Title: The Watcher That Almost Wasn’t
Disclaimer: I own nothing connected with Buffy or Highlander.
A/N: Response to the 20 Minutes with Giles Challenge. Takes place in 1984.
Rupert Giles sat down in the large wooden chair that looked like a throne. He accepted a glass of scotch from his friend with a weary smile.
“Thank you, Adam.”
Giles grimaced at the other man’s choice of words. “Damn it Adam, I knew I shouldn’t have told you about my misspent youth.”
Adam Pierson, fledgling Watcher, replaced his teasing smile with an expression of concern. He had met Rupert six months ago, just before he graduated from the Academy. Rupert had been his liaison with the other branch of the Watcher’s. In all those months, Adam had seen his friend in many moods, but he had never seemed quite so . . . despondent.
“Come on Rupert, your youth hasn’t been misspent. You haven’t finished with it yet. You’re what, barely thirty? That hardly makes you ancient.” Adam allowed himself an internal chuckle.
Giles shook his head and stared at the floor. “Sometimes I envy you Adam. You love your musty books, your crazy plan to try to search for Methos. If anyone can do it, you can. But I feel like my life has already passed me by. My need to rebel caused me to dabble in dark magic.” He sighed, “My one bit of excitement had terrible results, and now I’ve accepted my fate. I like my books nearly as much as you do, but I don’t have any purpose for the knowledge I acquire. Who gives a damn if I can read five demon languages or six?”
“Your future Slayer might give a damn. I would wager that she will care a great deal when your rarified knowledge helps her prevent an apocalypse, or saves her life.”
Giles waved a hand in a dismissive gesture, “I’ll never be assigned a Slayer. I have too many dark marks in my history. The Council would never consider me. I’m totally unsuitable.”
“Adam, that’s kind of you to say. . .”
“Rupert, just shut up for a moment. You are one of the bravest individuals I have ever met. Your intimate acquaintance with the dark can only help you assist a young woman who will have to fight those very forces. You have strength and intelligence, and most of all, you care. You’ll be an outstanding Watcher someday.”
“The council would say I care too much.”
“So don’t tell them. Act cold and brainy, and then you’ll get your dream. You can make a difference, Rupert. I know you can.”
“You really think so?” Despite himself, Giles looked more hopeful.
“Absolutely, and I ask only one thing in return for this pep talk.”
“See me again in twenty years, so that I can tell you ‘I told you so.’”
Giles paused, and then a wide smile graced his face, turning it from dour to dashingly handsome. “That’s a deal.”
With that, they raised their glasses for a toast.