Title: A Rush of Blood to the Head
Timeline: AU, but around the S7 timeframe.
Synopsis: Giles wants to rid Buffy of her painful memories.
Author’s Note: Album fic. Songs and lyrics can be found here.
Giles felt himself losing control, felt his anger starting to envelop him, as he held a sobbing Buffy in his arms. He took a deep breath and did his best to push his fury back, Buffy needed him right now…not an irrational man hellbent on revenge.
“Tell me what happened.”
She held on to him tighter. Even through her despair she could hear the cold tone underlying his softly spoken words.
“He…he held me down. Said he was going to make me love him.” She mumbled into the front of his shirt.
She pulled back slightly, but didn’t meet his eyes. “How did you know?”
“Xander called.” He whispered, lifting his hand to wipe the tears from her face.
She flinched for a brief moment, and then leaned into his touch. “And you came…”
“How could I not?” He answered emotionally, placing a warm kiss on her forehead.
Another wave of tears broke free and she wrapped her arms around his neck. He held her, his hands gently stroking her back as he whispered soft, comforting words.
Now was not the time for him to let his anger loose. Now was the time to let her know…make her believe…that she was not the one to blame. And that might take a while.
But, he was fully prepared to spend as much time as was needed. And he’d stay until she truly did believe.
* * *
A year had passed since his return to Sunnydale. He had returned to England once…just long enough to tie up some loose ends before relocating to the States. Again. He glanced over at the passenger in his car and smiled as he carefully navigated the streets.
She grinned in return and placed her hand on his thigh. He sighed as her fingers traced the inner seam of the jeans he was wearing.
Tonight was an anniversary. Technically, it was two…one happy, one not so much.
It had been a year since Spike had attempted to force himself upon her. It had taken a while, but Giles had broken through most of the hastily built, yet strong, walls she had constructed around her heart. It had taken him nearly three months, but he regretted not one second of it…especially when she had met his eyes with fierce determination and stated that it wasn’t her fault.
Finally, she had believed…truly believed.
He had been reluctant to leave after her breakthrough regarding her attack. He wasn’t exactly sure why at first. And then she had kissed him.
It wasn’t a passionate kiss. It was more of a ‘thank you for bringing me back from that really dark place’ kiss. But, it had ignited something within him. And from there, his feelings for her began to snowball.
When Buffy began spending more and more time at the Magic Box, consistently falling asleep on the couch in the training room, he realized that she was having a hard time actually dealing with the thought of going home. It didn’t surprise him, considering that the house now held so many bad memories for her.
And so he had planted an idea in her head. The idea quickly grew into a plan…and the house on Revello was put on the market. It sold quickly and they had used part of the money, along with a contribution from Giles, to buy a four bedroom brick home together.
A little over three months after that innocent kiss and after just a month of sharing a home, he kissed her. Unlike the kiss she had given him, this one held all of the passion he was experiencing…all of the love he was feeling for her. And to his surprise, she had responded.
Not only had she responded, she had returned his kiss with an equal amount of passion. And less than a week later, she asked him to move into her room. Dawn had pretended to be shocked and a little squicked, but had grinned brightly when Giles began to stammer an explanation.
Their friends hadn’t been surprised at all at the development of their relationship. And that had made Giles wonder just how perceptive their friends really were.
After all they’d been through, tonight marked their six-month anniversary of being a couple in love. He had intended to propose to her on this night, but knew there was one more door that needed to be closed first.
“Where are we going?”
He placed his hand over hers and lifted it from his thigh, bringing it to his lips for a gentle kiss. “There’s something I need to do.”
“What?” She questioned softly.
He glanced at her and smiled nervously. “There are a few things that need to be put to rest. And I can put them to rest for you.”
She furrowed her brow in confusion. Before she could question him further, her eyes widened as he turned onto Revello Drive.
He pulled to a stop, directly across the street from the house that her mother had bought…and had left to her when she died. As he killed the engine, he squeezed her hand and looked into her eyes.
“I, uh…I bought it.”
Her eyes narrowed as she shook her head. “You bought it? Why?”
He swallowed and took a deep breath. “I…I want to burn it down.”
Buffy stared at him. “What?”
“I can’t make the bad memories go away. But…I can take away the physical reminder of some of the things that have caused you pain.” He explained carefully.
She saw the flash of his own pain and anger in his eyes, and suddenly understood. “This is as much for you as it is for me, isn’t it?”
“It’s for us.” He admitted, lifting his hand to cradle her cheek. “I love you so very much, Buffy…but, this…the memories that this house holds…it’s still between us.”
Buffy thought for a moment and then turned her head just enough to kiss his palm. “This is very Forrest Gump, you know…”
He furrowed his brow in confusion, causing her to smile.
“Forrest burning down Jenny’s childhood home because of what she’d been through?” At his perplexed look, she smiled. “You’ve never seen Forrest Gump?”
“I…no. It seemed a little too bizarre for my taste.”
Buffy chuckled and leaned across the seat to kiss him. “I’m the Slayer and you’re my Watcher…and my soulmate…and you find Forrest Gump bizarre?”
He smiled softly and shrugged a shoulder. “I suppose ‘bizarre’ is relative.”
As their lips met, a flame flickered in the upstairs bathroom of the house. As the kiss deepened, an orange glow enveloped the house. They ended the kiss slowly and Buffy looked towards the house, opening the car door and stepping out onto the road. Giles followed, and walked around the car, leaning against the front fender and pulling her back against his chest.
As he wrapped his arms around her, she placed her hands on his forearms and watched the house burn. She could smell the magick in the air and intuitively knew that he had cast the spell that caused the fire.
“You know what’s really bizarre?”
“What’s that, love?” He asked, dropping a kiss onto the crown of her head.
“I think this is probably the best anniversary present I’ve ever gotten.”
He chuckled softly, feeling the tension leave her body…and then sighed happily as he felt the last of the walls between them crumble into nothing. He remembered the small box hiding in his bedside table and smiled.
Hopefully, his present to her later would top this one.