TITLE: "Impending Loss"

SPOILERS: "The Gift"

DISCLAIMER: As much as I want to, I take no credit for this character and all those that are included in this fic. I also take no credit in the best episode to date, "The Gift."

DEDICATION: To all my RPing friends and The Family...

Do you ever wonder what a hero entails?

It's quite simple really... Well, maybe in books and myths it is. But if you've ever met one, it's quite a complicated mixture of courage, heart, and mind.

I had all those once. Oh, no...not IN me. I'm far from being a hero. Some might argue that I have saved lives in the past. But saving lives doesn't make you a hero to the level I am speaking about tonight.

Tonight I HAD all those components - but within a courageous young woman I had the honor of getting to know, getting to watch over, getting to love as a daughter.

Did I expect for this day to come?

Quite frequently, actually. There were days where I had this dreaded feeling of impending loss. Those days were easier in the beginning. I was a Council's Watcher through and through when I first met her. My feelings for her were nothing but seeing as they see the other girls: just instruments in the war of good and evil.

Instruments come and go.

I found this instrument to be stubborn, childish, and did not deal well with figures of authority. She wanted a social life in school, in friends, in dating - I didn't think that was an intelligent course of taking.

But I soon found this instrument to be clever, determined, and passionate. I began to see past her physical poweress to what she was within. I began to see past her being an instrument of war and to see her as a teenager, a girl, a human.

And I wanted more than to just protect her for the good of mankind.

Whether or not I made any impact on her is something only she would know. For me, she opened me up to things I didn't think I was capable of as my role to her. I didn't think her words, her thoughts meant anything in the plan to reign victorious. I was her authority figure; only I could tell her how to act and what to do.

But she quickly taught me that it wasn't so. Our victories were just that: OURS. She never totally shut me out. Like I learned with her, she learned to respect my say.

Not to say we haven't had our bouts of disagreements. Not to say she never made a mistake in her choices. Not to say I didn't, either.

We both found out the other does make mistakes. And those mistakes could be forgotten, if not forgiven.

I chuckle at the thought.

But I also feel this heavy pressure in my chest. Because that feeling of impending loss was unbareable by then. So unbearable, I could barely think straight.

When that spear entered into my body, I knew what was coming for us all. I felt ashamed to even think for a moment that I wished to be dead before she.

But I lived. For her. I lived for her to continue to fight. The world relies on her to protect it. I am the one assigned to protect the protector.

I could not let her down.

I killed for her that day. I did. I took out an innocent. And without remorse.

And still without it.

She knew what had to be done. She sarificed her own life - as she has in the past - to allow her sister to live. To allow us all to live. I have always known it was in her.

She embraced her role in life.

And she did it gracefully, as she always has.

The world continues to revolve. I continue to breathe. I continue to see the world. I see that no one knows the sacrifice made by that hero, say those that were close to her.

Impending loss. It happened. And I wept.

I do hope she knew I wept.

We never said "good-bye." I was lucky enough to let her know how proud I was of her. But I never said "good-bye."

So what does a hero entail?

Look into the life of Buffy Anne Summers, and the answer is all there...