Title: A Quarter Lost, A Lifetime Gained
Author: Froxyn
Rating: FRAO
Pairing: Buffy/Giles
Synopsis: There was an incident. Buffy is ready to talk about it.
Timeline: AU, in my head this is late S4/early S5. No Riley.
Author's Note: Special thanks to A for looking over this fic.

Buffy quietly opened the door and slipped inside.  It was very late…or very early, depending on your view.  The lamp in the corner on the far side of the room was on, the soft glow giving off just enough light to keep someone from tripping over something…but not enough to disturb anyone who might be asleep upstairs. 

She paused and listened carefully.  The ticking of the clock, the odd click in the pipes, the hum of the refrigerator…and the soft snoring of her Watcher.  She sighed heavily.  She had come over to talk…not about patrol or demons or magick.  She came over because she missed him.  She missed them…what they used to be. 

What they were even three months earlier.

She glanced at the stairs and took a deep breath.  And as she exhaled, she began her ascent.  She paused at the top of the stairs, allowing her eyes to readjust to the darker environment.  She regarded her sleeping Watcher carefully as she silently made her way across the room to the chair sitting next to the window. 

She glanced at the prescription pill bottle on the bedside table as she sat down.  She wondered what he had them out for…had he gotten injured recently?  Or was it pain from an older injury?  It could be either – it’s not as if they had talked regularly in the past three months.

Three months…that’s all it had been, but it felt like a lifetime.  She couldn’t even be angry…it wasn’t his fault.  And it wasn’t like he had just wiped his hands of her.  He was keeping tabs on her…through Willow, Xander, sporadic phone calls, even more sporadic Scooby meetings in which she didn’t fully participate…

He was still there.  It was she who had put the distance between them. 

And now she wanted to talk.  At three in the morning.  And he had taken pain meds and was snoring.

“Because, of course, that’s the way it goes…”  She muttered softly to herself.

She considered leaving, but knew if she did…it would take her months to get back to this point.  They’d already lost a quarter of the year.  And if she waited much longer, they could lose far more than that.  He could very easily pick up and head back to England.

And she wouldn’t blame him.  Not one little bit. 

So while she considered it…she didn’t seriously entertain the thought.  Instead, she sat there…in the chair under the window.  And she watched the rain come in…and she waited.

Because he’d wake up at some point. 

* * *

He shifted in his sleep, his eyes fluttering open briefly.  As soon as they closed again, they re-opened.  A classic double-take.  He furrowed his brow as he tried to get his vision to focus on the person currently sitting in his chair, staring out the window as rain pelted against it. 

“Buffy?”  He whispered, his voice sounding tired.

She turned towards him immediately.  “Hey.  Sorry for breaking in.”

“Hardly breaking in when the door is unlocked.”  He said quietly, rolling from his stomach onto his side.  “Are you alright?”

She hesitated for a moment and then shook her head.  “No.”

He wanted to sit up, but couldn’t get his body to work properly.  He wondered briefly if he had accidentally taken too many painkillers earlier.


“Patrol was fine.  I didn’t come here to give you a report.”

He licked his dry lips and blinked a couple of times.  “Why are you here?”

She lowered her eyes to her hands, folded in her lap.  “Used to be that you were always awake when I came by, no matter the time.  Like…you didn’t go to sleep until I checked in.”

“I didn’t.”  He confirmed quietly.  “But, you haven’t needed me to be awake and waiting for you to check in for a while now.  You stopped checking in with me months ago….at least six, if not more.”

“When did you stop waiting?”  She asked on a soft whisper.

“Last night.”  He replied after a beat. 

She lifted her eyes in surprise.  “Even after…”

“Even after.”

She was quiet for a long moment and then exhaled deeply.  “Thing is…I have needed you.  I just didn’t know what to do with those emotions.”

He merely watched her as she moved, kneeling beside the bed.  And when she placed her trembling fingers on his cheek, he closed his eyes.

“We talked about this, Buffy.” 

She shook her head slowly.  “No.  You talked about this.”

He opened his eyes and stared into hers.  “You agreed.”

“I was grieving, Giles.  I would have agreed with anything at that point.”

