Title:  3 am

Author:  Froxyn

Rating:  FRT

Pairing:  Buffy/Giles

Timeline: S5’ish, AU.

Synopsis:  After a demon attack, Buffy’s life hangs in the balance.

Author’s Note: Album fic.  Song and lyrics can be found here.



Thunder rumbled in the distance as the rain pelted against the window.  Giles sat in a chair next to the bed, her hand held loosely in his as he read aloud from the book on his lap.  Hearing a creak from the stairs, he turned and exhaled deeply as Willow walked into the bedroom.


“How is she?”


His thumb absently rubbed the back of Buffy’s hand as he slipped the bookmark into place and closed the novel.  “I, uh...it’s raining.”


Willow nodded, glancing at the window.  “Yeah, I know.  How’s her fever?”


He swallowed and looked at Buffy...her damp hair plastered to her forehead.  “No change.”


Willow sighed and placed her hand on his shoulder.  “It’s nearly three in the morning, Giles.  You should get some sleep.”


He shook his head slowly, not taking his eyes from Buffy.  “I can’t...”


Willow pulled another chair to the side of the bed and sat down next to Giles.  “Then how about I keep you and Buffy company?”


Giles smiled sadly and reopened the book.  “I...I was just starting chapter four.”


Willow returned his sad smile and gently took the book from him.  “I’ll read for a while, Giles.”


* * *


The demon had attacked quickly but the damage hadn’t looked too severe.  A small scratch on Buffy’s forearm that hadn’t even required stitches.


But then the rain had started falling. 


They had identified the demon quickly when they had gotten back to the apartment.  And as the rain had turned into a thunderstorm, Giles began to panic.  The fact that Giles was so upset had in turn caused Xander to panic...because Giles didn’t normally panic.  Not even when the Mayor had threatened to eat Buffy.  There was no panic.


But, there was now.  And that scared Xander to no end.


Buffy had woken up once when there was a lull in the storm and Giles had been right there holding her hand as he wiped a cool, damp cloth over her hot skin.  The only thing she had said was that it was all going to end and that it was her fault.  And then she had whispered ‘I love you’ to Giles and closed her eyes again...as the rain resumed its downpour.


But she hadn’t opened her eyes since then.  And now, Giles was starting to worry even more.



The demon was an Imberian.  Giles wasn’t sure if it had wandered into this dimension...or if it had been summoned.  That was the only thing about the demon that he didn’t know.


He knew that the demon worked with the rains.  He knew that if the demon injured someone intentionally that a fever would come over the injured person when it rained...and the fever wouldn’t break until the rain ended.  He knew that the longer it rained, the worse the fever became...and he knew that the worse her fever became, her chances of survival lessened.


And that was something he refused to face.


* * *


Giles leaned over the edge of the bed and pressed his lips to her clammy forehead.  “It’s three in the morning, love...and it’s still raining.  Please...please, just hold on for me.  You’re doing so well…please don’t let go yet.”


Tears filled Willow’s eyes when she heard the pain in his voice.  They all felt helpless, but it affected none of them as much as it affected Giles. 


Killing the demon would end the fever...however, the demon had escaped through a portal immediately after scratching Buffy.  After learning that it was actually an Imberian, Giles had tried to track it but he had been unsuccessful.


And now he was feeling guilty for not being able to help her. 


Mother Nature was the only thing that could help Buffy now.  If she’d only put an end to the rain...


Giles climbed into the bed with Buffy and watched her.  There was nothing else he could do but hope the rain would end soon.


* * *


Buffy was now in her twenty-fifth hour.  No one bothered to state the obvious...that if she hadn’t been the Slayer, she would’ve already died.  Willow was fairly sure that if anyone had said such a thing, they would have seen the appearance of Ripper.


Xander had taken Anya home after twelve hours.  Willow had taken a nap in the guest room, sleeping for a few hours before coming back upstairs.  Although he was lying in the bed with her, it was obvious that Giles hadn’t slept...it was also obvious that Giles wasn’t planning to sleep.  Not until this was over.


“Giles...”  Willow whispered softly, hesitating for a moment before continuing.  “It’s...it’s been a long time and...”


“She’s not going to die, Willow.”  He stated in an exhausted voice.  “I refuse to let that happen.”


Willow narrowed her eyes and studied him carefully before noticing the light yellow glow between their joined palms.  “You’re giving her your energy...”


He swallowed and lifted his tired eyes to hers.  “She was getting tired.  The rain can’t hold out for much longer.  It never rains this much in Sunnydale.”


Willow nodded and sat down in the chair, taking Buffy’s other hand and whispering a few soft words.  As the same light started glowing under her palm, Giles met her eyes.


“Thank you.”


Willow offered him a gentle smile and glanced out the window when she saw lightening flash in the distance.  Maybe the storm was moving out...


* * *


Buffy’s eyes fluttered open to find a very tired-looking Giles smiling at her.  “Giles?”


“The rain will wash it away...”  He mumbled nonsensically.


She narrowed her eyes in confusion.  “What?”


“He’s been awake for nearly forty-eight hours...he’s pretty much delirious.”  Willow offered, smiling warmly when Buffy turned her alert eyes towards her.


“What’s going on?”


Willow gestured to Giles as her smile grew.  “Snuggle with him for a while.  We’ll explain everything later.”


Buffy furrowed her brow, but snuggled closer to Giles.  “It’s okay, Giles...go to sleep, okay?”


“Knew you wouldn’t give up...”  He murmured, closing his eyes and falling asleep almost instantly.


She remembered fighting a demon.  She remembered the rain starting to pour down.  And she remembered feeling very hot.  And then she remembered Willow’s words... ‘he’s been awake for nearly forty-eight hours’ and she started piecing things together.


She looked at the chair to find Willow sitting there with her eyes closed.  She looked tired too...maybe not as exhausted as Giles, but more tired than she’d seen Willow in a very long time.




“Yeah, Buff?”  Willow responded, opening her eyes.


“How close was it?”  Buffy asked hesitantly.


Willow glanced at Giles and then sighed.  “Closer than he wanted to admit.”


Buffy looked down at her hands, rubbing her left palm against her pajama-clad thigh.  Willow sat up and regarded her curiously.


“You okay?”


“Yeah...my hands itch.”


Willow smiled shyly and leaned forward, resting her elbows on her knees.  “Yeah, about that...”


Buffy listened carefully for the next hour as Willow explained as much as she felt comfortable explaining without Giles’ input.  With each passing minute, she felt her love and devotion grow even more for the man curled up next to her.


It didn’t need to be said that had Willow not stepped in when she did that he would’ve given everything he had for her.  They’d have to have a talk about that when he woke up.


~ End


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