Title: A Different Kind of Monster

Author: Mel

Rating: FRC-ish

Teaser: Giles encounters a different sort of enemy

Notes: I will admit to being inspired by a drabble written by Rayne, but I promise that no stealing of ideas was done or should be inferred. This is the first of four, perhaps one or two more, short fics in the storyline. They're unbeta'd, so critque or comments on improvement are welcome.

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Archive: Yes if permission is asked.

Disclaimer: Giles and the rest belongs to Joss. I only borrowed them

and will return them unharmed when I'm done.

Monsters were a part of almost every aspect of Rupert Giles' life. As a child, he had trained and studied and learned what it was felt he needed to know about them in order to prepare him for what he was told was his destiny. As a man, he spent much of his time fighting them side by side with his slayer and the rest of his friends. The battles had nearly cost him his life several times, but always he'd somehow managed to survive. Some battles had been won only by teamwork, others by his own will and determination alone.

But the blurred gray spot on the X-ray and the biopsy results showing what was inside his lung was a different type of monster altogether. It was an unseen microscopic killer that destroyed and ravaged and killed from the inside, would waste his body to nothing and leave it devastated, would eventually kill him. It couldn't be killed with a sword or banished with a spell. No slayer or team of demon hunters could destroy this enemy. Surgery was not an option, the disease was too advanced. Chemotherapy and radiation might work, though he knew what the side effects would be. The very thing that might cure him would very likely bring him near death itself before it helped.

Of course there were magicks; he could talk to Willow. But in his mind, he did not think that even she could stop it. Willow had said time and again that it could not mess with the natural flow of life, despite Buffy being brought back the way she was. Giles didn't think that he would want to go through that,as much as he feared death. Spells could slow it down, perhaps, maybe prolong his life. But magick wasn't a cure-all. It didn't mix well with medicine and he knew that he could never live with a body or worse, a mind, inadvertently damaged by a spell gone wrong. He would consider the chemical treatment, and knew that those who cared for him would be there to offer what emotional support. But at its essence, this battle was one that he faced alone in one way, his survival dependent on how strong he was, how well he could fight it off. He knew that in reality, he *wasn't* alone, not by any means. Not as long as he had Buffy there, and the others he'd grown so close to: Dawn,Willow and Xander. But it was only his own body, his own stregnth and determination, could win this battle.

With a steeled determination and a strong will to live, accompanied by a great deal of trepidation, Giles mentally made a vow to fight this monster as long as he still had the strength. If it ultimately claimed him, than so be it, but he would battle as long as he could.