“Then I suppose it was good that I stopped us at the kiss.”  He said softly.

“But, did you want to?  Did you really agree with the things you were saying?”  She glanced at his lips briefly, her thumb rubbing gently over his cheekbone.  “Comfort that spiralled…as it’s wont to do, in times of great upheaval and turmoil.”

“The last thing you needed was for me to allow it to go any further.”  He stated, somewhat perplexed over the fact that she had remembered his exact words.

“Or it was exactly what I needed.”  She countered, sighing as she lowered her hand to rest next to his on the mattress.  “I didn’t know what to do with that, Giles.  So, I did what I thought I was really good at – I locked it away and pretended it didn’t exist…that it didn’t happen.”

“What you thought you were good at?”

“Well, obviously I’m not good at it.  If I were, I wouldn’t have been so lost for the past three months…I wouldn’t have been thinking about it, day in day out.  If it were only spiralling comfort, I wouldn’t replay it over and over.  Would I?”

“Do you?”  He asked, swallowing nervously.

“Do you?”  She asked in return.  “Do you even think about it at all?”

He hesitated and then inhaled deeply.  And then he covered her hand with his and licked his lips again. 

“More often than I’m comfortable with.”  He cleared his throat, curling his fingers around her hand.  “But, I feel that I very much took advantage of the situation.  Gave in to something I’d wanted for longer than I care to admit.”

“If I were to kiss you now, what would your reaction be?”  She asked, leaning towards him.

“Buffy…”  He breathed her name on a sigh as she brushed her lips across his chin. 

“Are you hurt?”  She whispered, kissing his jaw.

“Hm?”  He murmured, closing his eyes as her mouth moved steadily towards his neck. 

“Pain meds on the nightstand.  Are you okay?”  She asked softly, pressing her lips to the warm skin just below his ear. 

“Couldn’t sleep.  Needed sleep.”  He mumbled, inhaling sharply as her lips began a return journey towards his chin. 

She pulled back just enough to look into his eyes.  His pupils were dilated…she guessed from a combination of both the pain meds and arousal.  She pulled her hand out from under his and placed it on the side of his neck.

“I really picked a shit night for this, didn’t I?” 

He smiled softly and shook his head, glancing at her lips.  “Not if your meaning is truthful.  Our timing might be a bit shit…but, the night is not.”

She chuckled and grinned at him.  “What does that even mean?”

“Kiss me.”  He whispered, staring into her eyes.  “Please, just kiss me.”

Her grin faded as she saw the seriousness in his eyes.  And with a sigh, she closed the distance between them and kissed him.  A soft brush of her lips against his, followed by a lingering press…a sneaky touch of the tip of her tongue to his bottom lip.

And then his mouth opened underneath hers, inviting her to deepen the kiss…asking for more.  No…not asking.  Begging.  Begging for more.  And he groaned as she gave in with no hesitation, angling her mouth over his as she slid her tongue against his. 

He lifted his hand to her shoulder…it was not an effortless movement, his body still feeling the effects of the medication he had taken just a few hours earlier.  But, he was touching her…gripping her…tugging her towards him.  And she followed him, carefully rolling him onto his back as she climbed onto the bed next to him. 

She pulled from the kiss to look at him, to gauge his response.  She could barely see the color of his irises…and the green she could see was darker than she had ever seen.

“Is this okay?” 

He nodded numbly, inhaling as deeply as he could. 

She licked her tingling lips and ran her thumb over his.  “I think…we should probably not go further than this right now.”

He closed his eyes and blew out a deep breath.  She knew instantly that he had misunderstood her.

“Giles?  Look at me.”  She waited the few seconds it took for him to open his eyes and then she smiled.  “All I mean is that we obviously can’t do the things that we’re both wanting right now.  You can barely move.”

“You’re moving okay…” 

She grinned and placed her hand on his chest.  “Yeah, but is that really how you want this?  Me doing all the work and you unable to really participate?”

“What do you suggest?”  He asked, silently confirming the fact that she was right.

“We talk in the morning.”  She glanced at the clock.  “Or…when the sun’s up.  But, we really talk.  We don’t pretend this isn’t happening…we don’t ignore what we’re feeling.  Because I really can’t do that anymore.”

