Title: Chip Tooth Smile
Rating: FRAO Overall/FRM This chapter
Timeline: AU, one year post-series...no Dawn, Anya survived Sunnydale.
Synopsis: A year after Sunnydale, there are quite a few changes in the Scoobies' lives. There are more changes to come.
Author’s Note: Special thanks to A for taking the time to go through this project for me. This fic is inspired by the album Chip Tooth Smile by Rob Thomas. This is not a typical songfic. (Lyrics and .mp3s can be found on the CTS index page)
Chapter Three – Can't Help Me Now
The sunlight filtered through the blinds as Buffy opened her eyes. She was exhausted and fairly confused as to why she was even awake. She was still in Giles’ arms, her back pressed against his chest. His hand rested lightly against her abdomen…just under her breasts. She shifted her hips slightly, smiling as she felt the warmth of his flesh pressing against her backside. Her smile faded and she sighed as she felt his tension rise, even as he held her tightly against his chest.
“Please don’t panic, Giles.” She whispered, covering his hand with hers. “Please go back to sleep…”
“Buffy…” He started, pausing when she rolled over to face him.
“We’ve had a very long night, topped with a couple of hours sleep at best. I’m exhausted, you have to be as well. Let’s just rest and then we can – ”
“This shouldn’t have happened. Not like this.” He interrupted softly, rolling onto his back and staring at the ceiling.
Buffy sighed and rolled her eyes, lightly stroking the hair covering his chest with her fingertips. “Or…we can just skip the rest and rush right into a really awkward conversation.”
“Why not? We rushed into a night of really – ”
Her fingers stopped their movements and she flattened her palm against his chest. “I know you’re not getting ready to say ‘awkward sex’ because…of all things it was, ‘awkward’ is not one of them.”
He covered her hand with his, giving it a gentle squeeze. “No, it wasn’t. It was…fairly indescribable in the most…” He exhaled slowly. “Last night was…beautiful, Buffy. But, we did rush…at an exponentially high rate of speed. And we shouldn’t have…I shouldn’t have. I should’ve stopped it.”
She stared at him, furrowing her brow. “There was no way of stopping it after you knocked on my door, Giles. You know that. You have to know that.”
“It’s not what I intended.” He said, running his hand through his hair.
“What exactly did you intend, then?” She asked, pushing herself up and leaning against the headboard.
“I…I wanted to talk.” He answered quietly.
“Kinda hard to talk if your tongue is in my mouth.” She shot back, narrowing her eyes as he sat up next to her. “You don’t even want to be here, do you?”
“Buffy, I don’t want to fight right now.” He replied, leaning his head back against the headboard.
“You knew I wouldn’t be able to say no to you, didn’t you?” She asked, staring at him. “Sure, you could use the whole ‘I wanted to see if this is what you wanted’ excuse…but at the end of the fucking day, you knew. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t have come back…and sure as fuck wouldn’t have kissed me.”
He turned to look at her, narrowing his eyes. “You honestly believe that I came back just to fuck you? That I would use you in that manner?”
She shook her head slowly and clenched her jaw briefly. “I don’t know what to think, Giles. But, I don’t think you fucked me. I think there was more to it than that…and I think that you’re very scared of what that means.”
“I…I should go…”
“You should stay. We could wait this out…have a shower and some tea. Really talk it through…” She said softly, reaching over and touching his arm.
He shook his head slowly and lowered his eyes. “I’m sorry. I…I can’t.”
“Seriously?” She asked, allowing her hand to fall from his arm. “You came over here last night ‘to talk’. We didn’t talk, Giles…we had sex. All fucking night. You were inside of me all fucking night. And now, you can't talk? I call bullshit on this right now. Fucking bullshit. It’s not that you can't talk, is it? It’s that you won't. And that’s a hundred times worse.”
He raised his eyes and looked at her, his heart lurching when he saw the pain in hers.
“Buffy…” He started, stopping when she shook her head and raised her hand.
“No, just shut up. Just…you’re in such a fucking hurry to go…so just go.” She stared at him for a moment and then shook her head in frustration, moving away from him and sliding out of bed.
He watched her as she stormed towards the bedroom door, not bothering to cover her nude body. He closed his eyes as she walked out and made her way to the bathroom, slamming the door behind her.
“Fucking good show, Giles…” He muttered, climbing out of the bed and gathering his clothes that were strewn about the room.
