Timeline: S6, Normal Again, AU. Giles never left.
Synopsis: Buffy’s having some issues distinguishing real life from fantasy.
Author’s Note: Album fic. Song and lyrics can be found here.
Giles’ eyes widened as he walked into the bedroom,
“You bound her?”
“I didn’t want to.”
Giles gently stroked
“You cheating on me?” Buffy’s tired voice asked as she opened her eyes.
Giles shook his head in response and quickly made his way over to the bed. “Never dreamed of it.”
“You’re back early.” She furrowed her brow as she tried to lift her hand. “Why am I tied up?”
“I’m sorry, Buffy…I…”
Giles nodded quickly, reaching for the glass that held the thick blue liquid. “I see it.”
“You’re not real.”
She snarled at
“No, love…” His heart
began to pound in his chest as she struggled against the ropes. “You’ve been infected with a demon’s
toxin. We’re real…
Buffy’s eyes flickered with a blue light. “No! You’re…”
Giles thrust the glass into
Xander was just down the hall in Dawn’s room. He told Dawn to stay put as he ran out and down to the bedroom that used to be Joyce’s…and was now Buffy and Giles’. He skidded to a stop when he ran through the open doorway.
“Jesus…” He breathed as he took in the scene before him.
Giles was on top of Buffy, his knees pressed into the mattress on either side of her hips…his hands on her shoulders to hold her upper body down. Buffy was struggling violently against the ropes, a murderous glare in her eyes.
“Xander, her feet!”
Just as a strand in the rope holding Buffy broke, Xander jumped onto the bed and stretched his body over Buffy’s legs. It wouldn’t hold her for more than a couple of minutes, but it distracted her long enough that Willow had time to pour the viscous fluid into Buffy’s mouth.
She spluttered, trying to spit it out and giving a muffled scream as it oozed its way down her throat. The blue light in her eyes dimmed slightly, but Giles didn’t loosen his hold.
“More, Willow. Now…”
Tears streamed from the corners of Buffy’s eyes as she stared up at Giles…unspoken accusations in her irises. He swallowed thickly, his own tears welling.
“I’m sorry, love…I’m so sorry…”
He could see the confusion in Buffy’s eyes the moment before they closed, her struggling coming to an abrupt halt. Lowering his head, he brushed his lips across her forehead before moving to her side.
“Giles?” Xander whispered, still lying across Buffy’s legs.
Giles cleared his throat, running his fingers through Buffy’s sweat-drenched hair. “You can move now, Xander. She’s…resting.”
As Xander carefully climbed off the bed, Giles bit his lip
to hold back his tears and wiped a drop of the anti-toxin from the corner of
Buffy’s mouth. He didn’t look up when he
“Are you okay?”
He swallowed hard and shook his head. “Are any of you hurt?”
“No. Dawn was – ”
Giles looked at her quickly. “Dawn! Where is she?”
“I’m here.” A small voice came from the doorway.
She wrapped her arms around herself as she stared at Buffy. “Is she going to be okay?”
Giles cast a quick glance at Buffy and then stood, walking over to Dawn and pulling her into his arms. “She’ll be fine, Dawn. Are you alright?”
Dawn buried her face in Giles’ shirt, her tears falling freely. “She was going to kill us. And then she was going to kill you…she told us…and I…”
“Shh.” He whispered soothingly, rubbing her back as he dropped a kiss on top of her head. “It’s alright, Dawn. Everything will be alright now.”
“Am I still alive?”
Everyone turned towards the bed to find Buffy staring at Giles and Dawn in confusion. Her confusion turned to despair as the memories suddenly hit her.
“Oh my God…”
Giles nudged Dawn towards
“It’s okay, love.”
Fresh tears stained her face as she shook her head. “Oh God, Giles…no, it’s not okay!”
Giles cursed as he fumbled the knot again. He whispered a soft ‘thank you’ when Xander pulled out his pocket knife and cut the rope.
Buffy was sobbing by the time Giles pulled her up and held her against his chest. He held her tightly, his own tears filling his eyes.
“Everyone’s alright, Buffy.” He whispered.
Neither of them noticed when Willow and Xander ushered Dawn out of the room, giving them the privacy that they obviously needed. The door silently closed behind them as Giles shifted his body, resting his back against the headboard. He continued to hold her as her sobs began to ease.
She sniffled, not lifting her head as she curled her fingers into the front of his shirt. “I almost killed them…I was going to kill you…”
“No, love…please don’t think that. You were doing what you thought was right…”
She pulled back and stared up at him through reddened eyes. “Mom was there.”
“Where?” Giles asked after a second.
“I…I was in a mental institution…Mom and Dad were there. All of this…” She glanced around the room and swallowed hard. “…was just in my head. This wasn’t real…my life, my sister, my friends, you…none of it was real.”
“That was the work of the toxin, Buffy.” He covered her hand with his, pressing her palm flat against his chest. “I’m real, this is real.”
“What if it’s not?” She asked quickly, her eyes widening. “What if this is just in my head…and I really am in a mental hospital?”
“You’re not.” Giles assured her, lovingly stroking her face.
“But if I – ” She stopped suddenly. “Oh God, Giles…the baby! What if it did something to the baby?”
Giles’ eyes involuntarily darted towards the other side of the room. That was when he realized that he and Buffy were alone. He met her eyes as he placed his hand on her stomach. After whispering a few words that were definitely not English, he smiled.
“She’s fine, Buffy.”
Buffy exhaled shakily, relief flooding her eyes as she sank back against his chest. “God…”
He placed a kiss on the top of her head and wrapped his arms around her protectively. “I can’t imagine what that was like for you.”
“I don’t…” She trailed off and then looked up into his eyes. “She?”
“I’m sorry?” He replied in a puzzled tone.
“You said ‘she’s fine’. We’re having a girl?”
“Oh…” He nodded slowly. “Yes, we are.”
Buffy and Giles looked towards the door that neither of them
had heard open. Dawn had asked the
question, her eyes bright with a sudden happiness.
Buffy nodded and Dawn rushed into the room.
They would all sit down later and discuss the events of the day. And Buffy would apologize profusely and beg forgiveness from each of them. And each of them would say that it wasn’t necessary. But, that would happen later. Right now, it was all about the baby that Buffy and Giles were having.
Giles had wanted to wait a while longer before announcing the pregnancy. But as Dawn jumped up on the bed and hugged her sister, causing Buffy to smile…he decided that the accidental announcement was for the best.
His own smile surfaced as
Serious discussions were best left until later.