“Will you stay?”  He asked, suddenly fighting to keep his eyes open.


“I mean, stay here…where we are.”  He clarified, his speech slurring slightly.

“You okay?”  She narrowed her eyes in concern.  “Giles?”

“Mm…this happens with…those…”  He darted his eyes towards the bedside table.  “They hit twice…”

“Ah…extended release meds?”

“Mm-hm.  I’m sorry…”  He furrowed his brow, quickly losing the battle to stay awake.  “Tired?”

“Go to sleep, Giles.  I’ll be here.”

“No…are you tired?”  He asked, blinking hard as he looked at her. 

She nodded slowly.  “Yeah, I am.  I haven’t been sleeping the best either.”

“Lay down.”  He mumbled, closing his eyes.  “Sleep.  Plenty of room.”

She blew out a soft breath as he finally lost his battle against the meds, a gentle snore coming from him.  She placed a gentle kiss on his mouth and then laid down next to him, resting her hand over his heart.

With a yawn, she closed her eyes.  “G’night, Giles.”

He mumbled incoherently.  She smiled and let sleep overtake her.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

She woke up to a sunlight-filled room, in much the same position as she fell asleep.  Her head resting on his shoulder, her hand on his chest.  She knew he was awake, she could tell by his breathing.  She also knew the moment that he realised that she was awake – there was a definite change in his heartrate.  It was only a beat before it returned to normal…but, it was noticeable. 

She could feel the warmth of his hand resting against her lower back, his arm curled around her…holding her to him.  Almost protectively…though she wasn’t sure what he would have been protecting her from. 

He cleared his throat softly and took a deep breath.  “Good morning.”

“Hey…”  She replied, wanting to snuggle closer to him…but unsure if she should. 

As if he read her mind, he tightened his arm around her…pulling her as close as he could.  He turned his head towards her and placed a soft kiss in her hair. 

“So, this is okay then?”  She asked, allowing her fingers to rub small circles against the fabric of the t-shirt he was wearing. 

“As long as it’s what you want.”  He said quietly.

She laughed softly.  “Is it what you want?”

“No.”  He answered without hesitation.

Her laugh abruptly ended and she lifted her head to look at him.  He moved his left hand to her cheek and pulled her into a kiss, which he deepened quickly…sighing as his tongue dipped into her mouth.  Within moments she was returning his kiss…and before either of them really knew what was happening, he had pulled her on top of him – his hands cradling her face as he kissed her passionately. 

He broke the kiss with a soft groan as she inadvertently brushed against his quickly emerging erection. 


That’s what I wanted.”  He said with a smile.  His smile faded when he saw the confusion in her eyes.  “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean for you to think I meant…no.”

“Well, that is what you said…”

“Yes, I just…bad wording, obviously.   I meant that I wanted more.”  He licked his lips, sliding his hands up her thighs.  “I…want more.”

“How much more?”  She asked on a whisper.

“As much as you’re comfortable giving me.”

She smiled at him, looking into his eyes.  “I’ve never seen your eyes this color before.”

“Only because I’ve never allowed you to see.”  He answered.  “I realise we have much to discuss.”

“Can we talk later?”

He tilted his head slightly as he looked up at her.  “Later?”

She nodded and sat up straight, carefully avoiding putting pressure on his erection.  She quickly pulled her shirt over her head and dropped it to the side.  She bit her lip nervously as he inhaled sharply.

“I think there’s other things that I’d rather do.”  She said, reaching behind her back to unfasten her bra.  “Is that okay with you?”

He sat up quickly, covering the straps of her bra with his hands to hold it in place.  “Buffy, are you sure?”

“I am.”  She whispered, leaning into him to kiss him.  “Are you okay with this?”

“It’s, uh…I wasn’t expecting this.”  He licked his lips and gave her a slow nod.  “But, if you’re certain this is what you want…”

“Is it what you want?”  She asked, a tone of uncertainty in her voice.  “Because, it can’t be all about what I want.  If I’ve misread – ”

He cut her off with a kiss, sliding his left hand down to her hip.  His fingers tapped against her as he pulled back and smiled at her. 

