Timeline: Post series, AU.
Synopsis: Buffy is tired of hurting.
Author’s Note: Album fic. Song and lyrics can be found here.
An impatient knock sounded loud in the quiet house. Giles was on his way to the front door when it swung open. He stopped in his tracks and stared as Buffy walked in.
“What, uh…what are you doing here?”
Buffy rolled her eyes as she
closed the door behind her. “Hi,
Buffy…it’s been a while. How are
Giles cleared his throat. “I do apologize, you’ve just surprised me. Hello, Buffy.”
A smile tugged at the corner of her mouth. “Hi, Giles. How are you?”
“I’m well.” He gestured towards the couch in an unspoken invitation for her to sit. “Very curious at the moment…as you stated earlier, it has been a while.”
She sat down and curled her legs under her as she leaned against the arm of the couch. “Yeah…too long, in my opinion. You’re my Watcher…we shouldn’t be apart for so long.”
He smiled wryly and shook his head, sitting down on the opposite end of the couch. “You don’t require a Watcher any longer, Buffy. You know this…as well as I do.”
After a moment of silence, Giles sighed. “Not that I’m unhappy to see you, but…why are you here?”
“Is our relationship normal for a Slayer and her Watcher?”
Giles narrowed his eyes, turning towards her and giving her his undivided attention. “How do you mean?”
“We hurt each other…whether we mean to or not, we do. It’s like we trade blows back and forth and…is that normal? Is that how Slayers and Watchers act with one another?”
Giles gazed at her and then lowered his eyes as he twisted the ring on his left pinky. “Sometimes. However, it is not of the norm.”
Buffy stared at him and then furrowed her brow. “What is ‘of the norm’?”
“Student, teacher…brawn, brains…”
“Are you saying I’m not smart?”
He looked up quickly, shaking his head. “No, that’s not what I’m saying at all. I’m saying that in a ‘normal’ relationship between a Watcher and his Slayer, the Slayer is brute force…and the Watcher assists her through research.”
“Oh…” She seemed to accept that answer, brushing her fingers through her hair as she looked at him. “So, what’s so different about ours?”
Giles closed his eyes briefly, knowing that this conversation would have taken place at some point…but, he wasn’t sure if he was ready for it now.
“Please, Giles. I came all the way from
Giles took a deep breath, gathering his thoughts.
“Our relationship…the reason we act and react as we do…it has nothing to do with our professions. It…it has to do with us…as a man and a woman…”
To his surprise, Buffy didn’t look surprised. After a slight hesitation, he cleared his throat and continued.
“I, uh…I’ve tried to be strong…to remain in control…but, I…”
She tilted her head slightly and gave him a soft smile. “Want to kiss me instead of fight with me?”
“Well, that’s…that’s an over, uh oversimplification of the issue at hand.” He stammered.
“But you do?” When he merely stared at her, she bit her lip and shifted nervously. “Because…I do.”
“Buffy, we…we’ve been through so much. We can’t just…it’s not that easy. If it were that easy, I would’ve done everything possible to avoid the pain we’ve dealt one another.”
“I don’t think it’s going to be easy, Giles.” She stated, standing and walking over to the living room window. “If anything, it would be harder than what we have now.”
He watched her trail her fingertips down the window pane as the rain pelted the glass. “More than likely, yes it would.”
“I’m willing to risk it though.” She whispered, watching the rain soak the earth.
He licked his lips and stood, moving to stand behind her. “What are you willing to risk?”
“The possibility of reopening old wounds…losing your trust again, if only for a little while…”
“You want us to hurt one another…so that we don’t hurt one another?” He asked softly, placing his hand next to hers on the window as he leaned into her slightly.
“No.” She replied, shuddering as she felt his fingers touch her back. “I don’t want that. But, I’m willing to hurt for just a little while…one last time…in order to never hurt each other again…not like we have in the past.”
“Buffy…you have to be sure. Once we cross this line, we…can’t go back.”
“I don’t want to go back.” She whispered as she turned, leaning against the windowsill as she met his eyes. “I’ll take love over this any day.”
He swallowed, his right hand pressed flat against the window as his left gently brushed through her hair. “We will reopen old wounds…but, I’ll do everything in my power to heal them as quickly as possible.”
His eyes darted to her lips before returning her gaze. “Give me your heart, Buffy…let me see, truly see, inside your soul.”
“Is…is this real?” She whispered, reaching out to tentatively touch his chest.
He smiled and leaned down, brushing his lips across hers. “It can be. Open your eyes, love. Open your eyes and make all of this real. Please…”
Buffy opened her eyes, her heart
racing as she realized that she was in
Ten minutes later, her flight had been booked.
* * *
Giles was on his way to the front door when it swung open. He stopped in his tracks and stared as Buffy walked in.
And then a smile graced his lips.
“Hello, Buffy.” He stepped forward and took her hand in his. “You received my message…”
Buffy’s brow furrowed in confusion as he gently closed the door. “Message?”
“Give me heart, give me soul…” He whispered, taking her bag from her hand and dropping it to the floor. “Wounds will heal…now that you’ve opened your eyes.”
Buffy’s eyes widened as realization sank in. “The dream…”
He nodded slowly, a shy smile showing in his eyes. “I, uh…I apologize, but…I just, I didn’t know how else to put an end to this.”
She thought for a minute, lowering her eyes to their joined hands. “But…you love me?”
“More than I can say.” He whispered in response.
“Do you promise that it won’t hurt for long?”
He lifted his hand to her cheek, his thumb gently caressing her cheek. “I promise.”
A slow smile appeared on her lips as she lifted her mouth to his. “Give us a kiss…”
He smiled and closed the distance between them. As their lips met, their healing began.