A.N. - A flash of inspiration after I watched the Buffy movie on MTV. Tell me what you think...

Rupert Giles made his way down his stairs, reminding himself that he still had to write in his Watcher's journal.

As he pulled out the Black Chronicles from his desk, preparing to put the book back on the shelf, he saw a slip of paper fall out from between its back pages.

As he leaned over and picked it up, he vaguely recognized the handwriting. Why did it seem familiar? He turned it over and then saw who it was addressed to. It was addressed to him. He placed his journal back onto the desk, and gently opened the paper, wondering what it could be and why he'd never seen it before.

He sat down at his desk chair and began to read...

"Dear Rupert,

This letter that I write, I fear will be my last. I have been having a deep feeling of dread hanging over my soul for the past few days, and I feel that I will soon depart this world. This letter is of the utmost importance. I have felt inclined to write to you, as I feel that the Council will appoint you to be her Watcher after I am gone.

She is strong willed and disregards the rules, but it makes her stronger. Never doubt her, for she has a true gift and I want you to see that in her.

Buffy is not a simple girl, and I am already seeing her become a woman. Never forget that she is not just a Slayer, but that she is a person just like any other. I feel that the Council trains us to think that we are merely training and honing a weapon, but she is more than that. She is someone who is trying to find her place, just like anyone else.

The reason why I feel you will be chosen is because of a prophecy in the Black Chronicles. Read it carefully, but do not, please do not, take anything out of context.

You are one of my dearest friends, and almost a son to me, and I hope that you make her into a remarkable young woman.

I also want to tell you something, Rupert. Don't be afraid to fall in love with her. The prophecy speaks of something happening, something deep and very personal, but you know how prophecies must be taken with a grain of salt. She will be a strong Slayer.

She has passion, Rupert. A passion and vivacity for life which I've never seen before.

Slayers have always been about death, but I feel that this one is entirely different. She truly fights for a reason. She wants to live, and that makes the difference.

I hope that you do become her Watcher...you two will be well suited to each other. She will challenge you, and you will rise to meet that challenge, I am sure.

Stay safe and well, and never forget that she is the one that we serve. Our avatar and the reason for our existence.

Yours truly,

Andrew Merrick"

Giles looked down at the paper in his hand in shock, his hand slightly shaking.

He'd had no idea that Merrick knew about what might happen to him.

He walked on shaky legs over to the couch, sinking into it as though he had no bones in his body. The paper was still in his hands, but it felt like air, and for a moment he felt as though it hadn't even happened. That he'd never read those words.

However, the sound of the paper rustling in his grip, as though it had a life of its' own and was trying to escape, reminded him that he had just read it, and it was very, very real.

He then realized that it was close to tearing, so he lessened his grip slightly and folded it back up, beginning to place it back into the book from which it had fallen from...but then he stopped. No...not there. Instead, he took the folded pages and slid it into his journal, just beyond his most recent entry from about a week ago.

As he closed his journal, his mind went into overdrive thinking about the words that he'd just read.

How had he known?

He slid onto his couch, his knees finally giving out on him, and the full impact of what he'd just read finally took hold on his senses.

It was his own fault, really. Falling in love with one's Slayer was definitely against the rules, but it had happened to him somewhere down the line, and he had no clue as to how or why it had happened. She had managed to find a place in his heart, and he just woke up one day to find her there.

He stared at the journal in his hand, and carefully placed his other hand over top of it in benediction.

"I love her…so help me, I love her," he whispered into the empty air of his apartment.

He placed the book back onto his shelf with slightly shaky fingers, still processing everything that had just happened.

No longer could he sit in silence, no longer could he hide it from her. And now was the time to act. She was not with anyone, nor did she even have any passing interests. He knew that it would not last for long, and he knew that he had to tell her.

He ran a hand through his hair as he walked up the stairs to his loft bedroom.

Now he needed to sleep.

Tomorrow he would tell her the truth.

'Thank you, Merrick,' he silently said inside his mind. 'Thank you for giving me the strength.'