortable with Blair's chosen approach. I think I enjoyed being reminded of his drowning just about as much as Giles enjoyed being reminded of Buffy's... and then I had to answer the man's questions. I can't imagine what it must have been like for him to realize that both of his children had been murdered in a similar fashion, even if both of them had managed to survive the experience... and Buffy is as much his daughter as Blair is his son. That's one of the most important lessons Blair ever taught me: blood is not the only thing that can define a family.
That should be reassuring, but somehow it's not. I know they accepted both of us, not just him, but I still sometimes felt like an outsider... or maybe I didn't so much feel like an outsider as I felt left out. Ever since we met Blair and I have become each other's family. Sure we have Naomi's unpredictable visits and we hear from my dad and Steven a couple of times a year like clockwork, but none of those people represents a constant presence in our lives and I can see just how bad Blair wants Giles to be different.
The differences between father and son are obvious, from their looks, to their choice of clothes, to their attitudes and even their approach to life and yet they are remarkably similar. I guess nowhere was that more obvious than when they were talking to each other... I'm not sure they even realized it but I was amazed by it.
Ever since the dissertation fiasco I've been blaming myself for what Blair lost, not just in terms of his career but also when it comes to his interaction with his former colleagues. In a sense I felt like Blair had been forced to dumb himself down in order to become a detective. Oh, he still uses that brain of his as a weapon better than anyone I've ever met and he is capable of making the most incredible connections when it comes to piecing things together, but sometimes it's almost painful to see him struggling to explain his theories. I can see how hard it is for him to keep up with the steps of his own reasoning. He goes from A to C with barely a passing reference to B, and even though I've gotten used to keeping up with him, the others haven't. I admit I rarely took an interest in his life at Rainier other than when it came to how the now infamous dissertation was going to impact my life but by the handful of glimpses I got I assumed that was not a problem for him in his academic world. I was wrong. In spite of his former colleagues' fancy words and arrogant attitudes he was still forced to dumb himself down at Rainier even if I couldn't see it. I discovered my mistake when I saw him exchanging theories with Giles. They were equals and for once they were both letting loose, neither one of them worried that the other wouldn't be able to follow. It was beautiful to see him like that... and almost scary.
I guess that's the problem. I'm no longer his Holy Grail, I'm just his partner and he has a family now. A family that can give him what I can't. I'm happy for him, I really am, but he's my Guide and I don't want to lose him.
And then I feel Blair come behind me, I feel his hand on my shoulder and I hear him say: "He may be my father, they may be my family but the two of us are parts of a whole." I'm not even surprised that he seems to know what I'm thinking, I just trust him and relax, allowing myself to believe that everything will turn out all right.