This story takes place between 'Storm Clouds' and 'Evolution of the Species'; so reading them first may help.

Do not stand by my grave and cry…

London, England,
January 2nd 2000

He stood at the back of the crowed, just as he'd stood at the back of the cathedral all through the service. They had never been close: she'd put him up for adoption just days after his birth, deciding that she wasn't cut out for motherhood. He'd know whom she was, and they'd talked a few times, but they where more like passing acquaintances than family.

His adoptive parents had been members of the Watchers Council: they had seen in him the potential to do great things, and had arranged for all the records of his past to be erased, freeing him from the prying eyes of those who would have used him as a political weapon.

He'd never even met his farther: he was almost 30 before his mother, in a typically drunken phone call from some pub somewhere, even told him just who had gotten her pregnant. He found it ironic that he was one of only three people on the planet that knew just how far that particular relationship had cone.

But his farther was dead, killed by those who'd decided that the world could only be a better place on their terms. He couldn't even visit his father's grave: there hadn't been anything left to put in a coffin.

He contemplated, for the ten thousandth time, the decision he had made: a comparatively normal human life as a Watcher, or follow his parents example, and try and change the world.

As things turned out, there hadn't been anything to separate the two.

The letter from his mother had been delivered the day she'd died. She had tried to explain everything, tried to set things write between the two of them. Even after a lifetime apart, he'd wanted to help her at the end, but his own duty kept him away, doing the same thing for a different reason.

The crowed finned out, leaving him alone in the cold London winters evening. He walked up to the imposing marble tome, taking the packet of Embassy filter tips and disposable lighter from the pocket of his long coat. He remembered telling her once that smoking would kill her. She'd laughed, saying she wasn't that lucky.

He knew now what she'd found so dammed funny.

He placed the cigarettes and lighter in front of the tombstone next to the single white rose left be someone else. He bowed his head and offered a silent pray to a god he knew still existed, despite what a lot of the papers where saying: the world was a more complicated place than even the tabloids knew.

He turned to find the six of them standing there, looking like a flock of sheep who'd lost their Shepard. They looked at him, trying to work out who he was, why he was there.

"You must be her friends." He broke the ice for them, "I figured you'd still be around."

"And who exactly are you?" The tall one with white hair asked.

"I'm no one." He tried to walk away, but they blocked his path.

"How did you know Jenny?" The white haired man asked again.

"It's not important." He stood there looking at them, "Now if you don't mind, I have another funeral to get to…" A leather-clad hand went to grab him by the wrist.

Reflexes resulting from his unusual parentage, and honed by half a decade living on a hell-mouth kicked in: he grabbed the other mans wrist and span his arm up behind his back. He pushed forward, shoving the man up against a tree.

The remaining five looked at him, their jaws sagging.

"Like I said: It's not important." He almost snarled through clanged teeth.

"How did you do that?" A tall, slender woman with a Brooklyn accent asked.

"I can do a lot of things." He let the rather started man go, "But I'd rather not go into that right now."

"Just who are you?" White hair asked.

"My adoptive name is Rupert Giles." He straightened his coat, "I was born Rupert Sparks, and I am the son of Jenny Sparks and John Cumberland." He looked at them, "And I know who you all are."

"Jesus H Christ!" Jack Hawksmoor looked like he'd been physically assaulted, "Jenny never said she had a son…" His voice trailed off for a moment, "Did you say John Cumberland?"

"Yes." Giles nodded, "The man widely know as simply 'The High'." They looked at him like he'd just claimed to be Lord Lucian. He knew better than anyone that his mother had her secrets, not all of which would be written down in the diary she'd kept all these years. "I don't want to get involved: I've spent my entire adult life hiding who and what I am, and I don't want to change that now."

"But you must be…" Hawksmoor looked at him intently, "Have we met before?"

"Twice." Giles sighed, "First in Tokyo, back in '76, and Sunnydale California, two years ago."

"Sunnydale?" Shen Li-men asked, "Isn't that were we met the Slayer?"

"Yes: Buffy." Giles nodded, "That was, alas, the last time I saw my mother alive."

"You're her watcher, aren't you?" Hawksmoor nodded slowly, "I thought that Jenny only spent time with you because you where both British."

"I was Buffy's watcher: she died a few hours after my mother." Giles look down, "My mother and I never had a typical relationship." He shrugged, "When it became apparent that I had inherited traits from both my parents back in the early '70's, she tried to convince me to leave collage and join her in trying to make the world a better place. I told her, in no uncertain terms, that I wasn't interested."

"And now?" The Doctor asked.

"And now I have to go back to California and berry another 'Hero' who died saving a world that doesn't now how much danger it's in." Giles turned away, "My mother fought to make the world a Finer Place: I'm just trying to keep it in one piece…"

The End

My apologies for those of you waiting for the sequel to 'Evolution of the Species', but this story popped into my head after I bought 'Jenny Sparks: The secret history of The Authority' the other day. Rest assured that Giles's powers will be displayed fully in 'Child of our time', when I get round to writing it.