Title: Searching for the Truth
Timeline: S4, AU.
Synopsis: Olivia comes to town. Does she need Giles’ help or is she there for something more?
Plot bunny is as follows:
“I have seen a lot of fics out there that seem to highlight how badly Buffy reacted when she Giles with Olivia. I would love to see one where the situation was reversed. Olivia shows up at Giles place at the beginning of season 4 and Buffy is walking around Giles’ shirt. Of course Buffy and Giles don't grow apart from each between season 3 and 4 but closer.”
Buffy smiled to herself as she rummaged through the refrigerator. Over the sound of water running through the pipes as he took a shower, she could faintly hear his voice singing some song that was probably recorded before she was born. She closed the refrigerator door and sighed heavily, running her fingers through her slightly tangled hair.
“I’m definitely going to have to talk to him about getting cheese that isn’t blue.” She mumbled as she made her way to the stereo.
No sooner had the
music started flowing from the speakers, a knock sounded at the door. She absently glanced at the clock and
furrowed her brow. Sure that she had
“Okay...it’s only six, Will. You know that he takes...” Buffy started as she swung the door open, narrowing her eyes as she finished her statement. “...forever in the shower. Who are you?”
The lady standing on the door step checked the scrap of paper in her hand, then glanced at the number of the apartment, before clearing her throat. “I was looking for Rupert Giles.”
Only when the woman’s eyes took in Buffy’s appearance did Buffy realize that she was standing at the door, dressed only in one of Giles’ dress shirts...and that she had left the top three buttons undone. Shaking off a brief flash of embarrassment, Buffy offered the woman a cautious glare.
“What do you want with Giles?”
Both women turned towards the voice to find Giles standing in the middle of the living room… dressed in a dark blue robe, a towel around his neck, and staring in disbelief at the woman.
Olivia relaxed slightly and smiled warmly at Giles. “Hello, Rupert.”
Buffy raised an eyebrow at him, crossing her arms over her chest. Giles noticed the concern in Buffy’s eyes and offered her a gentle smile.
“Olivia is an old
Buffy rolled her eyes and uncrossed her arms. “‘Girlfriend’ works. Come on in, Oliva.”
Olivia chuckled, stepping into the apartment as Giles blushed lightly.
Giles gave a shy grin, sliding his hands into the pockets of his robe as he nodded in agreement. “My girlfriend.”
Olivia met Buffy’s eyes and gave her a friendly smile. “Very nice to meet you, Buffy.”
Buffy returned the
smile, walking over to him and leaning into Giles’ side as he slipped an arm
around her shoulders. “You
“Not exactly.” Giles replied as Olivia shook her head, amusement in her eyes.
“Ripper didn’t have ‘girlfriends’....”
Buffy snorted and leaned up to place a soft kiss on Giles’ cheek before stepping back and gesturing towards the loft.
“I’m going to get dressed...behave, okay?”
Giles’ eyes widened, staring at her as she quickly made her way up the stairs. Olivia’s gentle chuckle caused him to turn his eyes to her.
“She’s a bit of a handful, I’d imagine.”
“She can be, at that.” His glare softened as he ran his fingers through his towel-dried hair. “Not that I’m unhappy to see you, but...”
“Why am I here?” Olivia finished, dropping her purse onto the desk as Giles nodded questioningly. “How much of what you told me back then was the truth?”
Giles smiled softly. “Well that would depend. Are you talking about Pink Floyd or – ”
“Monsters, demons, mouths of hell...those things. How much was true and how much was you trying to get me into your bed?”
“Oh...” Giles cleared his throat and rubbed the side of his neck, suddenly very nervous. “Those things...all of those things were true. In fact, um...well...this is a Hellmouth.”
Olivia darted her eyes around the apartment, her eyes widening.
Despite the awkwardness of the situation, Giles chuckled. “The town is built on a Hellmouth. Sunnydale, that is...not my flat, specifically.”
“Does Buffy know?” Olivia whispered as she moved towards the window.
“Buffy...” Giles sighed and made his way over to the stereo, pressing the power button and clearing his throat once more. “Buffy is more than my girlfriend, Olivia. She’s...she’s my Slayer.”
