Then Jonathan was killed by a vampire in his first year after initiation into the Council. I was thirteen, just starting my third year at the Watchers Academy. Jonathan was twenty-three. Despite the fact that nothing I did was ever good enough for my father, I had always worked very hard to show him I was just as good as Jonathan, but when he died, my father believed that he had lost his only chance for the Wyndam-Pryce family to join the esteemed ranks of the "ruling families". I wanted to prove him wrong, so I worked even harder, did everything by the book, didn't deviate from my teachings.
Then I was sent to Sunnydale.
And when I got there, I saw just how wrong those teachings were. The things that Buffy faced - she needed the people she had around her. It was because of them and because of Rupert that she had survived where other Slayers, even Kendra, the one called after her, had been killed so soon. The Council had been wrong to fire him. I also started to realize that pleasing my father didn't matter one whit, not compared to what we had to do in our fight against the Mayor.
At the same time, I found myself falling in love in Rupert. I didn't expect him to ever return what I thought was a crush, but he did. Sometimes, I think that my father's insistence that I be thrown off the Council had as much to do with my relationship with Rupert and his homophobia as it did with my going against Council instructions.
It didn't matter in the end. When Rupert asked me to stay with him in Sunnydale, I found myself happier than I ever remembered being, even when Ethan tried to break us apart. We moved in together, opened the Magic Box, and took care of Fred when she arrived through the portal she opened into the shop later that year.
Buffy's loss, though... I almost feared that I'd lose Rupert too after she died. So I followed him home to England and stayed with him, and let him know I was there, no matter what he had to do.
The situation with the First changed everything. I think Rupert and I would have opened up a bookshop in Bath and spent the rest of our days together there had Matthew never showed up to tell us what was going on. But we ended up back in Sunnydale with several potentials and Matthew in tow, reunited with Buffy, Willow, Fred and the others. Angel and Cordelia came up from Los Angeles. More potentials arrived. And the battle was hard won. Standing at the edge of the crater that had once been Sunnydale, my arm around Rupert, I knew things were about to take a turn I don't any of us could have guessed.
Especially my father. Because now Rupert and I are chairmen of the Council, running things. I'm doing what he never thought I'd be able to do.
Perhaps I'm not quite the failure he always thought I was.