One Slayer Dies...

by havocthecat
Copyright 1999

Giles looked down at the baby sleeping peacefully in the crib. Grey streaked his hair, and his face was set in wrinkles from a life of emotional turmoil. "One Slayer dies," he whispered. "One Slayer dies, and the next is called."

She'd only died yesterday. Wei, Buffy's successor's successor, was one of the best, almost on a par with Buffy herself, but she was still no match of the unending onslaught of evil that a Slayer faced on a daily basis. She'd been worn down, tired, but still strode proudly through the night, terrorizing those that made grown men and women feel helpless.

Until one of them took her.

He'd found her dead, lying on his doorstep, her cinnamon skin covered in red, and her slanted eyes staring in horror. It hadn't been pretty, and it hadn't been easy--it so rarely ever was for Slayers.

Buffy's first successor, Marie, a French girl with dark brown hair, had died painfully, tortured to death after Drusilla had taken a shine to her. Buffy herself had not had the easiest of deaths. Giles smiled sadly. She died destroying Belphegor, a demon come to this plane to have a mortal child, one prophesied to bring plague and famine to the Earth. He only wished she knew she had not died in vain.

Now another Slayer had died. The third Slayer he had trained had died, and the next had been called.

The next Slayer was three months old. Three months was far too young to fight the forces of evil. Three months was too young to fend off the darkness that threatened daily to overwhelm the Earth.

It was a cosmic joke; a mistake of appalling proportions. Slayers were never called at this age. He didn't know why this one had been. They would come for her. It was the destiny of a Slayer to fight evil, and therefore evil was attracted to where she was--or she was called to the place where evil was the greatest. At three months, all she could do was react to basic stimuli. She was dead. It was only a matter of time before something killed her.

Tears gathered in Giles' eyes, and he blinked them away. He was a Watcher, sworn to his destiny. He was the Ripper, cold and unfeeling...

He wasn't fooling anyone, least of all himself. He was Rupert Giles, the man who had been alone and empty. He still felt the pain of Jenny's death, and Buffy's, and all the others who had been killed in the neverending battle. Kendra, and Faith, and all the others of the second line of Slayers--he felt their deaths as keenly as he'd felt Buffy's, and Marie's, and Wei's. It was never easy. It always cut into his soul like shattered glass.

He would feel one more pain tonight.

"One Slayer dies," whispered Giles in a voice choked with tears. "And the next is called." He gently placed a pillow over his Janna's face--his daughter's face--taking no solace in the knowledge that he was sparing her a harder life and a painful, merciless death.

Her struggles ceased soon. A three-month-old's lungs simply didn't have much air capacity. Giles gathered his daughter to himself one last time, and kissed her gently on the forehead, tears streaming down his face.

His plane left tomorrow. He would be in Spain shortly. One Slayer died, and the next was called.


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