* * *
Giles had waited over half an hour, pacing in her living room, before conceding the fact that she wasn’t going to come back out while he was still there. His heart felt heavier than it had in years. After another long look down the hallway, he shook his head and found a pad and pen on her kitchen counter. He left her a longer-than-intended note and paced for another ten minutes before heaving a frustrated sigh and walked out of her flat.
She only came out of the bathroom after she felt his presence fade away. A ‘perk’ of having Gilesdar, as Anya had called it. She knew it was the Watcher/Slayer bond that had ramped back up since her arrival in England. She could sense him when he was near, the same as he could sense her. She walked slowly into the living room and found his note sitting on the coffee table.
She sat down on the sofa and picked it up with a trembling hand. And promptly burst into tears after reading it.
* * *
Giles stopped for a red light and sighed, tiredly rubbing his hand over his face. He inhaled sharply, her scent still heavy on his skin. Suddenly he could feel her surround him…and, at the same time, he felt further away from her than he ever had. And he knew without a doubt that he’d made a terrible mistake by leaving.
The light turned green, but he didn’t notice until the car behind him alerted him to that fact with a quick blast of the horn. Giles lifted his hand in an apologetic wave and accelerated through the intersection. By the time he had reached the next roundabout, he had decided that he needed to go back. He needed to make this right, if he could.
And so, in a replay of the previous night, he followed the roundabout around and went back in the direction he had just come from…the direction that would lead him back to her flat.
* * *
He leaned against the front fender of his car wishing, for the first time in years, that he had a cigarette in his hand. Or a bottle of scotch. Anything to help quell his nerves. He took a deep breath and exhaled shakily before pushing away from his car. He ran his hand through his hair as he walked back to her flat. He paused for a few seconds before lifting his hand and quickly knocking on her door.
And he waited.
He knocked again and then placed his hand on her door, his palm flat against the smooth wood.
“Buffy? Please…open the door.” He said quietly.
A few seconds later the door opened. He lowered his hand as he looked at her. Her red-rimmed eyes glancing at him before she lowered her gaze from his.
“Oh, Buffy…” He whispered, realising that she had been crying.
“Why are you here, Giles?” She whispered, wrapping her arms around herself.
“I’m sorry.” He lifted his hand and gently cupped her cheek.
She leaned into his touch briefly and then shook her head, taking a step away from him. “No…I can’t do this, not right now.”
His hand lowered as he nodded slowly. “I, uh…I made a mistake.”
“By fucking me?” She asked coldly, lifting her gaze and staring at him.
“By leaving…not talking…panicking.” He replied softly, slipping his right hand into his pocket. “I didn’t fuck you, Buffy.”
“That’s what I thought last night…” She ran her fingers through her hair and shook her head. “Felt very different this morning.”
“Can we talk this out?” He asked, shifting his weight nervously.
She looked at him for a long moment, biting her bottom lip before speaking. “I thought we were starting something last night. Now I’m wondering if it was ending something.”
He tilted his head slightly. “Buffy, please…let’s talk?”
“I don’t want to fight, Giles. And that’s where this is going to end up right now. This was the last place you wanted to be this morning.”
“It’s where I want to be now.” He said, the heaviness in his heart growing.
She shook her head slowly, a tear running down her cheek. “I don’t think I can talk right now, Giles.”
He lifted his left hand to the door frame. “I never meant to hurt you, Buffy. I just…didn’t know what to do.”
“But, you did. You did hurt me.” She whispered, wiping her tears from her cheeks. “We’ll talk, okay. But, not right now…not today.”
He stood there and looked at her, not really sure of what to say. After a few moments, she sighed heavily.
“This is the part where you say goodbye…see you later…or something.”
“I…” He started, stopping when he felt his chest constrict with a pain that he knew all too well.
She looked into his eyes and placed her hand lightly on his chest. “I know this is hurting you too, Giles. But…I have to work through this on my own before I can talk to you about it. Please…just go.”
He swallowed and gave her a nod. “I’ll see you later, Buffy.”
“Yeah.” She whispered, lowering her hand and taking a step backwards. “See you later, Giles.”
He closed his eyes as she gently closed the door. He lifted his hand, placing his palm on the door and leaning forward slightly.
“I am so sorry, Buffy.” He whispered before pushing away and walking back to his car.
She leaned her back against the door and closed her eyes. “I know, Giles.”
She waited until she heard him start the engine and drive away. Then she made her way back to the sofa and sat down, curling up in the corner and resting her head on the armrest.
Chapter Four - Funny
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