Timeline: S6’ish, AU. No Riley, no Dawn, no death of Buffy, no leaving of Giles.
Synopsis: Romance is hard for a Watcher...and a Slayer.
Author’s Note: Album fic. Song and lyrics can be found here.
Buffy stared at her boyfriend as he walked out of the living room and opened the front door. Ex-boyfriend, she corrected herself as he closed the door behind him. She thought things had been going well...obviously, she was mistaken. If she had been correct, she wouldn’t be standing here by herself and listening to him start his car and pull out of her driveway.
Just like that it was over. Bitter and cold...he hadn’t even given an explanation. She clenched her jaw, refusing to let the tears fall, and climbed the stairs. She made her way down the hall and opened her bedroom door.
She didn’t bother with the light, just slipped inside and closed the door before collapsing onto the bed. Only when the thought that he wasn’t the first man, human or not, who wasn’t good to her crossed her mind did the tears finally break free.
She curled up on her side, holding her pillow tight to her chest...thankful that she’d left the light off.
* * *
Giles had tried again, against his better judgement. His track record really wasn’t all that great. Jenny had been murdered, he’d had a drugged one-night stand with Joyce, Olivia had decided that it would just be easier if she stayed away...
His life wasn’t really all that conducive to healthy and happy romantic relationships. But when he met her, he had decided to try again.
The first two dates had been nice...dinner, movie, bubbling conversation. She had a nice sense of humour...one that complimented his own. And on the third date, she suggested that they go back to his place and talk some more. He agreed, not realizing that going back to his place to talk some more was a veiled euphemism for going back to his place and making love in front of the fire.
Not that he minded at all at the time.
But, then...two weeks later, his real life stepped in and threw a spanner in the works...as per usual. He sighed sadly as she explained that she couldn’t have a relationship with him until she came to terms that vampires were real...demons were real...and he was directly involved in all that encompassed.
And he stood in his doorway and watched her pull away, more certain now than he was an hour earlier that there was no one for him. At least...not in a romantic sense.
* * *
Giles opened his door, arching an eyebrow at his visitor. “You knocked?”
“Oh...” Buffy glanced into the living room and shrugged a shoulder. “I wasn’t sure if Vanessa was here or not. Um...I can come back later...”
When she started to back away from the door, he reached out and quickly wrapped his fingers around her wrist. “Please come in.”
Buffy’s eyes widened. “Giles! You can’t invite people in, you know better!”
He smiled and glanced at his hand, still wrapped around her wrist. “I can feel your pulse, Buffy. Please...come inside and tell me what’s on your mind.”
“Are you expecting Vanessa to come by or anything?” She asked softly.
Giles’ smile faded and he shook his head as he gently pulled her over the threshold. “No. No, I’m not.”
She heard the sadness in his voice and looked up at him, tilting her head as he dropped his keys onto the desk. “Were you going somewhere?”
He nodded slowly and walked over to the couch, sighing as he sat down. “I was going to see you.”
“Me?” She asked softly and sat down next to him. “What’s wrong?”
“I, uh...” He met her eyes and then glanced at the clock. “Didn’t you have a date tonight?”
Buffy lowered her eyes and sat back against the cushions. “Yeah, well...that didn’t go as planned.”
She looked back up to find his warm green eyes full of concern. “Wyatt broke up with me tonight.”
“Oh. Buffy, I’m sorry.” He whispered sincerely, pulling her into a hug.
She held him back for a few moments before pulling back slightly and looking up at him. “Why were you coming to see me?”
He shrugged a shoulder and exhaled deeply. “For the same reason that you came to see me.”
“Wyatt broke up with you too?” She asked, a hint of a smile playing on her lips.
“No, but Vanessa did.” He replied quietly. “I’d forgotten until just now that you were supposed to be on a date.”
The hint of a smile disappeared as she moved a comforting hand to the side of his face. “Are you okay?”
“It wasn’t unexpected, Buffy.” He said, giving her a gentle smile as he tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. “Are you alright though?”
She smiled and gave him a nod. “It wasn’t unexpected, really. Did...did you love her?”
He thought for a moment and then shrugged a shoulder as she lowered her hand. “It was too early to tell. Maybe I would have eventually. Did, uh...did you love him?”
“I don’t think so.” She answered after a brief hesitation. “I liked him, but...I’m not sure if he was love potential. I’m not sure anyone is love potential for me.”
“Nor for me.” Giles agreed.
They sat there quietly for a while, content with the silence...and the comfort that came with it.
* * *
Three months later...
Giles cursed himself softly as he fumbled with his tie. “I must be a bloody fool for doing this again.”
The doorbell rang and he cursed again, glancing at the clock. He slipped on his jacket and opened the door, taking a deep breath as he met her eyes.
Buffy smiled as she looked up at him. “Am I too early?”
Giles returned her smile, relaxing as he softly invited her in...to where a candlelit dinner awaited them. She shook her head in amusement and stepped over the threshold.
“What have I told you about inviting people in after dark?”
He chuckled and closed the door. “I heard you gasp when I opened the door.”
“Well, if you didn’t look so good, I wouldn’t have gasped...and then you might’ve been inviting a vampire into your home.”
Giles laughed heartily. He had a good feeling about this attempt at romance. And judging by the look in her eyes, so did she. It was just a shame that they each had to deal with so much disappointment before seeing what was right in front of them.