Title: Acknowledge and Accept
Author: Froxyn
Rating: FRAO
Pairing: Buffy/Giles
Timeline: AU… Six years post-series. Four weeks following Adjust and Adapt.
Synopsis: Giles struggles with his vampirism. There are very valid reasons why.
Author’s Note: Part Three of the Amber Series. .

Chapter One


Giles opened his eyes, a feeling of unease weighing heavily in his mind.  It had been a little over a month since he’d been turned, but he still felt disoriented each time he woke up – especially if he woke up hungry.  It was very disconcerting for him to awaken to the enticing aroma of his lover’s blood pumping rhythmically through her veins. 


Enticing, but not overwhelming. 




He grumbled softly as he slipped out of the bed, careful not to wake her.  He didn’t want to get up at this hour – the sun hadn’t even risen yet.  He supposed that’s why he would wake up every morning at this time.  This would be a nightcap for the demon – one last drink before heading off to bed.  Even though the demon never really seemed to sleep that much. 


He scratched his chest as he stepped into his slippers.  As much as he loved the look of his hardwood floors, he found them to be far too…cold…these days.  He smiled softly as he watched Buffy stir, then snuggle into his pillow.  He took a step back towards the bed, stopping when he felt the persistent pull. 


Hunger.  Thirst. 


He ran his tongue along his teeth, not surprised to feel the sharp points on his canines.  He ran his fingers through his hair, then turned quickly and left the room. 


He reached for the light switch in the kitchen, purely out of habit.  But, then he paused right before flicking it – he could see perfectly well.  He was in ‘full vampire mode’ as Xander had taken to calling it.  He made the mistake once or thrice before of turning on a light in a dark room while in this state and it had been…painful.  Far too bright and loud…and confusing.  So fucking confusing – which he hadn’t expected. 


He pulled his hand away and moved to the kettle instead.  He tried to ignore the tremble in his hand as he refilled the kettle and switched it on. 


“It’s like I’m a fucking junkie…”  He muttered, pulling down a mug and then grabbing a blood pouch from the small fridge in the pantry. 


He had lightly joked about Ethan having a blood fridge, but it actually made much more sense.  No one wants to open a fridge to find packets of blood in amongst proper food.  He thought, not for the first time recently, that he should talk to Buffy about inviting Ethan over for dinner soon. 


He reached for the kettle when it switched off and poured the water over the pouch in the mug.  He gave it only a few seconds, just enough to knock the chill off of it.  Not because he liked it at that temperature, but because he simply didn’t have the patience to wait any longer. 


Mornings were hard. 


Some were harder than others – some were so hard that he would forego the mug altogether and just rip open the pouch and drink directly from it. 


This morning was hard, but not that hard.


He emptied the pouch into the mug and drank quickly, nearly gulping the blood down.  He closed his eyes, feeling a sense of calm slowly wash over him.  He opened his eyes and walked over to the sink to rinse his mug. 


He didn’t fail to notice that the tremble in his hand was gone. 


He’d had his ‘fix’…just like a fucking junkie. 


“You okay?”


He turned quickly towards her soft voice, nodding even as his eyes drifted down her body.  “Yes, just…”  He gestured towards the pantry.  “Mornings…”


She sighed softly, walking into the kitchen and leaning against the counter.  “I still think if you’d have a little before you go to sleep, you might be able to sleep longer…”


He shook his head, adamant as always that that was not going to happen.  “No.”


“I don’t understand, Giles.  Why not?”


“Coming to bed after a feed is not…”  He paused for a moment before grabbing her and lifting her to sit on the counter.  He stepped in between her legs and stared into her eyes.  “There is a state of euphoria directly after a feed that would be counter-productive to…sleep.”


“Euphoria, huh?”  She asked, sliding her hands up his chest.  “Is that why you take as long as you do to come back to bed in the mornings?”


“You need your sleep.”  He murmured, glancing at her lips.


“I’m awake now…”  She replied, her right hand resting on the back of his neck.


His lips curled into a smile as he pulled her closer to the edge of the counter. 


“That you are…” 


Any response she would’ve given was cut off by his mouth covering hers. 


* * *


“Holy shit….”  Buffy whimpered, gripping Giles’ back tightly as she trembled with the aftershocks from her orgasm. 


He chuckled, pressing a warm, open-mouthed kiss to her shoulder.  “Alright, love?”


“Uh-huh…there’s definitely something to be said for euphoria…”  She giggled, sliding her hands down to his lower back. 


He pushed his upper body up and looked down at her, dipping his head to softly kiss her lips.  “At times, yes.”


She looked at him curiously as he carefully rolled to her side. “Are you okay?”


“How do you mean?”  He asked, tenderly brushing a strand of hair back from her face. 


“You’re worried about something.  I don’t know what, but…you’re worried.”


“Why would you say that?”  He asked, pulling his hand back and furrowing his brow. 




His eyes widened slightly as she brushed her fingertips over his brow.  “I, uh…thought you couldn’t tap into the bond like that anymore.  That my thoughts – fears, concerns – they don’t create reflections…you shouldn’t be able to…”


“I can’t.”  She confirmed, pressing her palm against his cheek.  “But, you still talk in your sleep.”


He diverted his eyes from hers and rolled onto his back.  She propped herself up on her left elbow, placing her right hand on his chest.  Her fingers lightly stroked the soft hair on his chest as she looked at him. 


“Hey…I can’t help you if you don’t actually talk to me.”


