I Am A Watcher

by Saber ShadowKitten

I am a Watcher, or rather, I was until the pillocks fired me for being "too emotionally involved" with my Slayer. However, the fact that I am not longer a part of that community does not change my role in my Slayer's life. To her, I am and always will be her Watcher, no matter how many replacements they had sent and even after she quit following orders from the Council.

Watcher of the skies, watcher of all,
His is a world alone, no world of his own
He whom life can no longer surprise,
Raising his eyes beholds a planet unknown.

I am a Watcher and I am alone, more so when I am surrounded by the children. To them, I am the father that none of them has, the one they turn to for guidance and unconditional love. Even the most reluctant member of the group sees me in the same light, even though he is over a century and a half older than I.

I am a Watcher. I have no companion, no equal, no one to call friend. At one time, I had two of them, and I was not just ‘the Watcher,' like Buffy was not just ‘the Slayer.' Then one of my friends snapped the neck of the other, and I ended up with no one. I became jaded and cynical, and nothing that occurred could shock me. Not Angel's return from the demon dimension; not the second Slayer's turn to the ‘other' side; not my being fired from my duties; not the arrival of the new Watcher, who was so very much like me in the beginning; and most certainly not a soul- less vampire being coerced into protecting my Slayer.

From life alone to life as one,
Think not now your journey's done
For though your ship be sturdy, no
Mercy has the sea,
Will you survive on the ocean of being?
Come ancient children hear what I say,
This is my parting council for you on your way.

I am a Watcher to my children and I try not to let my cynicism show. They have seen too much hardship as it is, for life has not been merciful to them. Yet, all of them still find the joy in simple things, be it playing an old favorite on the guitar, a cup of hot cocoa made by a former enemy's mother, or a new pair of shoes. Most importantly, they have each other.

I am a Watcher to them all. I listen to them when they speak with me. I pay attention to their conversations and their body language when they do not. I offer my opinion, but never force it on them. I give them my wisdom that comes from experience, however, I let them make mistakes on their own.

I am a Watcher, yet, despite how much I am ingrained in their lives, I am alone.

Sadly now your thoughts turn to the stars
Where we have gone you know you never can go.
Watcher of the skies, watcher of all,
This is your fate alone, this fate is your own.

I am a Watcher of six children who keep the world turning round. Without them, humanity would have been erased and chaos would rule. I have watched them change and grow, and no one could be prouder of them than I. When they are eventually laid to rest, I know that their stars will be the brightest in the skies.

I am a Watcher, not by duty, not by vocation, but by choice; and with that choice, there are consequences. I have lost friends. I have lost loved ones. I shall never have a wife or children from my own seed. I know I shall never have what ‘normal' men have, for my role in life has been destined for something far more important.

I am a Watcher.