What: BtVS fanfic
Title: Prison changes a man...
Written for: Summer of Giles 2015
Rating: PG/FRT (adult themes, psychological)
Word Count: 909
Setting: Post season 3.
Disclaimer: I own nothing in the BtVS universe and no one pays me for my fan fiction either (sadly).
Note: Alternate Universe (AU)
Summary: In our world, the Mayor and Faith chose to go after Angel to try and get to Buffy. In this AU, the Mayor recognized the Watcher/Slayer bond as his greatest obstacle, and used his position of bureaucratic and political power to remove Giles from the picture more effectively than if he'd killed him. The Mayor used a little magic to back up his ploy of course...
It wasn’t the fear of prison -- he could take care of himself. He knew how to deal with hardened men. In truth, he was one. He’d led a gang in his youth, he could do it again. Safety in numbers and all that.
It wasn’t that this hybrid prison employed the use of magical wards and other mystical protections to stop any supernatural interventions, effectively ruling out any hope of premature escape.
It wasn’t that the Watcher’s Council, to whom he’d dedicated a good portion of his life and sacrificed probably too much to, had washed their hands of him and left him to rot.
It wasn’t that his reputation had been permanently marred so that past colleagues and friends shunned him.
It wasn’t the loss of his freedom, his livelihood, and his future.
It wasn’t that his blood kin had disowned him.
It wasn’t even that he’d been falsely accused, the victim of a kangaroo court orchestrated by the Mayor to stop him from helping Buffy, and then received an exceedingly harsh punishment (25 years)
It was that Buffy, Willow and Xander were legally and magically barred from seeing or communicating with him. Though they were not ones to be easily hemmed in by rules and regulations, this special prison effectively forced their hands. They couldn’t get to him, nor he to them.
He’d never survive prison as a raw and broken man, and he knew it. He had a choice to make, and he had to make it fast. His analytical mind had to entertain every option available to him. It would be a lie to pretend he didn’t consider suicide. But ultimately, it just wasn’t his style. Giles chose survival.
He had the utmost confidence that his dear young friends would survive without him, and he dared hope that they’d in fact thrive. They would take care of each other. He could do nothing to help them now, all he could do was trust that he had enabled them to be strong warriors. Now, the best he could do for them was to take care of himself. To survive this hell he was in.
He’d permit himself this one night. One night to mourn the friendships he’d come to treasure above all else. One night of self-pity. One night to wallow in loneliness, rejection, and a sense of abandonment. One night of bitter tears.
Tomorrow he’d compress his memories of the life and people he loved, along with his hopes and dreams, into as small a unit as he could. Then he’d swallow it all as if it were a jagged pill.
Tomorrow he’d live as if he’d never known them. As if he’d never known any life but the one he now lived in prison. He’d take no visitors, no calls, no letters. It was the only way he knew how to survive.
When the sun rose, Rupert Giles washed his face in the prison sink, erasing the last of his tears, he slicked his hair back, and he shaved, deciding to let a goatee grow in. Then he stared into the eyes in the mirror -- they were still a bit red and puffy, but that would fade by the time they were sent to breakfast -- and eventually he spoke.
“As of this moment, Rupert Giles is dead.”
He breathed slowly and evenly several times, and let that sink in. With each breath, he put another piece of himself away, and when he was done, he sealed it like a vault. Thus, the heart of Rupert Giles remained locked away for 25 years.
In the mirror, what was left behind looked at him with a humourless, soul-less smile.
Abridged from the Watcher’s Diaries of Wesley Wyndham-Price:
July 25, 1999
After the unjust imprisonment of Rupert Giles, who I maintain is innocent of the crimes he has been convicted of (see Appendix D in this diary which contains the details I’ve collected proving his innocence and implicating those who framed him), Buffy and I, and her allies, managed to carry out a successful campaign to defeat the Mayor. There were casualties, of course, and the destruction of Sunnydale High School was a necessary sacrifice.
The emotional toll on Buffy and the others at the loss of Mr. Giles cannot be adequately expressed here. It were as though the heart of the team had been taken. Our success in this campagin was narrow. I fear that if the Slayer cannot recover her heart, her survival may be threatened. This Slayer is especially motivated by love. I will continue to support her, and I hope that she can carry on.
September 3, 2002
I have, to date, been unsuccessful in my repeated appeals to have Rupert Giles’ sentence reviewed.
I intended, and tried, to be the point of contact for everyone once Giles was behind bars. Mr. Giles refused to see me. He refused to take calls from anyone he once knew. Letters sent to him were returned unopened.
Giles has now been imprisoned 3 years of his 25 year sentence and no one amongst his Sunnydale family has seen nor heard from him. We will continue our work to have him released (both our magical and legal attempts), and we will not cease in our attempts to contact him to let him know we will never abandon him, so long as we live.
I pray his soul remains intact.
*I had some fun with an amazing image manip by wickedfox (http://www.wickedfox.com/jabw/stuff.htm), cropping the image and adding in some prison bars. I thought this image suited the fic nicely. Thank-you wickedfox!
(back to Summer of Giles 2015)
Check out Ain't No Sunshine, a Giles/Faith BTVS fanfic series.