I wrote this for Summer of Giles 2010 on Livejournal. I hope you like it.
Title: His Father's Eyes
Author: Laura Sichrovsky
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Rating: PG or FRT
Pairing: None, just Rupert
Warnings: None that I can think of.
Season: Any really, but I guess I picture it after the show ends.
Summary: Rupert's random thoughts while he's shaving.
Disclaimer: This is where I put the statement saying that I do not own Buffy, Giles (Heh! I wish!), Sunnydale, or anything relating
to the show. No one is paying me to do this and if you feel the sudden urge to send me gifts, you might want to talk
to someone about that. Joss Whedon owns all things Buffy and has not given me permission to use these characters
as I have so if you have problems with the story, please send the pretzel bombs to me, not him.
Author's Notes: Thanks need to be given, and here is where they go. Thanks to Joss for creating characters so fun to watch and
to borrow for a bit. Thanks to Tony Head for making Giles so amazing. I tried to fight it, but he was just too
remarkable not to fall for. To Rupert for putting this in my head to start with and for hand holding me through it.
To Trich, Michelle, and Kris for the betas. You guys are the best. To Ann for the beta and, well everything. You are the other half of me, my long lost sister and I love you, dear!
His Father's Eyes
He has his father's eyes.
It's a stray thought that sometimes crosses Rupert's mind as he shaves in the mornings. The soft green eyes with the amber spot on the left one; a rare trait, but one shared with his father and grandfather.
As Rupert looks in the mirror, assessing if he's evenly shaved his jawline, he catches a glint of muted green and is surprised by how much like his father he's come to look. The jawline, the nose, especially his eyes.
Of course there are differences, he thinks, going back to shaving.
His hair is from his mother's side of the family. His father's hair was always thin and light; by the time he was Rupert's age, it was mostly gone. Rupert's thick hair with its penchant for curling around his ears is reminiscent of his mother's father. He wished he'd gotten that man's slight chin and nose as well, but he wasn't really complaining.
He looked in the mirror, studying his reflection closer. Yes, he could see his father in his face, but he was most definitely Rupert. As he looked at his eyes again, he noticed that there were even differences there. His father's eyes were a darker, richer shade of green, the amber patch more pronounced. Rupert also knew from experience that his father's eyes stayed that same, solid shade, while Rupert's changed color with his mood. When he was angry, they lightened, the icy blue color of his mother's eyes coming through in specks and spots, the amber area almost fading completely. When he was sad, they darkened to a mossy color , when he was in a particularly good mood they were a soft, muted green, and he'd learned from past lovers that when he was in the depths of passion, his eyes darkened to almost emerald and the amber patch stood out in stark contrast. As a child, Rupert had hated being so easily readable, but over the years he had learned there was something to be said for the people closest to you knowing what kind of day you'd had just by looking in your eyes.
As a young boy, Rupert had loved that his eyes were just like his father's. It was like his sister's hair being the same shade as their mother's or how his mother's fingers looked just like her mother's. It was something that tied him to his heritage, to all the family that came before him, and all that would come after. He was Rupert Giles, a brother, a son, and a grandchild; he had a place in history.
When he went through his rebellious phase, he hated looking in the mirror every morning and seeing his father's eyes accusing him. It was a constant reminder of his mistakes, of who he never intended to be. When he came back to the Council, he was ashamed at his failures and determined to make restitution for his tainted past. When he looked in the mirror, the eyes were no longer reproachful, just sad and humiliated at the shame he had brought to his whole family. In time, that too faded and Rupert admitted that it had never been his father's judgment he had been facing; the reproving eyes in the mirror were simply his own conscience.
But now, all that was behind him and he rarely ever noticed his eyes. When his father had died, Rupert had realized that while they hadn't gotten along, they had been on the same side in the war. Their goals were the same, even if their methods differed drastically. His father had never had a Slayer, had never bonded so completely with someone that he could connect to their emotions with one glance at their face. He could never understand the passion that went into each of Rupert's choices, right or wrong. Rupert liked to think that if his father had ever been a field Watcher that he would have understood Rupert's arguments for Slayer's rights and why he had felt strongly enough about them to turn his back on everything. Rupert also hoped that if his father could see what he had become, what he had given up, what he had accomplished in coming back to the Council, that he would be proud of the man his son had finally become.
It's not like Rupert dwells on these things all the time. They are usually stray thoughts that drift in his head as he does other things, such as shelving books or, like now, shaving. And yet, they are thoughts that are always in his head, trying to work out the complicated parts of how Rupert Giles fit into his own life, into his own family. Loss and acceptance, freedom and duty, loneliness and love, despair and hope; all different sides of the same coins, all different facets of the man Rupert has become. All of his memories, all of his emotions, all working to reconcile the wild rebel with the responsible Watcher, the boy he had been with the man he has grown into; never acknowledged, but continually there. Just like his odd sense of humour, his unruly hair and the green eyes that are so much like his father's.