“I know you can feel what’s underneath you – I’m fairly certain it’s obvious that it’s what I want too.” 

“Then can we just stop asking each other if we’re sure and just…”  She sighed heavily and slid her arms over his shoulders.  “Giles…”

“I love you, Buffy.”  He stated bluntly, staring into her eyes.  “You need to know that.”

A slow smile appeared on her face, her thumb rubbed against the nape of his neck.  “I love you too.”

When his eyes widened slightly, her thumb stopped moving. 

“You weren’t expecting me to say that.”

“No.  Not at all.”  He shook his head, his eyes softening.  “But, then I didn’t say it in hopes of hearing it in return.”

She looked at him curiously.  “Then…why?”

“Because you need to know this is not something I’m taking lightly.  And I had thought that if you felt differently, you’d stop it…because I can’t.  Not this time.”

“I would have.”  She whispered, allowing her thumb to resume its movement.  “If I felt differently, I would have stopped it.  But, I don’t…and I can’t stop it either.  Not this time.”

They looked at each other for a long moment before he moved his right hand from her shoulder, carefully pushing her bra strap down her arm.  He held her gaze as he completely removed the garment and dropped it onto the floor.  He smiled as her eyes widened, then glazed slightly as his hand covered her breast. 

When he felt her nipple harden against his palm, he lowered his eyes to her chest.  “Christ…”

Buffy leaned forward quickly, kissing his neck as she grabbed the hem of his t-shirt.  He gently squeezed the breast in his hand in response, cursing breathlessly as she groaned against his skin.  And then she was pulling his shirt up and over his head, causing him to grumble softly when he needed to release the firm flesh from his hand.

She smiled as she tossed his shirt over her shoulder.  “Who would’ve thought you’d grumble during this?”

“You’ll find that I’m bound to make all sorts of noises.”  He replied with a chuckle.

“And I’ll catalogue each and every one of them.”  She whispered, a split second before recapturing his lips with hers.

He deepened the kiss quickly, slipping his tongue into her mouth as he carefully rolled their bodies until she was on her back with him leaning over her.  When she felt his fingers tug at the waistband of her sweats, she broke the kiss and smiled up at him. 

He returned her smile as she lifted her hips, easing the task for him.  Just as he started to slide her pants down, he paused and stared into her eyes. 

“What?”  She whispered, somewhat impatiently.

“You are beautiful.”

She blushed lightly.  “You’re not even looking at me…”

“I’m looking at you right now, Buffy.”  He stated, tilting his head slightly.  “I see everything…and you are beautiful.”

“So are you.”  Her eyes glistened as she placed her hands on his chest and slid them up to his shoulders.  “And if you don’t get the rest of our clothes off soon, we’re going to have some issues…”

He chuckled softly and pushed himself up, kneeling beside of her as he finished removing her sweatpants.  Then, and only then did he allow his eyes to roam over her body.

“Dear lord…”  He whispered emotionally, his hand trembling slightly as he touched her thigh.  “Beautiful is nowhere near accurate enough for you.”

Before she could respond, he moved between her thighs and leaned down to kiss her lips.  He kissed her deeply for just a moment before allowing his lips to move down the side of her neck and across her collarbone.  His teeth gently grazed her skin as he made his way down the slope of her breast. 

He lifted his eyes, meeting her gaze as he pulled her nipple into his mouth…carefully holding it between his teeth as he flicked his tongue against it.  He smiled as she shuddered and arched her hips up against him.  As he began to suck at the hardened nub, she moved her hands down his sides until she reached the waistband of his pajama pants. 

He chuckled against her flesh as she pushed at them…and then he inhaled sharply as she raked her nails along the sensitive skin just above his buttock.  He released her nipple and lifted his head, his eyes darkening as she repeated the motion. 

She arched an eyebrow at him.  He licked his lips and took a shuddering breath.


She smiled, teasingly running her nail across his skin underneath his pants.  “These need to come off, Giles…”

He nodded slowly and reached down, carefully pushing his pants down his thighs.  She watched his eyes as the warm flesh of his erection touched her hip.  She wasn’t overly surprised when they darkened another shade.  She thought that it was quite possibly the most arousing thing she’d ever seen.

