Title: A Message
Timeline: S6, AU. Giles is in England, but not for the same reasons as he was on the show.
Synopsis: Giles is in England. Buffy’s missing him.
Author’s Note: Album fic. Song and lyrics can be found here.
“Are you coming back soon?”
Giles smiled, cradling the receiver between his shoulder and ear as he stirred the homemade pasta sauce. “You act as though I’ve been away for months. It’s only been four days, Buffy.”
“Four days for a Slayer without her Watcher on an active Hellmouth can feel like months.” She grumbled.
He chuckled softly and lifted the wooden spoon to taste the sauce. “Yes, I suppose it can.”
“What are you doing?”
“Hm?” He murmured as he swallowed.
“Sounds like something’s boiling and then it sounded like a slurp. And that’s just weird, because who knew that my Watcher slurps?”
He rolled his eyes in amusement. “I do not slurp. I am, however, in the middle of making dinner…and I was tasting the sauce.”
“Dinner? Are you…is someone else there?”
He smiled at the uncertainty in her voice. “No, love. It’s just me.”
“Oh. So…have you met up with any old friends?”
He furrowed his brow at the way she said ‘friends’. “Friends?”
“Yeah, you know…old school friends, Council friends…um…girlfriends…”
He laughed and shook his head even though she couldn’t see him. “No. Well, no to the girlfriends. There’d be no use in that.”
“Because my heart belongs to you.” He answered without thinking.
As soon as the words left his mouth, he closed his eyes and dropped the spoon into the sauce. He didn’t notice the resulting red splatters on his white shirt.
Before he could finish his explanation…or his apology, he wasn’t sure which…the line was disconnected by the unmistakeable sound of her hanging up the phone.
“Bloody hell.” He muttered to himself, absently turning the knobs on the stove to the ‘off’ position.
He was still standing there and holding the cordless phone in his hand when it rang, startling him. He caught it just before it bounced on the tiled kitchen floor.
“Sorry, I…I dropped the…what did you mean by that?”
He licked his suddenly dry lips and took a deep breath. “I can’t take back what I said, Buffy. And furthermore…I don’t want to. I meant exactly what I said…my heart belongs to you.”
“I…well, this isn’t exactly how I planned on telling you how I feel about you.” He stated softly as he walked into the living room of the apartment that the Council had acquired for him.
“Were you going to tell me?”
He nodded as he sank onto the couch. “Yes…that’s the true reason I came to England.”
He could almost see her brow furrow in confusion…and it brought a smile to his face.
“I had to speak with my aunt…Mum’s sister. I…well, she has something that Mum left for me when she passed. And Laura wanted to know my intentions before she gave that something to me.” He cleared his throat and then continued. “For Aunt Laura, that meant she had to look into my eyes. And it was easier for me to travel to England than for her to fly to California.”
“You’re…not seeing anyone, are you? I was under the assumption that you weren’t…and…” He blew out a nervous breath. “Now it suddenly occurs to me that you might very well be seeing someone and just haven’t said anything to me…”
“I promised you that I wouldn’t do that again…not after keeping Riley from you.” She whispered. “It’s just…I thought that the Slayer was supposed to be alone…”
“You’ve never truly been alone, Buffy. I’m not going to spout long recitations of love and promises that I have no chance in hell of keeping. But, I will say this…” He glanced down at the antique ring resting on the coffee table in front of him.
“I love you. And I want you.” He shook his head as he gave an embarrassed chuckle. “Um…what I meant was – ”
“You want a relationship with me.” She finished softly.
He nodded and swallowed. “Yes. Yes, I do.”
“But…do you want me? I mean…want me?”
“I…” He started and then stopped himself.
“Be honest, Giles. Please.”
He took a deep breath to steady his nerves and then spoke with a conviction that he hadn’t known in a very long time.
“I burn for you, Buffy.”
“I really hope you don’t mean that literally. ‘Cause fire? Yeah, not so into literal flames…”
He smiled at her gentle teasing. “Sometimes I feel that it’s literal.”
He lowered the timbre of his voice, closing his eyes as he continued. “But…God, how I want you. To hold you, to kiss you, to…be with you.”
He felt himself start to harden when he heard her soft gasp. “Buffy, I…”
“Are you coming back soon?” She repeated her earlier question.
He opened his eyes and leaned his head against the back of the couch, staring at the ceiling as he willed his body to calm. “Do you…still want me to?”
“Please come home, Giles.” She whispered thickly.
Giles lifted his head, sure he could hear tears in her words. “Buffy, are you crying?”
“If you’ll tell me your flight number, I’ll…I’ll come up to meet you at the airport. I can…take a bus, or maybe ask Xander to drive me to L.A.” She sniffled quietly.
Her sniffle wasn’t quiet enough. Now Giles was positive she was crying.
“Buffy, if I’ve upset you with this revelation, I – ”
“I love you, Giles. Please…just come home.”
Giles’ mouth dropped open. “You…love me?”
“I don’t even know how long, but…yeah, I do.” She answered. “Please, will you come home soon?”
He nodded slowly, unable to stop the smile from forming. “I’ll be on the first flight out of London tomorrow morning.”
“Can we talk a while longer?”
His smile turned to a grin at her tentatively asked question. “We can…but, what if I call you back? Let the Council pay for an international call…”
She laughed softly. “Sounds like a plan. I love you.”
“I love you too.” He replied, adoration evident in his voice.
It wasn’t panic or sadness he felt when he heard the line disconnect this time. He felt joy fill his heart as he quickly dialled the number and then stretched out on the couch when she answered before the first ring finished.
“Hello.” He breathed, hearing the joy in her voice that nearly rivalled his own.
Morning wouldn’t come quickly enough…for either of them.