Title: What If
Timeline: Two months after Square One.
Synopsis: Giles is asking himself questions…which makes Buffy ask him some questions.
Author’s Note: Album fic. Song and lyrics can be found here.
Buffy looked up from her magazine and watched Giles. He was currently sitting at his desk, an older Watcher’s Journal open in front of him. When she realized that he was staring at the page and not actually reading, her smile faded as her concern grew.
After a moment, he looked up and cleared his throat. “I’m sorry, did you say something?”
“Where were you?”
He furrowed his brow and looked around the room. “I, uh…I’m fairly certain that I haven't left the room in a while.”
Buffy shook her head, dropping the magazine to the coffee table as she stood. He moved the book quickly as she slid onto the desk in front of him.
“No, I meant…” She reached up and ran her fingers through his hair in a loving gesture. “…in here, where did you go? You seemed a little lost in thought.”
“Oh.” He sighed and gestured to the book. “Christian Buckland’s journal…”
Buffy merely stared at him for a moment when he didn’t continue.
“Okay…you’re gonna have to give me a little more info than that. What about his journal turned you into depresso boy?”
His eyes narrowed. “Depresso – . Buffy, please…I’m not being ‘depresso boy’…not only am I not a ‘boy’, I’m certainly not depressed. I was simply…thinking.”
“Uh-huh.” She murmured in a disbelieving tone. “What about his journal had you ‘simply thinking’ then?”
Giles rubbed the side of his neck and sighed heavily. “He was in love with his Slayer.”
Buffy smiled. “Like you with yours. Did she love him back?”
Giles swallowed and met her eyes. “For a while, yes.”
Buffy’s smile faded. “For a while?”
“She, uh…knew that he’d outlive her. And so she ended it before one particularly violent battle. She survived the battle, but…refused to rekindle her love for him. He spent the rest of his life wondering what he’d done wrong…what he’d done to push her away.” He lowered his eyes from hers. “He died never knowing.”
“And it made me think.” He continued, not paying attention to the fact that she had said his name. “What if you were to decide that we didn’t belong together? What if you woke up one morning, years down the track, and realized how much of your life you wasted with me…”
She interrupted him quickly, her eyes glistening. “Okay, that’s enough. We’re not going there, Giles…we’re not doing the ‘what if’ thing.”
“Buffy – ”
“No.” She stared at him as she shook her head. “No. I’m pretty sure we’re gonna have all kinds of arguments about all kinds of things. But, one thing we’re not ever going to argue about is the fact that I’m in love with you. And another thing we’re not arguing about is the fact that I’m spending the rest of my life with you.”
He opened his mouth to respond and she placed two fingers over his lips.
“We’ll argue, like all couples do. And then we’ll make up…with a lot of hugs and kisses…followed by some really hot make up sex. And you can write me songs about how sorry you are about whatever it is that you’ve done wrong…and we’ll be fine.”
He kissed her fingers before gently pulling her hand away. “And…what if you’re the one to do something wrong?”
She smiled and leaned into him, softly kissing his lips. “I don’t write songs…but, I’ll apologize profusely and beg your forgiveness. And…I’ll hold you until the sun comes up…and I’ll apologize again.”
“But, what if – ”
“Giles, stop.” She stated firmly, sliding onto his lap and draping her arms over his shoulders. “We can’t know what’s going to happen if we don’t at least try to make it work. I’m all for doing everything in my power to make this…us…work. What about you?”
He nodded slowly, sliding his hands to her back. “It’s a risk, but a risk I’ll gladly take.”
Her smile returned as her fingers played with the soft curl of hair at the nape of his neck. “Well, that’s good to know…considering you asked me to marry you and everything.”
“I never considered not marrying you, Buffy.”
She tilted her head slightly and thought about that statement. “You’d still marry me? Even if you thought it wouldn’t work out?”
“I would rather have your love, only to lose it later…than to never fully embrace it.” He whispered sincerely, sliding his hands down to her hips. “I love you so very much, Buffy.”
“God…” She gasped, her heart warming at his words. “I love you too, Giles.”
He smiled and glanced at her lips when her tongue darted out to moisten them. “I…would very much like to kiss you right now.”
She grinned and gently scratched her nails against the back of his neck. “I would very much like to do more than kiss you…but, we can start there if you want.”
He leaned towards her, his lips nearly touching hers when he stopped and looked into her eyes. “Are you available next Friday?”
“To do what?” She whispered in response.
“To become my wife.” He answered just as softly, but with clear conviction.
“I’ll clear my schedule.” She grinned and captured his lips with hers.
When her mouth covered his, he closed his eyes and slipped his hands under the hem of her shirt. When her tongue nudged its way into his mouth, he groaned and moved his hands up to unclasp her bra.
And when she scooted forward, gently rubbing against his quickly growing erection, he completely forgot all about Christian Buckland and his Slayer. He forgot about the pain that Buckland had detailed in his journal. He forgot all about his earlier concerns.
And as she shifted just enough to free him from his jeans and boxers, every ‘what if’ question that had been in his mind…simply floated away.