This Sorry World

By Philip S.

Summary: Dawn's blood opens the gate. The gate will only close when the blood stops flowing. When Dawn dies. Sometimes people have to do things that other people should not be forced to do.

Spoilers: Spoilers for "The Gift"

Rating: PG-13

Disclaimer: All characters taken from the shows Buffy and Angel are property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, and others. No infringement is intended.

Note: Having watched "The Gift", the only scene that really moved me was the interchange between Buffy and Giles in the training room. I found it sad that nothing further has developed out of this, therefor this story.

--

Giles: I imagine you hate me right now. I love Dawn. But I've sworn to protect this sorry world and sometimes that means saying ... and doing things that other people can't. They shouldn't have to.

Buffy: You try to hurt Dawn and you know I'll stop you.

Giles: I know.

--

Dear Buffy,

after everything that has happened I could hardly blame you if you were to tear up this letter the moment you receive it without reading a single one of these words. I can just hope that you will not. I hope that you will read these words because I fear I will never again have the opportunity to talk to you face to face.

I know that you can never forgive me for what I have done. If it helps you in any way, know that I will never be able to forgive myself, either. Sometimes, though, good men are required to do abominable things to save a world full of people that, all too often, do not seem worth the effort.

Sometimes we do things that are not and can never be considered right, yet we do them anyway. Because we must. Because the alternative is even worse.

I hope you still know me well enough to know that I would never, ever have hurt Dawn if I had seen any other way. I would have flung myself from that tower if it would have served and I would have done it without a moment's hesitation.

If only Spike had been strong enough to stop this creature before it could cut Dawn and set things into motion. If only I had reached the top of the tower in time to stop him myself. If only I wouldn't have had to look into Dawn's eyes, who looked back at me with the sure knowledge of what had to happen now in her innocent eyes.

If only. I guess our language holds no sadder words.

You would have been proud of Dawn, Buffy. She knew what was happening, knew what had to happen next, and though she cried, she never wavered. She told me to tell you that she loves you. That, even though you were not really her sister, she was proud to have been a Summers and sister to the greatest girl she had ever known.

I love you, Buffy. I was never blessed with children, but my life has been richer for having been allowed the opportunity to be your mentor, your Watcher, your friend. Seeing you grow up, grow into your responsibilities, shouldering them despite all the heartbreak they have brought you, has shown me that this is a world yet worth saving. Worth it for having such people as you in it.

I love you, Buffy. That will never change, even if you hate me now. Like I told you that night, sometimes you have to do things that other people can not do. It was terrible enough that you had to sacrifice the man you loved for the sake of the world. No one could possibly expect you to do it all over again with Dawn.

Which is why I did what I did. And though it will haunt me until the day I die, I would do it all over again if I had to. Some things have to be done. Not because they are right, but because they are necessary.

Please give my love to the others. You have been my family these last few years and no father could have been prouder of his children that I am of you. All of you. The only thing I regret is that I will not be there with you from this day forward. Be happy, all of you, as happy as this sorry world allows you to be.

Hate me if you must, Buffy, but please don't forget that I love you. Always will.

Love,

Giles

THE END