Timeline: Post-series, AU. No Dawn.
Synopsis: Buffy and Giles were together, now they’re not. Can a friend bring them back together?
Buffy clenched her
jaw. “I know exactly how long it’s been,
“Well…why haven’t you said anything to him then?” She asked, a frantic tone in her voice.
“Because he hasn’t said anything to me!” Buffy shot back, annoyance in her words.
“Yeah, well…that’s because you’re the one who screwed up.”
Buffy opened her mouth, and then closed it when she realized that she couldn’t argue that point.
“You need to go to him. Not the other way around.”
“He doesn’t want to see me.” Buffy replied, turning back to the window. “I’ve tried.”
When Buffy spun
towards her, opening her mouth to retort,
Buffy’s eyes flashed. “Fine. Finish, then.”
“You’ve gone to him with apologies. He doesn’t want to hear ‘I’m sorry’. He knows you’re sorry. He needs explanations. He’s waiting for you to go to him and explain your actions.”
Buffy shook her head quickly, tears glistening in her eyes. “How am I supposed to explain why I…God, I can’t even say it. I can’t believe I said it to begin with.”
“Just tell him the truth, Buffy. That’s all he wants from you. That’s all he’s ever wanted from you.”
A single tear rolled down Buffy’s cheek. “He hates me.”
“Or a ravine.” Buffy answered as she sniffled.
“He’s hurting, Buffy. And he just needs to know why.”
Buffy raised her eyes
and looked at
“He misses you. Please…just go talk to him.”
Before Buffy could
say anything else,
Buffy inhaled shakily
and glanced at the picture on the desk.
They all looked so happy. But,
that was before everything fell apart.
Xander was drifting…he called once in a while, but
not very often anymore. The last she’d
heard, he was in
Buffy and Giles had been
able to stay together…and had been making their relationship work. Until…on the first anniversary of
He had left not long after that day. Maybe a week or so later. And she had watched him leave, her anger and pride not allowing her to stop him.
But, she couldn’t do this anymore…not without him. Not alone. She needed him…she needed his love. God, how she missed him.
She wiped her tear-stained cheeks and nodded resolutely. It was time…and he deserved more than what she was giving him.
* * *
Giles was just putting the finishing touches on another dinner that he probably wouldn’t eat when the doorbell rang. He sighed and dropped the oven mitt onto the countertop. He quickly made his way to the door, fully prepared to buy whatever they were selling just to get them to leave.
He wasn’t prepared to find Buffy standing on his doorstep.
She met his eyes as he whispered her name. “Can we talk?”
He moved to the side, silently inviting her in. She stepped into the warm apartment and sniffed the air.
“Would you like some? I…well, there’s plenty. I always make too much food…and then nearly all of it gets thrown in the rubbish…”
She looked at him, studied him for a moment. “You’ve lost weight.”
He ignored her comment and gestured to the table as he walked back to the kitchen. “Please…sit. I…”
“You haven’t been eating, have you?”
He pulled two plates out of the dish drainer and glanced at her. “Of course I have.”
She looked around the apartment, shaking her head as she noticed boxes stacked upon one another. “No, you haven’t. Just like you haven’t unpacked anything…”
Giles sighed and dished out two plates of food. He cleared his throat as he walked back to the table and placed her plate in front of her.
“Why are you here, Buffy?”
“Why aren’t you eating?” She countered, grabbing his wrist as he started to move to the other end of the table.
“My God, you’re as bad as…” He lowered his eyes as he trailed off.
She loosened her hold
on his wrist and swallowed emotionally.
He looked up sharply and furrowed his brow. “I, uh…she…”
“Comes to see you?” She offered him a gentle smile when he nodded. “She comes to see me too.”
He gingerly pulled his arm out of her grasp, obviously uncomfortable with the change of topic. He sat down at the table and picked up his fork…and proceeded to push the food around on his plate as he stared at it.
“I’m sorry, Giles.” She whispered softly.
He closed his eyes briefly, the muscles tensing in his jaw, and gave a quick nod. “I know.”
She saw her chance and, after taking a deep breath in an attempt to calm herself, she began.
“I don’t know why I said what I did. I don’t really blame you.”
His Adam’s apple bobbed as he swallowed. “I think you blame me for something.”
“I think you did all you could.”
He looked up slowly and shook his head. “No…you don’t. Please, don’t lie to me, Buffy.”
“I miss you.” She whispered, her eyes filling with tears. “I miss you so much.”
He ached to reach out to her, but instead went back to pushing the food around on his plate without actually taking a bite. “We can’t skip steps here, Buffy. I miss you too, but – ”
“You should’ve sent her back to the Coven when she fell back into magick.” Buffy blurted out, her eyes widening as Giles lifted his head again.
His brow furrowed as she slapped a hand over her mouth. “No…no, keep going, Buffy. Please…”
She shook her head, tears spilling down her cheeks.
“You think it’s my fault that she died. You think that if I had intervened again…if I had, she’d still be alive.”
“And then…if she hadn’t died, Xander would still be here. The four of us would still be here…working together, laughing together…”
“But, I took all of that away from you because I didn’t step in…I didn’t send her…”
“No, I – ”
He dropped his fork and ran his hand through his hair, his eyes growing bright with unshed tears. “You’re right. But, I tried…I tried so hard, Buffy. She…she wouldn’t listen. She got so angry with me. And…and I just made everything worse.”
“What?” Buffy whispered, her eyes widening.
“She delved deeper…trying to show me that she could handle it. And then I lost her…we lost her…and you’re right, it is my fault.”
His voice trembled as he spoke. “For a year you told me that it wasn’t my fault. You lied to me…for a full year. And then…then the dam broke and the truth was revealed. You…were so angry with me. You had every right, but…you wouldn’t listen.”
Buffy opened her mouth, but no words came.
“I should have forced her…”
“As if you could force me to do anything.”
Buffy and Giles both
turned towards the voice to find
“Willow…” They gasped simultaneously.
Buffy furrowed her brow in confusion. “He tried to help you?”
She turned her brown eyes to Giles and offered him a loving smile. “I want to ask you a couple of questions…and I want you to tell me the truth, okay?”
Giles nodded slowly.
“Do you love her?”
“With all of my heart.” He answered with no hesitation.
“Why did you leave?”
“How could she love me? After what I’d done…”
“I let you die.” He whispered painfully.
Buffy’s eyes narrowed slightly, her confusion evident. “I didn’t…but, why…why would I say that?”
She crossed her arms and smiled as Buffy and Giles looked at one another.
“The two of you aren’t happy without each other. You know this as well as we all knew it…years ago, we knew. And Xander’s going to need you two.”
“Xander?” Giles questioned as he looked at her.
She nodded and gave him a warm smile. “Yeah…he’s coming back soon. I told him he’d moped around enough…but, he’s still going to need you guys.”
“You can read my thoughts?” Buffy asked.
“Anyway…I was never the glue, Buffy. You and Giles…you two together are the glue. Always have been. When you two drifted, we all drifted apart. And when you came back together…we all came back together.” She glanced at Giles and then smiled at Buffy. “I know that you love him as much as he loves you.”
“Yeah, I do.” Buffy whispered in agreement, causing Giles to look at her.
Feeling his eyes on
her, Buffy looked over at him. As their
eyes caught and held one another’s,
“You two have things to talk about…”
Buffy returned her
gaze to him and after only a brief hesitation, they both stood up…and she ran
into his arms. From the corner of the
room, Tara and
“Good job, sweetie.”