Timeline: Two years post-series, AU.
Synopsis: Giles has been waiting for Buffy. Is Buffy ready now?
Author’s Note: Album fic. Song and lyrics can be found here.
Buffy stood on Giles’ front porch, staring at the door. She had done a lot of thinking since the last time she’d seen him. That had been nearly a year ago…and he had told her then that he felt as though he was falling in love with her.
She hadn’t been ready, but she hadn’t turned away from him. She had just asked him for some time…in fact, she had boldly asked him if he would wait for her. It had surprised her only a little when he said that he would.
They had spoken regularly…at least once a week, with the exception of last week. She hadn’t been able to get in touch with him. But, when they had talked he had never pressured her for an update. He hadn’t even mentioned it again, preferring to leave it up to her…and waiting patiently until she was ready.
And now she was.
She raised her hand to ring the doorbell and then smiled, dropping it to the doorknob. She chuckled softly when the knob turned in her hand. He still didn’t lock the door. She made a mental note to talk to him about it.
She walked in and looked around, her brow furrowing when she didn’t immediately see him. Just as she was getting ready to call out his name, he appeared from the hall. She smiled automatically and stepped towards him. She stopped, her smile fading, as he met her eyes.
He looked so tired, his eyes red-rimmed…a few days’ worth of stubble on his face. When he saw the concern fill her eyes, he dropped his and cleared his throat.
“Buffy, I…wasn’t expecting…um…anyone.”
“What’s wrong?” She asked, moving towards him again.
He shook his head and gestured towards the kitchen. “Would you care for some tea?”
“What’s wrong?” She repeated, placing her hand on his arm. “Please, Giles…you’re scaring me here.”
He looked down at her hand and took a shaky breath. “Why are you here?”
She slowly pulled her hand away. “I…”
He reached out and wrapped his fingers around her wrist. “I do apologize. I didn’t mean for it to sound that way. I…what I meant was…”
“I…God, I’m sorry. I, um…” He offered her a small smile, one that didn’t come close to reaching his eyes, and let go of her wrist. “I’ll make a pot of tea.”
She grabbed his upper arm as he started to walk towards the kitchen. “Have you been drinking?”
“I, uh…” He sighed, knowing that he couldn’t lie to her. “Yes.”
She stared after him as he left the room. After a moment, she took off after him. He looked up as she ran into the kitchen.
“Please, I’m in no mood for a lecture.” He stated softly.
“I didn’t come in to lecture you. I came in because I’m worried.” She walked around the counter and lifted her hand to his cheek. “I’m just worried. Please talk to me.”
His eyes filled with tears and he coughed lightly, pulling away from her as the electric kettle clicked off. “I, uh…it’s an anniversary. One that I wasn’t expecting to affect me this much.”
“I’m guessing it’s not a happy anniversary.”
He poured the boiling water into the teapot and then looked into her eyes. “You…don’t know?”
Seeing the confusion in her eyes, he shook his head. “Christ, of course you don’t know.”
“I came back to
When he trailed off, she suddenly understood. After she died. After they had reprogrammed the BuffyBot as best as they could. After he realized that there was no reason for him to be in Sunnydale any longer.
He left. He came back here…to
Because she was dead.
He smiled thinly and handed her a cup of tea. “Yes, quite.”
She took the cup and then followed him back into the living room. She sipped the tea as she sat next to him on the couch, watching him as he stared at the window.
He turned towards her, staring at her through scotch-glazed eyes. “I don’t mean to be rude, but…why exactly are you here tonight?”
She leaned forward and placed the cup on the coffee table. “I, uh…”
He shook his head and reached out, wrapping his long fingers around her wrist. “Please…tell me why you’re here.”
For the first time in many years, she saw the vulnerability in his eyes. She didn’t know if he was still waiting for her…she wouldn’t be surprised if he wasn’t, it had been nearly a year after all.
“I…” She paused and then rushed through her question, not stopping to think about her words. “Are you still waiting for me? What I mean is, do you still love me or have you found someone who wouldn’t ask you to wait?”
He was quiet for a moment, allowing his fingers to slip from her wrist.
“ ‘Til kingdom come, Buffy.” He whispered hoarsely.
He lifted his hand and caressed the side of her face, allowing his love for her to shine clearly in his eyes. “I’d wait for you ‘til kingdom come.”
He swallowed as her eyes widened. “I, um…have you come to a decision, then?”
“There’s no one?”
He gave a slight shake of his head, his thumb stroking her cheek. “Only you. If you’ll have me.”
“I’m sorry.” She whispered, a tear escaping her eye and rolling down to his thumb. “I’m sorry I made you wait for so long.”
“I wouldn’t change a thing.” He stated firmly, his eyes gazing intensely into hers. “Unless you’ve come to say ‘no’. If you’re saying ‘no’, I would change that…”
She shook her head and launched herself at him. The sudden movement caught him off balance and he fell back against the cushions of the couch. She didn’t seem to mind…merely following him backwards as her mouth covered his.
She tasted the scotch on his tongue and pulled back slowly, looking into his eyes.
“I love you.”
“I love you too.” He smiled, still feeling the effects of the alcohol. “And as much as I would love to show you exactly how much I love you…perhaps we should, um….”
She smiled back and kissed him again. Maybe they should wait…
But then again, hadn’t they both waited long enough?