TITLE: Letting go

AUTHOR: Erin Giles


PAIRING: Giles/Jenny

DISCLAIMER: It's not mine and it's not fair ok... *cries* damn Joss...although he is God!

DISTRIBUTION: Fanfiction.net & Head Quarters apart from that please ask.

SUMMARY: Post Passion. The pain behind closed doors. In memory of my Granpa. 8th March 02.

FEEDBACK: Please. I always like it . . . even if you don't like my fic . . . tell me how I can make it better! NOTES: Dedicated to my Grandpa Joe.

I"In falling we learn that we possess wings, and when my wings broke you were always there to catch Me."/I


She was gone.

Never to grace the door of his office and smile at him sweetly, seductively.

Never to look at him sternly with a sense of teasing in her eyes.

Never to quip about his age again.

Never to hold him close and let her soft lips meet with his, taking him away from the cruel world for a few blissful moments.

She was gone.

The reality of it all sinking in as he sat hunched on the floor of his apartment.

The roses still lay on the floor, dying slowly.

The candles still flickered in the dark of the room, the only light, but with it they brought despair and painful reminders. They lead the way to the attic bedroom where they had seduced him into a false sense of security.

The shattered glasses and champagne bottle still lay broken on the top step, the liquid had stopped flowing as if stopped in death.

The music no longer played though, mainly because Giles had gotten so frustrated when he returned home that he had thrown the ice bucket at the turntable. The music had come to an abrupt stop, making a scratching noise before the vinyl had stopped turning. Its life had been short-lived too. It had been picked up and broken in two before being thrown at the wall.

The tears had flowed then and they hadn't seemed to stop flowing since. The crumpled picture of Jenny lay before his socked feet as if it was a suicide note. The torn shards of the words 'upstairs' scattered on the coffee table.


Morning seemed to dawn on him so suddenly, the sunlight streaming through the curtains and blinding his once calming green eyes, now bloodshot, for a moment. He pulled away from it, as if it burned him. As if he was a creature of the night.

He settled near the stairs, his back to the wall, the picture of Jenny now clutched tightly in his right hand. In his mind if he let it go he would let her go, and he couldn't do that. Not yet.

"Giles?" the voice came from the door, hopeful to find the warm smile on her Watcher's face, welcoming her and making her feel safe. The calming eyes watching her and telling her everything was all right.

Instead she found a broken man in his place, no more hope for better days.

She closed the door behind Willow, Xander and herself, quietly staring round at the apartment, just the way they had seen it last night. She stooped to pick up the vinyl at her feet, placing it on the desk, trying to find some other distraction than the distressing form of Rupert Giles by the stairs.

She had held him last night, cried into his shoulder and told him she couldn't do this without him. But if it meant watching him suffer like this . . .

Willow moved to the broken shell of a man, not being able to let herself do anything else. She knelt before him, searching his eyes for some clarification that he was still in there.

"Giles?" she questioned softly, wanting nothing more than to put her arms round him. He looked up after a moment, his fist closing tighter on the drawing, as if scared someone was going to rip it from his grasp just as they had ripped his heart from him.

"Willow?" he asked his voice faint and hoarse.

"You didn't turn up at school today," she said, remorse in her voice. Never had she seen him so badly torn up. He was supposed to be the strong one amongst them. Supposed to be the hard rock and anchor they could all cling to. He was supposed to be the adult, never wrong, always strong, nothing could hurt him. But as she gazed into his eyes and saw nothing but desolation and despair, she lost her naïveté and realized all too suddenly that adults weren't always strong.

"We were worried."

"I - I was thinking. I didn't . . . school's finished?" Willow nodded sympathetically, standing up as Buffy tapped her on the shoulder. She looked at Buffy, realizing she had gained her composure enough to be able to talk to Giles.

"Xander and me will clean this up." She whispered in her best friend's ear as they shared a quick hug.

Buffy sat on the step above Giles, watching him. His eyes were closed, his eyelids almost translucent, the dark bags below them making his eyes look hollow, standing out even more against the pale complexion of his face. After watching him for a moment she found her voice quite suddenly.

"Giles?" she said meekly. His eyes opened, unfocused at first before they looked up at her, disoriented.

"Buffy," he said, almost unsure of who she was.

"I'm sorry I wasn't in today. I had . . . I don't know why I didn't come in . . . I . . ." Words seemed to fail him as he watched Willow picking up the small pieces of paper from the coffee table and Xander picking up the ice bucket, before mopping up the melted ice. He felt fresh tears flow then, and he couldn't hold them back.

Pained sobs racked his whole body as his shoulders shook and his chest heaved. He felt the paper in his hand crumple more as he gripped tighter, his knuckles going white.

Buffy was there in an instant, her arms wrapping round her Watcher as he cried tears for the woman he loved.

The woman he would always love.

The woman for whom he was willing to give his life last night for revenge.

Last night he couldn't go on without her. Couldn't live knowing he could never see her again. He couldn't take any more pain.

Willow stopped what she was doing, watching Giles crying in Buffy's arms. She couldn't hold back her tears any longer either. They started to fall down her face and Xander came to her automatically, encasing her in his arms, hoping to protect her from what was causing her so much pain. He couldn't though. He couldn't protect her from her grief and pain of losing someone she cared for. He couldn't protect anyone from that, not even himself.

Buffy felt tears pricking at her eyes and she held Giles as tightly as she could, hoping somehow that she could make it all better. Make his pain and torment stop, make her own pain and torment stop. She knew she couldn't though and that's what hurt her the most.

Her eyes closed as she felt the tears falling from her own eyes, suddenly becoming acutely aware of Giles salty tears soaking into her shirt.

Giles continued to cry his breathing becoming shallow and rasping as he tried to control his sobs.

He was broken and bleeding.

An empty shell of the man he had once been.

He could see his father frowning down on him for breaking down.

He had only done it once before when his mother had died. He had cried for so long that he didn't think he would ever stop, and his father had scolded him. He had got through it though.

He would get through this. He had his slayer. He had his friends. He still had people who would look after him and people who loved him as much as he loved them. But never would he love anyone as much as he had loved Jenny.

The piece of paper slipped from his grasp as he released it, fluttering to the floor. The dead eyes of Jenny Calendar stared up from the page.

He would lay her to rest. Let her go. Let a part of him die and be buried with her.

She was gone.