By Marta Jadczyk

Title: Always 1/1
Rating: R for violence
Spoilers: G2
Disclaimer: I don't own any of these characters. They're all Joss Whedon's and Mutant Enemy's and anyone else's who has copyrights. The song Always belongs to Sting and whoever else has copyrights. Don't sue, I have no money.
Feedback: yes please!
Distribution: Just tell me where to find it so I can show off to all my friends. :)
Summary: Giles avenges Buffy's death.

Author's Note: This is in response to a challenge. I just couldn't pass it up. Also, I know that the words to Always are slightly different, but lisencium poeticum and all that.

   It was raining, but Giles didn't notice. Everyone else around him was huddled under umbrellas. Even the priest held an umbrella in one hand and the bible in the other.

   "As I walk through the valley of death, I will not fear for thou art with me..." The rest of the funeral passed in a blur for the englishman.

   All the others had long gone, yet Giles remained. It was raining even harder now, but it didn't matter. He was already soaked. He only noticed that he had sunk to his knees when he reached out to trace the carvings on the headstone and found them at eye level.

              Buffy Summers
              BORN 06.18.81
              DIED 05.22.01
        Beloved daughter, friend
                and lover

   As his fingers traced the cool stone, images assaulted him. Buffy telling him that she didn't want to die then facing the Master anyway, Buffy smiling, frowning and...dying. He'd held her in his arms as the last breath left her body. Something in his soul shattered then. After the Ascention, they'd grown closer, become intimate. He didn't regret a single minute of his life with her. From the moment he'd first seen her, to the time he got up the courage to confess that he was in love with her and when she had to his everlasting joy responded in kind and beyond. Those were the happiest moments of his life. Together, they had managed to avert the apocolypse on the dawn of the new millenium and faced many dangers and foes since then. Until Ethan Rayne had summoned the demon that killed her. <Ethan> the name reverbrated through his mind over and over again. Giles' eyes hardened and his jaw clenched. <He will pay for this> He slowly leaned foreword to kiss the headstone where Buffy's name was, before getting up and walking away without a backwords glance.

   There was a knock on the door. Willow frowned and looked at the clock. It was well after 1am. Who'd be visiting them at this hour. From their expressions, she could se that Oz and Xander were thinking the same thing. She got up from the couch, opened the door and gasped. Not knowing what she had seen, the two young men grabbed weapons that they always had handy nowadays and rushed to the door, only to stop dead in their tracks. Outside stood Giles, no this wasn't Giles anymore. The man on their doorstep could only be Ripper. He was wearing black jeans and a white t-shirt covered by a black leather jacket. There was a gold hoop in his left ear and his glasses were gone. But the scariest part were the eyes. The green that had so often comforted and encouraged was now frozen. There was no humanity left there. They softened a little as he took in the three people whom he considered family. He handed Willow several leather-bound books.

   "I think you can handle these." Ripper then looked at Xander and gave him the locket that the boy had given Buffy so long ago. He turned to Oz and handed him a wrapped package. "Happy Birthday," his voice was barely above a whisper, "Buffy and I picked it out..." He turned around and started walking into the night. Willow recovered first and stopped him with a question, "Where are you going?"

   "After Ethan." his voice was so cold that even the usually unflappable Oz flinched.

   "And after?" the warewolf asked. Ripper still hadn't turned to face them. They saw his shoulders rise and fall in ashrug. Then, before anyone could think of anything else to say, he was gone.

   Ripper walked into Willy's. Without any pretense, he grabbed Willy by the throat and lifter him into the air.

   "Where's Ethan Rayne?" he growled. The look in his eyes didn't bode anything good and Willy, ever the survivor gasped out and address. Ripper smiled, but there was no mirth in that smile. Only purely evil intent.

   He looked at the place that Ethan chose as a dwelling. It was a secluded cottege, far away from any neighbours who might hear anything suspicious and call the police. <Perfect> he thought. He shifted the small bag he was carring to his left hand, walked up to the front door and knocked.

   When Ethan opened the door and saw his visitor, he realised his mistake. He should have left town as soon as he'd heard about the slayer. He tried to back away but it was already far, far too late. The first punch caught him square between the eyes, the second inhis stomach. He double dover and the uppercut that followed flung him a few feet and he landed on his back. Dazed, he saw Ripper leaning over him and grinning maniacly. Buffy's lover whispered something very akin to what Angelus had once said to him.

   "The last time I wanted to torture somebody, I didn't even consider chainsaws." Petrified from fright, Ethan could only watch as Ripper got up and deliberatly closed the door. And then the screaming started.


   A few days later, the police found a terribly mutilated body in a cottage outside of Sunnydale. The only other things of interest was on the kitchen table. It was a quill and a vial filled with blood that was later identified as the victim's blood. Beside it lay a piece of paper on which was written

This Romeo's bleeding,
But you can't see his blood.
It's nothing but some feelings
That this old dog kicked up.
It's been raining since you left me,
Now I'm drowning in the flood.
You see I've always been a fighter,
But without you I give up.
I can't sing a love song
Like the way it's meant to be.
Maybe I'm not that good anymore,
But, baby, that's just me.
And I will love you always.
I'll be there forever and a day.
I'll be there when the sun won't rise,
When the heavens fall and the stars won't shine.
And when I die, you'll be on my mind.
I will love you