“I’m not sure you can actually help me if I do talk to you about it.”  He said, covering her hand with his. 


“Well, maybe not – especially if it’s a vampire thing.  But, maybe just talking about it will…make it seem not so bad?”


He thought for a moment and then looked at her.  “What have I been talking about in my sleep?”


She looked taken aback for a split second.  “Are you hiding more than one thing from me?”


“No – I mean, I’m not hiding anything.  Not intentionally.  I’m just…not talking about a couple of things.  That’s not…hiding…”


She thought about his words and then nodded slowly.  “Yeah, you’re right.  I’m sorry, it’s just…I worry about you.  And then when I know you have concerns about something but aren’t talking about it…I just…worry more, I guess.”


When he offered her an understanding smile, she lightly chewed the inside of her bottom lip.  “Is this about the Charter revision?  I mean…with how long it’s taking and everything?”


“No, not at all.  I expected that.  It’s not as simple as grabbing a red pen, making some edits, and then sending it off to be retyped.”


“Okay, well…is it me?  Are you worried about me or us…”


He lifted his head enough to brush his lips across hers.  “I am very much not worried about us, love.”


“Giles – ”


“I’m…more snippy than usual.”  He said quietly, interrupting her probable impending rant of frustration. 


She arched an eyebrow as she stared at him.  “Snippy?”


“Things are getting on my nerves more…or now, when they wouldn’t before.”


She pulled her hand out from under his and sat up, wrapping the sheet around her body.  “How do you mean?”


He sat up next to her, running his hand through his hair before leaning back against the headboard.  “Little things that only caused mild annoyance now fill me with…great displeasure.”


“Such as?”  She prodded.


“The way Xander taps his finger out of time to music…”  He replied, giving the first example to pop into his head.


“That’s always annoyed you…”


“I’ve never wanted to grab him by the throat and throw him across the room.”


Buffy was quiet for a long moment and then gave a slow nod.  “Yeah, I guess that would classify as ‘great displeasure’.”


He rubbed his fingers over the bite mark on his chest that she had left just minutes earlier.  “As you can imagine, it’s a cause for concern.  Because, if I…give in to that urge…”


“Do you feel that way towards me?”  She asked hesitantly, not really sure she wanted to hear the answer.


His eyes snapped to her, his hand moving to rest on her thigh.  “Never.”


“I know that I can be pretty annoying sometimes and – ”


“Never.”  He repeated, looking into her eyes.  “No matter how frustrated I get with anyone or anything else, I can look at you and immediately feel calmer.  When you touch me…I feel like me again.” 


She paused, reading his eyes.  When she realised he was being honest, she gave him a nod.  “Okay.”


“What have I said?”  He asked, clearing his throat.  “In my sleep, what have I said?”


“There’s no coming back from this.”  She said quietly. 


He was quiet for a long moment, then gave her thigh a gentle squeeze.  “Well, that is true.  There would be no coming back – the demon would win.  As a being with a soul, there is no way I’d be able to reconcile intentionally causing injury to an innocent person…”


“Is it something that’s…well, is it getting worse as time goes by?  Or is worse on certain days?  Like…if you’re tired, are you more irritable?”


“The feeling increases slightly each day – therefore, I’m assuming that it’s an issue of accumulation.” 


“Okay…what do we do?”  She asked, reaching over to run her fingertips through his hair. 


“I think we need to ask Lottie to come by for a chat.”  He leaned his head back and closed his eyes.  “If this is something that was overlooked or not taken into account, maybe it’s something we can…tweak, or something.”




He cracked his right eye open and gave her a sideways glance.  “Or something.”


“So, we give her a call and figure it out.”


He rolled his head towards her and opened both eyes, regarding her closely.  “How long have you known that I’m having…concerns?”


“A few nights.”  She sighed, shrugging a shoulder.  “I didn’t know how to bring it up – I figured you’d tell me when you were ready, but…it’s happened more than once and we’re in this together, Giles.  If you’re concerned, I’m concerned – and it’s not something you have to work through on your own.  I don’t want you to think that you have to work through it on your own.  I can’t lie and say that it doesn’t bother me that you didn’t say anything – because it does.  I get it to a point, but…we’re a partnership.  More than Watcher/Slayer…more than the Bond.  I can’t help if I don’t know.”


“I was hoping it was just a situational issue – everyone has days when they’re more irritable than others.  I think that part of me is still hoping – but, I also think that it’s more.  It feels more.  It feels…real, if that makes sense.”  His eyes glistened slightly.  “I can’t say that it doesn’t scare me – that I don’t scare me.”


She shifted closer to him, snuggling into his side and resting her head against his shoulder.  When he curled his arm around her, holding her tighter against him, she tilted her head upwards.  She looked directly into his eyes for a long moment.


“You don’t scare me, Ru.”


“That, in itself, should scare you.”  He said with a gentle smile. 


“Probably, but…it doesn’t.”  She kissed him softly, allowing her lips to linger as his fingers stroked her side.


“I can’t return as Head until this is sorted, whether it’s sorted before the Charter revision is completed or not.”


“The Council is the least of my concerns, Giles.”


He chuckled, brushing his lips across her forehead.  “Always has been.”


“Come on, I’ll make breakfast and we can go for a walk.”


“Probably should go for a run.”


“Still hoping for a win on that one, aren’t you?” 


He laughed and gave her a wink. 

Chapter Two

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