Olivia turned to him, narrowing her eyes. “Slayer?”
“Oh God...you’re not going to give her the ‘one girl in all the world’ speech, are you?” Buffy smiled as they both looked at her before training her gaze on the older woman. “Because it’s not really ‘one girl’ anymore and on top of that...it’s boring. Giles is my Watcher...we were assigned to one another three years ago. You know about Watchers and Slayers?”
Olivia swallowed thickly and glanced at Giles. “I know what Ripper told me all those years ago...”
“Hm?” Giles answered.
Buffy shook her head softly as she gestured to Olivia. “No...I was talking to her. His name...it’s Rupert, not Ripper. He doesn’t go by Ripper anymore. And...if he told you about it, what he told you was the truth.”
Giles shifted uncomfortably as Olivia darted her eyes between him and Buffy. He ran his fingers through his hair again and then stared at his wet fingers as though he had forgotten he was standing there wearing nothing but a robe.
“Um...I’ll get dressed and then we’ll talk, yes?”
Olivia merely nodded, which did nothing to lessen Buffy’s curiosity. Giles swiftly walked past Buffy, tenderly touching her shoulder as he did. Buffy watched Olivia watch Giles climb the stairs...and when Giles was out of sight, Buffy coughed lightly to get Olivia’s attention.
Seeing Buffy’s unspoken question, Olivia sighed and shrugged a shoulder. “I thought the stories he told me were simply a ruse to...”
“Get you out of your clothes?” Buffy offered as she smiled when Olivia trailed off. “Maybe some of it was. But, Watchers and Slayers and the duties they have to protect this world from the evils of darkness? Yeah, that’s all true.”
When Olivia inhaled shakily, Buffy gestured to the couch. “Have a seat...I’ll make some tea while we wait for Giles.”
Olivia lowered herself to the leather sofa and tried her best to relax. After all that she had been through in the past four months, that was a harder task than she ever would have imagined.
* * *
Giles glanced into the kitchen as he came down the stairs, dressed in a pair of jeans and a shirt similar to the one Buffy had been wearing earlier. “Do you need any help, love?”
Buffy smiled, waving him off as she pulled a box of cookies...biscuits, as Giles called them...down from the cabinet. He returned her smile and, after pausing to make sure that she didn’t need his help with anything, made his way to the chair opposite the sofa.
As he sat down, he noticed Olivia’s obvious examination of him. He smiled nervously as she met his eyes.
She shook her head lightly and gestured vaguely. “This is a new look for you.”
Giles furrowed his brow in confusion as he glanced down at his clothing. “Denim?”
“Happiness.” Olivia stated quietly, smiling as he looked back up. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen you truly happy before.”
“I’m rather sure I haven’t been.” He admitted, turning to watch Buffy carry a tray laden with tea things into the living room.
When Buffy stopped and gave him a pointed stare, he tilted his head in a silent question. Buffy heaved a sigh of exasperation and gestured to the coffee table with a tilt of her head.
“Unless you want to run the risk of me spilling tea all over your fifteenth century almanac of demonic activity, I suggest you clear a spot for me.”
The corner of Olivia’s mouth twitched in amusement as Giles rolled his eyes, muttering “seventeenth century” as he cleared the surface. Olivia watched the interaction between the two...the age difference was obvious, but not nearly as obvious as the depth of their genuine affection for one another.
“You’ve been her Watcher for three years?”
Giles looked up and nodded as he took the cup from Buffy. “We’re in our fourth year...”
Buffy laughed as Giles’ eyes widened, the cup stopping halfway to his lips as he stared at Olivia. “No...God, no. We did a lot of soul-searching after graduation a few months ago...I didn’t even realize that I loved him until he blew up the high school...”
“You blew up the high school?” Olivia asked dubiously.
“I...well...the mayor was a giant snake and...there was no other way to...” Giles sighed and lowered his cup. “Everything I told you when we were young...other than me being a founding member of Pink Floyd...was the truth.”
Buffy arched an eyebrow. “Pink Floyd? That worked for you?”
“More often than not.” Giles’ mouth quirked into a smile for the briefest of moments before turning his attention back to Olivia. “What’s happened, Liv?”
