A Father’s GuiltDisclaimer:
I own absolutely nothing, but maybe after Christmas I'll have some socks.A/N:
Takes place before Giles arrives to try and stop Willow at the end of season 6, and after Cassie dies in Hex.~*~
Rupert Giles had always felt a little guilty whenever he looked at Buffy, or any of her friends, all of whom he treated like his own children. But the guilt he felt had never had anything to do with something he had done to them, or even something they might have done to him that he deserved.
His guilt was bred from the abandonment of his own family back in London.
He had just finished high school when his mother sat him down and told him that he had been adopted. It was during college that he began looking for his real parents and his anger and rebellion at the world had born his Ripper persona.
He had finally located them, Richard and Viola McBain. Only his father was still alive, and Alzheimer’s had not been kind to him. Richard McBain had believed he was talking to his grandfather when Rupert had finally managed to find the courage to visit him.
He had, after many painful visits, learned not only why his parents had given him up following his birth, but the truth behind his family; and been told of the curse.
Lilith Hughes, one of the nurses at the center, had been with him for much of his discovery, and it pained him to admit that he might have taken advantage of her. So when she called him three months after his father died, he had gone into a state of shock to learn she was pregnant.
He followed in her adopted mother’s footsteps and trained to be a watcher, but through it all he kept his pregnant girlfriend close by. But when Lilith gave birth to a beautiful little girl, he suddenly remembered what his birth father had told him of the McBain curse.
He didn’t pay it much attention, and instead focused on spoiling his little girl. But maybe a small part of him took the curse as a warning, because he was very cautious in using the name written on his birth certificate, James McBain. It was the name on little Cassandra’s birth certificate, he felt obligated to place it there. But still, he never tried to take his relationship with Lilith forward.
Then one day, while he had been away on an assignment from the council, something had happened back home to Lilith. When he returned, he was horrified to learn that the mother of his child had suddenly gone insane.
He tried everything he could think of to help her, but nothing worked. And then, again, he remembered his father’s story of the McBain curse. But a fallen angel couldn’t have done this to Lilith. At least that was what he kept telling himself.
But one day it became too much for him; he placed Lilith in the same care center where he had met her, and left his family. He still sent them money whenever he could, and he wrote to his daughter, but he had an odd feeling she never received his letters. And when Lilith wrote telling him that Cassie was going to be attending a boarding school, he insisted on paying the tuition, despite the worry he felt in his gut when he read the name. Mendenham.
That was why, even to this day, whenever he looked at Buffy and her friends – his family – he felt guilty, because for them he had abandoned his own.
And today, Rupert Giles’ guilt grew. He had to read the small article that was in the paper at least a dozen times before the words finally registered.
His daughter was dead.
Over the day, his guilt grew slowly to anger until he wasn’t Rupert Giles, or even James McBain, but until Ripper had taken over. Something had to be done. His daughter had been murdered. He had gone over all the information, and now he knew why Mendenham had sounded so familiar. That was his ancestral home, that place that Azazeal would be looking for a McBain witch at. Azazeal, he had to be the one that killed his little girl, but then why would the thing that wanted a McBain witch to carry his child, want to kill the woman? None of it made sense.
Ripper hung his head. He couldn’t do anything, as much as he wanted to, until he knew all the facts. And slowly, Ripper’s anger faded away back into guilt, and Rupert Giles was left with nothing but guilt and sorrow for his failing his family.
Two days later, he received a call from the coven in Devon, he had asked them to find everything they could about the McBain family, the curse, and Azazeal, so when they called he had assumed they had found something. Instead it was news about Sunnydale. Rupert’s guilt over failing his family was strong, but he refused to feel the same about both of his families.