She shifted almost nervously as he quickly removed his pants and moved back between her thighs.  Even in his aroused state, he registered the movement.

“Are you okay?”  He asked, concern tinging his voice.

She nodded and reached between their bodies, tentatively placing her palm over the shaft of his cock.  “Just not sure how much longer I can wait.  I wanted to take this so slowly and…explore…and things.  But…”

“But?”  He prodded as she trailed off, placing his hand over hers and curling their fingers around his hardened flesh.

“But…fuck, I want you.”  She murmured as he guided her hand in slow strokes.

“I feel much the same.”  He replied, moving his hand from hers to the soft curls between her thighs. 

He groaned softly…at her touch, at her wetness…at the heat he felt as his fingers slipped through her folds to tease her clit.  He smiled as her hips bucked involuntarily.  His smile faded when she whispered an apology.

“Why are you sorry?”

“For rushing this…when you want other things.  And – ”

“I want you, Buffy.  These ‘other things’ will come later.  Exploration…touch, taste…we’re both too worked up right now to fully appreciate that exploration.”

“God, so many fucking words….”

He grinned and then lifted his hand to his mouth, licking the wetness from his skin before leaning down and brushing his lips over hers. 

“I want to be inside of you.”

She trembled as she gave his cock one last firm stroke before resting her knees against his sides and guiding him to her entrance.  “That’s where you need to be…”

He swallowed and held her gaze as he pushed his hips forward.  Her hands gripped his arms, her mouth partly open as she gave a soft moan.  He paused and inhaled deeply, fully embedded within her.  His vision blurred and he knew it wasn’t from arousal alone.

She furrowed her brow lightly as she registered the depth of emotion in his eyes.  “Giles?”

“I love you.”  He whispered, his voice quavering. 

Her brow relaxed as she smiled, sliding her hand to the side of his neck.  “I love you.”

She drew him down to her, kissing him warmly as he began to move within her. 

* * *

He rolled onto his back beside of her, his chest heaving as he fought to catch his breath.  She grinned, breathing heavily herself as she ran her fingers through the sweat-dampened hair on his chest. 

“Well, that was unexpected…”

He turned his head to look at her.  “Unexpected?”

“I’ve never really been multi-orgasmo girl before.”

He chuckled softly.  “I must admit…I was wondering if that was to do with me or if you are just really, ah…sensitive.”

She pressed a warm kiss just above his nipple and then kissed his chin.  “That was all you.”

“I’m inclined to believe that it was more us, than me.”  He replied, sighing as she kissed him.  “And as much as I hate the thought of moving right now…I, uh…”

She laughed softly as he gestured towards the stairs.  “Go on…but, hurry back because I’ll need to go too.”

“You can go first…”

She shook her head and pulled the blankets up over her shoulders.  “Nah, I wanna snuggle in bed for a little while longer.”

He brushed the hair back from her face and smiled.  “I won’t be long.”

She watched him as he pulled a pair of sweatpants from a drawer and slipped them on, followed by a t-shirt that looked incredibly soft and comfortable.  She sighed happily and he looked back over at her.

“You just look so…relaxed.”  She offered, pulling his pillow closer to her.  “I don’t think I’ve ever seen you look this relaxed before.”

“I have nothing more to hide from you.”  He replied with a soft smile and then gestured towards the stairs with his thumb.  “I’ll, uh…”

“Can you bring some water when you come back?”  She asked, sliding her leg out from under the blankets.

The movement caught his eye and he swallowed as he nodded.  “I, uh…of course, yes.”

“Go…take care of what you need to do…bring water…”  She licked her lips as he looked back at her eyes.  “And maybe we can do a little exploring?”

He nodded wordlessly.  She grinned as he turned and hurried down the stairs.

* * *

He had just pulled two bottles of water from the fridge and was heading towards the stairs when his front door opened.  He jumped as Willow rushed in, slamming the door behind her.


“Jesus…”  He said, obviously startled.  “What’s wrong, Willow?”

