Title: 3 am
Timeline: S5’ish, AU.
Synopsis: After a demon attack, Buffy’s life hangs in the balance.
Author’s Note: Album fic. Song and lyrics can be found here.
Thunder rumbled in
the distance as the rain pelted against the window. Giles sat in a chair next to the bed, her
hand held loosely in his as he read aloud from the book on his lap. Hearing a creak from the stairs, he turned
and exhaled deeply as
“How is she?”
His thumb absently rubbed the back of Buffy’s hand as he slipped the bookmark into place and closed the novel. “I, uh...it’s raining.”
He swallowed and looked at Buffy...her damp hair plastered to her forehead. “No change.”
He shook his head slowly, not taking his eyes from Buffy. “I can’t...”
Giles smiled sadly and reopened the book. “I...I was just starting chapter four.”
* * *
The demon had attacked quickly but the damage hadn’t looked too severe. A small scratch on Buffy’s forearm that hadn’t even required stitches.
But then the rain had started falling.
They had identified the demon quickly when they had gotten back to the apartment. And as the rain had turned into a thunderstorm, Giles began to panic. The fact that Giles was so upset had in turn caused Xander to panic...because Giles didn’t normally panic. Not even when the Mayor had threatened to eat Buffy. There was no panic.
But, there was now. And that scared Xander to no end.
Buffy had woken up once when there was a lull in the storm and Giles had been right there holding her hand as he wiped a cool, damp cloth over her hot skin. The only thing she had said was that it was all going to end and that it was her fault. And then she had whispered ‘I love you’ to Giles and closed her eyes again...as the rain resumed its downpour.
But she hadn’t opened her eyes since then. And now, Giles was starting to worry even more.
The demon was an Imberian. Giles wasn’t sure if it had wandered into this dimension...or if it had been summoned. That was the only thing about the demon that he didn’t know.
He knew that the demon worked with the rains. He knew that if the demon injured someone intentionally that a fever would come over the injured person when it rained...and the fever wouldn’t break until the rain ended. He knew that the longer it rained, the worse the fever became...and he knew that the worse her fever became, her chances of survival lessened.
And that was something he refused to face.
* * *
Giles leaned over the edge of the bed and pressed his lips to her clammy forehead. “It’s three in the morning, love...and it’s still raining. Please...please, just hold on for me. You’re doing so well…please don’t let go yet.”
Killing the demon would end the fever...however, the demon had escaped through a portal immediately after scratching Buffy. After learning that it was actually an Imberian, Giles had tried to track it but he had been unsuccessful.
And now he was feeling guilty for not being able to help her.
Mother Nature was the only thing that could help Buffy now. If she’d only put an end to the rain...
Giles climbed into the bed with Buffy and watched her. There was nothing else he could do but hope the rain would end soon.
* * *
Buffy was now in her
twenty-fifth hour. No one bothered to
state the obvious...that if she hadn’t been the Slayer, she would’ve already
Xander had taken Anya
home after twelve hours.
“She’s not going to
He swallowed and lifted his tired eyes to hers. “She was getting tired. The rain can’t hold out for much longer. It never rains this much in Sunnydale.”
* * *
Buffy’s eyes fluttered open to find a very tired-looking Giles smiling at her. “Giles?”
“The rain will wash it away...” He mumbled nonsensically.
She narrowed her eyes in confusion. “What?”
“He’s been awake for
nearly forty-eight hours...he’s pretty much delirious.”
“What’s going on?”
Buffy furrowed her brow, but snuggled closer to Giles. “It’s okay, Giles...go to sleep, okay?”
“Knew you wouldn’t give up...” He murmured, closing his eyes and falling asleep almost instantly.
fighting a demon. She remembered the rain
starting to pour down. And she
remembered feeling very hot. And then
She looked at the
chair to find
“How close was it?” Buffy asked hesitantly.
Buffy looked down at
her hands, rubbing her left palm against her pajama-clad thigh.
“Yeah...my hands itch.”
carefully for the next hour as
It didn’t need to be
said that had