Title: Square One
Timeline: Directly after The Chosen.
Synopsis: After the destruction of Sunnydale, Giles lets Buffy call the shots.
Author’s Note: Album fic. Song and lyrics can be found here.
“So…” Buffy winced as Giles tended to the wound in her side. “What do we do now?”
Giles continued to clean the wound, dabbing the peroxide-soaked gauze over the bruised and bleeding flesh. “Well, that’s entirely up to you.”
She narrowed her eyes at him. “Up to me? Since when is it up to me? You’re the Watcher…”
“Mm-hm.” He murmured, looking up at her and smiling. “And you are one of many Slayers now…the future is yours to do with as you please, Buffy.”
She shook her head quickly, panic showing in her eyes. “No! No, that’s not the way it works! You…we – ”
He reached up, placing his hand on her cheek. “Calm down, love.”
When she started to protest, he leaned into her and kissed her softly. “Calm down.”
“Giles, I don’t know how to do this…” She whispered, her injury completely forgotten.
“I know. But, we’ll work through it.” He answered, rubbing his thumb over her cheek. “I don’t know where we’re going either, Buffy. All I know is that we can’t go back.”
“Well, yeah…Sunnydale is now Craterdale.”
Giles chuckled. Xander had renamed Sunnydale as soon as the dust had settled…and the name seemed to have stuck.
“Even if Sunnydale had survived…we wouldn’t be able to go back. This is the time we move forward.” He glanced out the window of their motel room and smiled. “There’s so much out there for us to see.”
“Aren’t you scared?” She asked warily.
He turned towards her and smiled. “I’m terrified. And I know that I’ll eventually head back to England…”
“We’ll head to England.” She corrected him immediately, and then furrowed her brow. “Why England? I mean, besides the fact you were born there.”
“The Council is based in England, you know this. There may be more Slayers, which eases your job a great deal…and as such, there’ll need to be more Watchers, which complicates my job a great deal.”
Buffy smiled proudly. “And that’s because you’re the Head of Council now. Who would’ve thought that? I mean…you get fired, you refuse to leave…and then we get you reinstated…and then you leave…and now? Head honcho.”
“I didn’t want to leave, Buffy.” He whispered softly, returning his eyes back to the wound as he picked up another roll of gauze.
“Hey…” She reached out, placing her hand under his chin and raising his head slightly. “Don’t do that…I know you didn’t want to leave. And…I forgave you a long time ago. I didn’t say that to upset you…I’m proud of you, Giles.”
“Thank you.” He smiled shyly, gently pulling away from her touch in order to dress the quickly healing wound in her side. “This is your chance, Buffy. You do realize that, yes?”
“Yeah.” She answered, watching him smooth the tape down over the edges of the bandage. “I just don’t know what it’s my chance for. I mean, is it a chance to become the teacher? Is it a chance to travel around the world? Is it a chance to – ”
“Become my wife?” He breathed as he met her eyes.
Her eyes widened as her mouth dropped open. “Oh my God…”
He lowered his eyes quickly and swallowed, pulling her shirt back down over the bandage. “I’m sorry…I didn’t mean for that to…well, that’s not how I wanted to…”
“Giles?” She grabbed his wrist as he started to stand. “Were you serious?”
“More than you can imagine.” He answered quietly, staring into her eyes. “But…we can discuss this later. What I really meant was…this is your chance to be you. You can do whatever you want, go wherever you want…with whomever you want. And I think you should take full advantage of it.”
“So…I could go to Italy and buy a vineyard, become the best winemaker in the world?”
Giles stared at her for a moment and then chuckled. “Yes. You could also go to Sicily and become the leader of the Corleones.”
It was Buffy’s turn to stare and then she grinned. “Nah. I don’t think I’d like being called ‘Godfather’.”
Giles smiled adoringly, lifting his hand to trail his fingertips down her cheek. “My point is…the world is yours, Buffy. You’ve saved it often enough…you should let it reward you.”
“Ours, we, we, us.” She whispered, running her hand through his hair.
He furrowed his brow in confusion. “I’m sorry?”
“The world is ours. We’ve saved it often enough…we should let it reward us.” She clarified as she leaned in to kiss him.
“Oh, right.” He whispered, closing his eyes as her lips found his.
Just as he started to deepen the kiss, a knock sounded on the door. He groaned in frustration and took a deep breath, resting his forehead against hers.
“Perhaps if I ignore it…” He cursed softly as a second knock sounded.
Buffy smiled and ran her palm over the stubble on his cheek. “We have tonight, Giles.”
He nodded slowly and gave her another soft kiss before standing and walking over to the door. He opened it to find Xander, Anya, and Willow standing there.
Anya smiled brightly. “Were we interrupting?”
Giles huffed and rubbed the back of his neck. “No…”
Xander rolled his eyes, knowing that Giles rubbing the back of his neck was a telling sign that he wasn’t being entirely truthful. “We can come back later…”
Giles smiled and shook his head, taking a step back from the door. “No, it’s quite alright.”
Willow rushed over to the bed, concern on her face. “Are you okay? There was a lot of blood…”
“I’m fine. Slayer healing is doing its job. I’ll be sore for a while…and I’ll probably have one hell of a scar…but, I’m fine.”
Xander looked around and sat on the other double bed, pulling Anya down beside of him. “So, uh…we were talking and…well…what happens now?”
Buffy smiled and leaned against Giles’ shoulder when he sat down beside of her. “Now…we get to do whatever we want.”
Anya grinned and opened her mouth. Giles’ eyes widened and he quickly held up his hand.
“Please Anya…keep it to yourself.”
Anya glared at him, but nodded and then smiled at him…turning to whisper in Xander’s ear.
Willow rolled her eyes as Xander blushed and looked at Buffy and Giles. “What are you guys going to do?”
Giles shrugged a shoulder, but looked at Buffy when she began to speak.
“Well, I was thinking about becoming a winemaker in Italy, but…I don’t think Giles is too keen on that. So…I think we’re going to head to England. With Giles being Head of Council now, he kinda needs to be where the Council is. And then…maybe in a few months we’ll go to…I don’t know…Greece, maybe?”
“Why would you go to Greece?” Willow asked, glancing at Xander when he giggled softly at something Anya had said.
Buffy smiled and slid her hand into Giles’. “I don’t know…sounds like a good place to have a honeymoon.”
Xander stopped giggling and stared at Buffy. Anya grinned at Giles. Willow’s mouth dropped open in shock. Giles licked his lips nervously and looked into Buffy’s eyes.
“Are you sure?”
“More than you can imagine.” She replied, pulling him down for a tender kiss.
The looks of shock and disbelief dissipated quickly, replaced by grins and hugs…once the kiss had ended.
Xander bit his lip and then met Giles’ eyes. Giles tilted his head slightly.
“Well, I was wondering…” He paused for a second and then took a deep breath before continuing. “Does the Council need physical rebuilding? Like…you know…buildings? Because I’m pretty handy at building…buildings.”
Giles smiled and gave him a nod. Within five minutes, each of them had decided to move to England with Buffy and Giles. Within ten minutes, each of them had been assigned a job within the Council.
Buffy shifted until she was resting comfortably between Giles’ legs…her back against his chest as he leaned against the headboard. For the first time in years, she felt like her family was complete again.
When she felt Giles place a warm kiss on her temple, she knew that he felt the same.
The future was theirs…they deserved it. After all, how many times had the five of them saved the world?