Olivia shook her head, but lowered her eyes. “Nothing, I was just...”
“You wouldn’t come to
Olivia was quiet for a few moments. Buffy and Giles exchanged a quick glance, Buffy sitting on the couch...her body turned towards Olivia. When Buffy opened her mouth to say something, Giles gave a quick shake of his head...his eyes telling her to give Olivia more time.
“Lars is dead.” Olivia whispered, her voice trembling.
“Dear Lord...” Giles whispered, shock in his voice as his hand reached out for Olivia’s. “Liv...I’m so sorry.”
Buffy wasn’t exactly sure who Lars was, but it was obvious that Giles knew him...and the news of Lars’ demise was seemingly not what he had been expecting to hear.
“What happened?” Giles questioned gently.
Olivia swallowed hard and lifted her head. Her question was barely audible, but Buffy had no trouble hearing the pain in Olivia’s words.
“What does a vampire look like?”
Giles didn’t hesitate in pulling Olivia into his arms. Buffy felt her heart fill with sadness over the pain that Olivia was feeling. She’d help Giles explain as much as Olivia wanted to hear...or could handle hearing.
And later, after patrol, she’d ask Giles who Lars was.
* * *
“So...you felt okay leaving them there alone?”
Buffy surveyed the cemetery from her vantage point from her seat atop a headstone. “Why wouldn’t I?”
“Oh, she wasn’t his girlfriend.” Buffy stated, pulling a stake out of her back pocket.
“They just used to have sex.” Buffy slid from the grave marker and gripped the stake. “Stay here...you see anything, you scream...okay?”
“Huh? Oh, yeah...I’m just...they used to have sex?”
Buffy returned her gaze back to the vampire stalking through the cemetery. “Yeah...long time ago. Nothing to worry about. Stay here.”
* * *
Olivia smiled as she took the cup of tea from Giles. “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome.” Giles responded softly as he sat down next to her, reaching over to the coffee table for his own cup. “Over the years, I’ve found that tea cures all…or nearly all.”
Olivia glanced around the room, her eyes stopping on a picture of Rupert and Buffy that was positioned on the desk in the corner of the room. “She seems very mature for her age.”
“Hm?” Giles murmured before noticing what Olivia was looking at. With a nod, he smiled softly. “Oh...she is. After seeing so much and dealing with all she’s had to deal with, she’d need to be.”
“Very true, but I was actually referring to the notion of her leaving a man whom she’s been in a relationship with for a few months alone with a woman with whom that same man shares a sexual history. Most older women wouldn’t be comfortable with that.”
Giles met her eyes and hesitated for just a moment. “I’m in love with her, Liv. Buffy and I…she knows I’d never do anything to betray her trust again.”
Olivia arched an eyebrow at him. “Again? You cheated on her?”
“What?” Giles looked mortified at the thought. “No!”
“But you’ve lost her trust before?”
Giles breathed a heavy sigh, lowering his eyes and staring into his cup of tea. “It was over a Council tradition that I disagreed with…but participated in nonetheless. I’d prefer not to talk about it right now.”
Olivia remained quiet for a few moments, sipping her tea as she watched him silently berate himself for past sins.
“If she had known the real reason I came by, she might not have left us alone.” She gave him an almost nervous smile as his eyes snapped to hers. “Though I have no intentions of following through on that plan.”
Olivia sighed, her eyes glistening. “There’s nothing you can do about that. I know how it works now…I know that Lars isn’t coming back…and I know that there would be nothing romantic about it if he had. I think I already knew that deep down.”
Giles stared at her, understanding flickering in his eyes. “You…wanted comfort. Physical comfort…from me?”
Olivia chuckled softly. “There was a time when you would’ve simply said that if I wanted you to fu – ”
He interrupted her quickly, shaking his head. “I’m not that person any longer, Olivia. I…what we shared…I was running from my destiny then…denying who I really was.”
“I know.” Olivia stated with a gentle smile. “That’s why my plans changed…as soon as I saw you look at her. I think I could be friends with the man you’ve become…”
Giles relaxed and returned her smile. “I think I would like that.”
