Summary: What was Giles thinking right before he left to confront Angelus after finding Jenny murdered? Years later, when confronted with Dark!Willow, he reflects on the many similarities between them, what they’ve lost, and vengeance.
Disclaimer: The characters are the property of Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. No profit is gained from my writerly endeavors and no copyright infringement is intended.
A/N: This ficlet was written for lady_yashka
for the plot bunny behind this POV. You ladies are beyond inspiring. I've never written a POV before and I think it really shows here. This is a great departure from my usual fics, especially since I often write from a woman's perspective and not a man's. Con-crit would be more than welcome here and greatly appreciated.
February 24, 1998
Roses. Everywhere. She left roses for us. He…he left the roses. For me. The smell is all throughout the flat, thick and fragrant and inescapable. Heavy in the air when I saw her, found her. Death never smelled so sweet. So horrible. The stems were thornless.
The look in her eyes. I thought her waiting for me. So still. That stare, hollow and blank. Her body all laid out like some gift a cat brings home. Some little swallow or mouse trussed up to show how much effort they put in for you. All for you, not to be eaten. Killed for me. Put in my bed…so he would know, be certain I would bloody well find her.
She said she loved me only this morning. I never thought…The spellbook. Never thought to disinvite him. Bar him from my home. To keep her safe. Jenny.
So meticulous. So very cunning. Skilled killer, monster, murderer. Of course, of course I should have known. It’s what he is, what he does. The girl’s blinded by it. Blinded by his charms. A vampire. Angelus. The worst, the very worst. He leaves everything broken. Broken and bruised in his wake. Her neck. God, he broke her neck, so he could…
I love her. I’ve seen so many dead in my time as a Watcher, but never a loved one. Never Jenny. I was blinded, too. I should have feared the worst. Should have known. Known the evil that lurked in that cold, dead bastard’s heart, soul or no soul. The best thing he could ever be is a pile of dust.
She spoke of vengeance to me. Vengeance for her people, for the worst crime you committed against them. Her vengeance now is my vengeance. The worst crime against her people, against me.
You want war? I’ll give it to you in spades. If it’s not enough from my Slayer, then it will be enough from me. No damnation and torture is enough for the likes of scum like you. The worst you can conceive of will be your best day in the hell I’ll send you to. I’ll be the last thing you ever see. She’ll be the last thing you ever destroy.
I see your champagne with a Molotov cocktail, your candles with a flaming torch, your tight lined sketches with the sharp tip of my crossbow’s arrow. Straight to your heart, I’ll burn you, stake you, beat you bloody murdering bastard killer fiend.
Haven’t had a good spot of torture for some time. I once tamed the beast inside, but maybe it’s the time to let him out. Should we put it to the test? See if I still have it in me? Pliers, needles, restraints. Only if there’s time, time enough for it. Sooner see you burn, but it would be so quick. All that pale, blistering flesh, burning, peeling, receding so there’s nothing left but the dark, revolting pillock you are, all laid bare in a sickening mess of stolen life all crumbled to dust and ashes.
I’ll see he burns, Jenny, see that he burns.
May 21, 2002
Seeing her now, it’s worse than I ever suspected. Overcome by magics so dark that she’s only just tenuously clinging to this reality. How truly breathtaking it must be for her to have all that coursing through her, feeding the pain she must feel. It fills the emptiness of her grief, silences the dogging pain of overwhelming sorrow. I remember the thrill, the high of that power. What a foolish boy I was, so lost and desperate and misguided. I should have seen the signs, should have put a stop to this madness beforehand. My God, what she did to Buffy…what she’s doing to herself. Drowning. All the girls are drowning.
When Wendi informed me of the dark force fueled by grief pending in Sunnydale, I could only pray it wasn’t Willow. When she gave me her condolences concerning Tara, I knew it could be no one else. I had to come at once because I knew she wouldn’t stop before she had destroyed herself, and quite possibly those she loves, with her recklessness. It’s baffling to think that all this vengeance and carnage is in the name of love, in Tara’s name. The poor girl must be clawing at whatever dimension holds her gentle soul now, crying for Willow to stop. She’d never want to see retribution like this wielded with her name, in her honor.
It isn’t enough that she murdered Tara’s killer, and that’s what worries me. I know the grief – how vivid it is even now, seeing Willow so consumed by the pain. When Jenny was murdered in my bed I could think of nothing else but rapid vigilante justice. Justice that could only be dealt by my hand. Dear girl, her lover killed before her very eyes in the bedroom they shared. I can only guess what the shocking slap of death in its immediacy must have been like for her. That tempered rage bursting forth in all its fury. It’s true. She has power I could only imagine. Power I wish I had had at the time to dispose of my Jenny’s killer.
What recklessness. Here around her the battered bodies of Buffy and Anya are just stirring to look at me, wide-eyed and confused. I could have never done this. Willow…Willow shouldn’t even be able to consider this. It’s only a testament to how far gone she is. How lost in the power she is. I remember those thrilling moments of grim satisfaction when I beat Angelus down. Heard the crunch of his ribs when I brought the baseball bat down again and again. Only briefly, but the pleasure was immense. Until it was all gone and there was Buffy, scared and broken and fearful. Fearful for me and what I could have done, of what Angelus could have done to steal yet another loved one from her.
All those years ago Willow was such an awkward, eager girl. Levitating pencils in the library, learning silly little spells to feel like she was something more than the shining, brilliant prodigy she was. Good enough was never in her vocabulary. I hid the books with more substantial magics from her to ebb that curious drive, to dole out the power in small doses. Then, she had you, Jenny. You to guide her and teach her in the simple arts that you knew how to wield yourself. I believe your death might even have been when she began to go astray without the guidance and encouragement you subtly gave her. How disappointed you must be in her now, to see her blatant abuse of the spells you so generously shared with her. Her potential squandered in the wake of her rage.
If Buffy’s not enough for her, then it’s all up to me. Just like last time, I come prepared for the fight. Meticulous and studied, I wield the magics imbued by the Coven to help Willow recover from her fall. This situation calls for more than gasoline and a good swinging arm. If it’s war she wants, I’ll meet her stride for stride. And if anything can be avenged here, then perhaps it is what Tara so obviously would want for her. To see that I help, to see that I save her before it’s too late for all of us.