Title: Back 2 Good
Timeline: A few days after the implosion of Sunnydale.
Synopsis: Everyone has different ways of working through grief.
Author’s Note: Album fic. Song and lyrics can be found here.
Buffy watched Giles as he opened another beer. She was fairly certain that he’d prefer scotch, but all that had been available in the deserted hotel was beer and white spirits…along with a few bottles of sickly sweet liqueur that Giles had stated in no uncertain terms that he had absolutely no intention of drinking. And so, he’d gone through the beer cooler and set aside more than a few bottles for himself…and dared anyone to even think about touching them.
It was dark in the bar…mainly because no one had bothered to turn the
lights on. It didn’t matter much to
Buffy. She could see as well in the dark
as she could in the light. And what she
saw was Xander trying his best to hide his tears from everyone else. She saw
And she saw Giles…drinking nearly half a bottle of beer in one swallow, his dark eyes staring at her. Taking a deep breath, she walked over to him and pulled the bottle from his hand. After finishing it off herself and placing the empty bottle on the bar, she took his hand and led him from the room.
He didn’t say anything until they were standing in front of the elevator and she had pushed the ‘up’ button.
“We shouldn’t have left…”
“No one’s going to notice if we’re there or not, Giles.” She replied, stepping into the elevator when the doors slid open. “You coming with me? Or do I have to do this by myself?”
He stared at her for a moment and then, with a heavy sigh, followed her in. She arched an eyebrow as she pressed the ‘5’ and leaned against the wall.
“Is it really that much of a hardship for you?”
“The sigh…if you don’t want to do this, you can go back to the bar.” She stated softly, not dropping her gaze from his.
He shook his head and sighed again. “What we’re doing…it’s no good. You know that. In the end, it’s not going to be good for either of us. And…when the grieving is over…”
“Giles, why do you have overthink everything? Why can’t we just take comfort in each other for a while?”
He swallowed and lowered his gaze for a moment. “When it’s over, I’ll have to figure out what I’m supposed to do. You’ll have to give me space…”
“I can give you space.” She interrupted.
He continued as if she hadn’t said anything at all. “Because, without you I don’t know what I’m going to do.”
She stared at him as the doors slid open and he stumbled into the hall. He pulled the keycard from his pocket and turned to look at her.
She followed him into the hall, her eyes showing the surprise that his words had caused. “What do you mean?”
“You were right…it’s probably best if we keep this quiet. I mean…everyone down there is thinking about
someone else. Xander’s thinking about
“Who are you thinking about?” She whispered.
His jaw clenched for a moment and then he turned away and walked purposely to the door of his room…which he had been sharing with Buffy for the past few nights. Buffy followed him into the room, closing the door behind her. When he dropped the keycard onto the table and pulled his sweater and t-shirt over his head, she whispered his name.
He turned towards her, draping the clothing over the back of one of the chairs. “Would you like a drink?”
She shook her head as she sat down on the bed. “What’s wrong?”
“What’s right?” He countered, sitting down next to her and brushing his lips across hers.
He heaved a heavy sigh and ran his hand through his hair. “I’m sorry.”
She furrowed her brow and lifted her hand to the side of his face. “Why are you sorry?”
“You, uh…you need comfort, want physical comfort. And I…I’ve given that to you…each time you’ve asked. I’ve done that because I want to make things better…and I’ve realized that if anything, I’ve made things worse. And…I’m not sure that I can make things…better.”
Her thumb stroked his cheek as his eyes began to glisten. “You are making things better for me, Giles.”
“I’m falling in love with you.” He whispered bluntly. He swallowed thickly as her hand dropped from his cheek. “To be very honest, I’ve been falling in love with you for years. But, kissing you and…being inside of you…I’m sorry, Buffy.”
“You’re…Giles, I…” She paused and moistened her lips with the tip of her tongue before continuing, lowering her voice to a nearly inaudible whisper. “Really?”
“I thought…well, I thought maybe I was getting caught up in the pleasure
of…” He stared into her eyes. “There’s so much pain right now, Buffy. I…can’t make this better. Not like this. Not when…when all I can think about is how
much I just want to ask you to move to
She inhaled sharply, her eyes widening as he lowered his gaze. When he stood up, she gently grabbed his wrist. He blew out a soft breath and nervously met her eyes, surprised to see tears in hers.
She felt his pulse quicken under her fingers as her eyes wandered over his battle-scarred chest. The bite mark she had given him the previous night dark and purple above his left nipple. She lifted her eyes to his and tightened her fingers around his wrist.
“You…want me to move to
“No. Well, yes…but, no. Of course, you’ll always be my Slayer, but…”
“Giles, just…say what you mean.” She pled as she stood in front of him. “Are you…ashamed of what we’ve done?”
He stared at her for a moment and then narrowed his eyes slightly. “Have you been listening to me at all?”
Hearing the slight annoyance in his tone, she nodded and tenderly touched his chest. “I just need to make sure.”
“I’m ashamed of many things I’ve done over the years.” He glanced down at her hand as her fingers traced the bite mark she had given him. “Making love to you is not one of those.”
Buffy smiled and then moved away from him, picking up his discarded sweater and handing it to him. His confusion shone brightly in his eyes as he took the garment from her.
“I think we should go to dinner.” She offered quietly.
“Dinner?” He asked lamely as he pulled the sweater over his head. “You want to have dinner with me?”
“We should talk…” She bit her
bottom lip as she ran her fingertips over the worn wool. “I don’t know how to tell my best friend that
I’m moving to
“Moving to…” He tilted his head and covered her hand with his. “Buffy…”
“I’m falling in love with you too, Giles. Why do you think I came to you?” She looked up into his eyes, her voice wavering as she continued. “This wasn’t about the pain of losing the people we’ve lost. This…this was about the fact that I almost lost you.”
His hand trembled as he caressed the side of her face, tilting her head up as he lowered his lips to hers. He kissed her slowly, deepening the union when he felt her arms slide over his shoulders.
Alone, he couldn’t make things better for either of them.
He gently lowered her back onto the bed, sliding his hand down to her hip as his tongue stroked hers. He smiled inwardly as he swallowed her groan.
He wasn’t alone anymore…and now maybe they could make things better for each other.