They both turned towards the door when it opened. Giles’ smile broadened and his relief shone clearly in his eyes as Buffy stepped into the room.
Buffy grinned as she
watched Giles’ eyes quickly check for any visible injuries. “Not a scratch…for me. Three vamps weren’t so lucky. And
Giles narrowed his eyes and stood up quickly. “Demon? Is she alright?”
Giles smiled, nodding as he made his way towards the kitchen. “Of course. Let me just get a sample first.”
“Told ya, Will!” Buffy stated, reaching into her pocket and pulling out a small container filled with the goo and tossing it to Giles. “Already got one for you, babe.”
Giles blushed lightly at the term of endearment, catching the container with ease. “Thank you.”
“Go on, then.” Giles laughed, shaking his head in amusement
Buffy watched him as he tilted the container, examining the viscous fluid inside. “Everything okay?”
“It looks harmless enough. I’m rather sure it would feel, um...gross...when doused in it, though.”
“Yeah...there was no burny-Will or itchy-Will, so I guessed everything was okay there.” She waited until Giles met her eyes and then sighed softly. “I meant here. Is everything okay here?”
“Oh.” Giles replied softly, placing the container on the kitchen counter. “Yes, love.”
Buffy regarded him carefully, hearing something in his tone. “You sure about that?”
Giles opened his mouth to respond, but was interrupted by Olivia’s soft voice.
“Any reason for my being here...other than gathering as much information about vampires as I could...were cast to the side the moment I realized that Rupert is in a serious relationship. I would do nothing to jeopardize his...or your...happiness, Buffy.”
Buffy stared at her, but her stare held no anger. “So...you came here for – ”
“That was the nature of our relationship many years ago, Buffy.” Giles said quickly before she could finish her statement. “We...comforted...one another.”
“Oh.” Buffy replied, sliding her hand into his. “And Lars?”
“Lars broke my heart more than once.” Olivia sighed, a wistful tone to her voice. “But, he was there for me when Rupert left to go back to...this, I suppose.”
Giles smiled as he nodded. “Well, the Academy...but essentially, yes.”
Olivia paused for a moment and then sighed once more. “Lars and I never married...we just didn’t see the point. Now I wonder if maybe we should’ve.”
Silence fell over them and Giles led Buffy to the couch. She looked at him questioningly as he gently nudged her down to the cushions.
“I’m sure you’re starving. And I’m rather certain that airline food is as appetizing as it’s always been.”
Both of the women smiled gratefully at him and Buffy gestured to her bag that she had dropped onto the table.
“I stopped while we were out and picked up some cheese.”
Giles narrowed his eyes. “I have cheese...”
“It’s blue and
disgusting. You’ve lived in
Giles glanced at the container and grinned. “Unless it’s the consistency of snot and is spewed forth from a demon?”
Buffy rolled her eyes and settled herself more comfortably on the couch. “When it comes to cheese...it’s all about being yellow.”
Olivia laughed and immediately started in on a story of Giles’ youth involving his obsession with always having a wedge of blue cheese in the refrigerator. Giles stood there and watched them for a few seconds...his ex-lover and the young woman he hoped to spend the rest of his life with.
As they laughed together, Giles smiled and made his way into the kitchen. His smile grew when he heard the water from the shower turn off.
Laughter was one thing that had become constant since the start of his romantic relationship with Buffy. And he hadn’t realized how much he had missed it beforehand.
He pulled the block of American cheese out of her bag and rolled his eyes playfully when Buffy started telling Olivia about his training pads and how adorable he looked wearing them. Making his way into the kitchen to prepare something for the four of them to eat while telling embarrassing stories about one another, he thought over Olivia’s words.
He had never seriously considered marriage to anyone...mainly because he had never thought that it would be an issue. It was far too soon to honestly discuss the thought of marriage with Buffy. After all, they’d only admitted their love for one another four months earlier.
He looked over at her as he carefully unwrapped the cheese and pulled a knife from the drawer. He smiled lovingly as she turned to look at him, meeting his eyes and mouthing ‘I love you’ as Olivia’s laughter continued.
Maybe four months was long enough.