Title: Gifts from the Past
Summary: Giles receives an unexpected surprise.
Disclaimer: I claim no ownership over these characters. I am merely borrowing them from Joss et al.
Distribution: My site, the usual lists, anyone with previous permission. Anyone else - just ask.
Feedback: Yes please! It makes me happy and keeps me writing.
Thanks: To my wonderful Betas - Emmy, KallieRose & Lisa Kelley for all of your help.
Note: This was written for phendog's Happy Birthday ASH Ficathon. My prompt: card
Gifts from the Past
Giles turned the envelope over in his hands for what had to be the fifteenth time. The handwriting was so familiar, despite the years since he had last seen it, and then through a child's eyes. His thumb brushed over the wax seal, still holding firm after all of these years, the symbol a familiar one: the Giles family crest.
Earlier that day a package had arrived from the family estate, from his father. Several books were well-wrapped inside, along with this sealed envelope. The note from his father had simply stated that these were found in a safety deposit box, with the implicit instructions that they be sent to Rupert when he became a full-fledged Watcher.
Giles humorlessly laughed at that. He had been a full-fledged Watcher for twenty years. His father should know that. His initiation had been on the same date as every other Watcher in his family: February 20th.
The lateness of the books' arrival did not surprise him, knowing his father's disregard for matters concerning his son. The letter, on the other hand, was a surprise; a real treasure.
The letter was from his grandmother.
Unconsciously holding his breath as he slid the letter opener beneath the top flap of the envelope, he carefully brought it down beneath the seal, slowly lifting it from the paper. Age, and the oil in the wax, made this a simple task, but Giles still breathed a sigh of relief when the seal remained intact as the envelope was opened.
Shaking fingers pulled out the card resting inside. The elegant handwriting immediately brought tears to his eyes, which he blinked away in order to read the words.
My Dearest Rupert,
Congratulations to you on this auspicious day. You are carrying on an important family tradition; one I know that you did not want to follow, but have entered into nonetheless. As you have learned from real life experiences, as well as your studies, it is important work that we do.
You, more than most, know what evil exists in the world. You have experienced it first hand, and I believe that it has made you a stronger man. It will make you a strong Watcher. Do not ignore your past, but learn from past experience. Use this knowledge and apply it to your work with the Council.
I know you will make me proud.
~ Your Loving Grandmother
Giles removed his glasses to pinch the bridge of his nose, willing the tears clouding his vision to clear. He could not possibly express how much these words meant to him.
He also recognized the fact that had he received this letter when he was meant to, it would not have had the same affect it was having now. Amazing what 20 years could do to your perspective.
"Is everything all right?" a soft voice asked, accompanied by a feminine hand on his shoulder.
"Quite," Giles croaked, his voice still raw with emotion. He cleared his throat and turned to meet the concerned eyes of his lover.
"I've never seen you brought to tears by a letter before," she observed.
"You've never seen me receive a card from my deceased grandmother before, either," Giles pointed out.
Her eyes went wide before softening again in understanding. "What did she have to say?"
"She was congratulating me on becoming a Watcher," Giles said with a smile, causing her to laugh.
"She's a bit late for that."
"My father found the card along with some books amongst her possessions. He only now thought to send them to me," he said bitterly.
"Well, hey, it may not have been a graduation present like it was supposed to be, but it makes an awesome anniversary present, don'tcha think?"
"Indeed it does," Giles had to agree.
Copyright© February 2006