Timeline: S5, no Glory, no Dawn, Riley’s gone.
Synopsis: Buffy discusses her feelings after her and Riley break up.
Author’s Note: Album fic. Song and lyrics can be found here.
“It wouldn’t have worked anyway.” Buffy stated matter-of-factly as she dipped her spoon into a mountain of hot fudge covered ice cream.
Giles used his spoon to push the melting concoction around in the bowl in front of him. “What do you mean?”
She shrugged as she swallowed a spoonful of the dessert and then met his eyes. “I don’t know. He just...he held on too hard, you know? Always trying to say the right thing. If you have to try that hard, it isn’t going to work.”
Giles smiled softly. “My, how you’ve grown.”
“Living with the possibility of dying each night will do that to you.” She laughed, sobering when he lowered his gaze. “Hey, Giles...I was just joking...”
“I know.” He replied quietly, pushing his bowl to the side. “But some things shouldn’t be joked about...your near-death experiences are at the top of that list.”
Buffy was quiet for a moment and then sighed. “I never really knew him. If I did, I would’ve seen this coming miles away. Kinda like I really don’t know you.”
Giles furrowed his brow. “You most certainly know me, Buffy.”
“I know Giles the
Watcher...I know a little about Giles the Teenager, Master of
Rebellion...” Her eyes sparkled as he
gave a shy smile. “But, I really don’t
know Giles the
He regarded her carefully and then cleared his throat, folding his hands on the table as he gave her a brief nod. “What do you want to know? If you want to get to know me...the man...now’s your chance.”
“How much will you tell me?” She asked quietly.
Giles stared at her, hearing the flirtatious tone of her voice. The tone didn’t surprise him...there had been a few tense moments between them over the past few weeks. Even before Riley had left. No, what surprised him was the fact that he could feel his control slipping...and he realized that there was absolutely nothing he could do about it.
His eyes darted to her lips and then resumed his stare. “How much do you want to know?”
Buffy’s skin flushed lightly at the low timbre of his voice. She watched his eyes darken a shade and knew, without a doubt, that she hadn’t imagined the sudden shift between them.
“As much as you’ll tell me...and more.”
He smiled and sat back in his chair, giving her a gentle nod. “Ask.”
“Not here.” She responded. If this was going to end up where she hoped it would, she didn’t want to start it in an ice cream parlour. “Let’s go for a walk.”
He arched an eyebrow, gesturing towards the window without breaking their mutual gaze. “It’s dark...we live on a Hellmouth.”
“Yeah, but...I’m the Slayer. And you’re my Watcher.” She smiled as she slipped out of the booth and grabbed her jacket. “Pretty sure we can take care of ourselves, Giles.”
He pulled his wallet out of his jacket pocket and dropped a ten dollar bill onto the table. “And each other.”
“Yeah...and each other.” She agreed, her smile growing as his eyes twinkled.
* * *
They had talked as they walked down the street, laughing as he answered the questions she had decided to ask. When they ended up next to the pond near his apartment complex, he sat down on a park bench and smiled as she sat down next to him.
“What else would you like to know, Buffy?” He asked softly, glancing up at the full moon.
“Well, I know your favourite color, your favourite band...and let me say that I’m really glad you were just joking about the Bay City Rollers!” She grinned as he chuckled. “You’ve told me the meaning of life according to Rupert Giles...”
She looked at him curiously as a slow smile appeared on his lips. “What?”
“It, uh...it doesn’t sound so bad when you say it.” He shrugged a shoulder and rested his arm along the top of the bench, his fingers barely brushing against her soft sweater. “My name...”
“Oh...” She turned her body towards him and bit her lip nervously. “There’s something that I don’t know yet...”
“Hm?” He murmured as his thumb gently stroked her shoulder.
“Is there something more?” She rubbed her palm against her thigh and stared into his eyes. “Or...is it just flirting?”
His thumb stopped moving.
“Between us, you mean?” He asked softly, exhaling slowly when she nodded. “There’s something more. Much more.”
When he didn’t make any effort to move at all, she sighed. “And yet...you do nothing...”
“I have my reasons.” He replied before rubbing his thumb against her shoulder again. “Should I point out that you’ve done nothing either?”
“But...you know how I feel, right?”
He nodded slowly. “I know...but, in this instance I think that ignorance is my best defense.”
When her brow furrowed, his smile grew and he shifted just a bit closer to her. “I needed you to know how you feel. And you didn’t...not until recently.”
“Oh.” She whispered. “But...um...how do you feel?”
“Like my reasons for not kissing you are fading away.” He replied on a soft whisper, moving his hand until his fingers lightly stroked her jaw. “And when they’re gone...I’ll want more.”
“When will that be?” She asked, her voice trembling. “Because...my reasons are already gone.”
“And you still haven’t kissed me.”
“If this is what you want...if I’m what you want...” He swallowed and moved his hand back to the top of the bench, resting his thumb against her shoulder. “You need to take that step because...I still have a few of my reasons, Buffy.”
“Well, let them go!”
He shook his head slowly. “I can’t. You...you have to take them from me. I can’t just let them go.”
Buffy opened and then closed her mouth, annoyance in her eyes. When she shook her head in frustration, Giles again gently stroked her shoulder with his thumb.
“What is it?”
“I...can’t believe I was getting ready to start a huge argument over who was going to kiss who first.”
His eyes brightened. “This isn’t something we should argue about, love.”
“We shouldn’t be arguing about anything right now, Giles.” She replied, her voice deep.
Before he could say anything else, she leaned into him and covered his mouth with hers. He hesitated for only a moment, waiting for her arms to slide around his neck before allowing her tongue entry to his mouth.
As he wrapped his arms around her and became an active participant in the kiss, he felt his final reasons simply slip away. Just as he suspected, he felt his wants increase and he smiled as he pulled from the kiss and looked into her eyes.
“Come home with me, Buffy.”
She read his intentions in his eyes, along with the desire and...love. He loved her...it was there for her to see, shining proudly in his darkened green eyes. She just hoped that he could see the same in hers.
When he inhaled sharply and his smile grew, she knew that he had. And after another warm, lingering kiss, she ran her fingers through his hair and gave him a gentle nod.
“I’d love to.”
So many times in the past, things had worked out differently than he had wanted them to. He smiled adoringly at her as he stood and pulled her up with him.
This time wasn’t one of those times.