“Have you seen Buffy?  She didn’t come home last night and she didn’t call or anything and…that’s not like her.  She’s been really out of sorts lately, you know that, right?  And I think she’s been really distracted on patrols and I’m worried because she’s never – ”

“She’s here, Willow.”  He interrupted softly, glancing up at the loft.  “She came by last night to talk.  It was quite late, so she stayed.”

Willow looked up at the loft, her brow furrowed in confusion.  “In your bed?  Where did you sleep?”

“I have a sofa…”  He replied as she looked back at him.  He cleared his throat and held up a bottle of water.  “I was just taking this up to her.  I’ll be back in a moment.”

She nodded, still confused about what was going on.  But, she watched him hurry up the stairs and into the loft.  She glanced at the sofa and narrowed her eyes.

* *

Giles placed the water on the dresser and ran his fingers through his hair.  Buffy was already getting dressed, obviously having heard the exchange between Giles and Willow.  She offered him a smile as she pulled her sweats on.

“It’s okay…”  She walked over to him and placed her hand on his chest.  She was right, his shirt was incredibly soft.  “Good thinking down there.”

“I don’t want to hide our relationship.”  He whispered, covering her hand with his.

“Me neither.  But, she also doesn’t need to know that we had mind-blowing sex this morning either.”  She leaned up and kissed him softly.  “Go on, I’ll be down in a minute.  Thank you for the water.”

“So…we are?”

“We are…what?”

He took a deep breath and tucked a strand of hair behind her ear.  “In a relationship.”

“We are very much in a relationship, Giles.  And we can tell whoever you want, whenever you want.”  She glanced at the stairs and sighed.  “You know, this is going to go one of two ways.  She’s either going to be clueless or instantly know.”

“Mm-hm…”  He agreed and then shrugged a shoulder.  “I’m good either way.  You?”


He smiled and then gave her another soft kiss before backing away from her.  “Don’t leave me too long down there alone with her.”

She shook her head in amusement as he turned and made his way back downstairs for the second time this morning.  She opened the bottle of water he had left for her and took a long swallow. 

* *

Giles offered Willow a smile and rubbed the back of his neck.  “She’ll be down in a minute.”

Willow nodded and gestured towards the sofa.  “You slept there last night?  I’ve dozed off there before and I was okay.  It’s a pretty comfy sofa.”

Giles nodded, suddenly very nervous about where this conversation was quickly heading.

“But, you’re like six foot eight or something.”

“Six foot one…”  He corrected, knowing what she was insinuating.  He had slept on the sofa before…more than once.  And it wasn’t the most comfortable place for someone of his height to sleep.

“Whatever.  You’re heaps taller than me…do you even fit on that?”

“I, uh…yes, I do.  What exactly is it that you’re saying?”

“Well, nothing or…something…I don’t know.  It’s just – ”

“Hey, Will.”  Buffy interrupted quickly, coming down the stairs.  “Sorry I didn’t call last night.  It was so late and I didn’t want to wake you up.  I figured – ”

Willow’s eyes widened.  “Oh.  My.  God.”

Buffy stopped on the landing and glanced at Giles.  Giles closed his eyes briefly and then looked at Buffy, smiling as he shrugged his shoulders.

Willow’s eyes darted between the two of them.  “You.  The two of you.  You guys.  What?  How long has…what?”

Buffy chuckled as Giles stared at Willow. 


Willow shook her head quickly.  “No, you guys have been weird for like three months.  Like…really weird.  Not talking, not looking at each other.  And now, suddenly everything is all hunky-dory and…what the hell is going on?”

Giles narrowed his eyes.  “Hunky-dory?”

Buffy sighed and finished coming down the stairs, taking Giles’ hand and leading him to the sofa.  When Willow didn’t follow, she rolled her eyes and went back to grab her as well.  She nudged Willow towards the chair and then sat down next to Giles on the sofa.

“Okay…very quick story here.”  She ran her hand through her hair and took a deep breath.  “Three months ago, we kissed.  Then there was some miscommunication and I was an idiot and decided to ignore anything had happened.  But, last night I decided that I was being stupid and came to talk.  And we kissed again and I stayed the night. We’ve talked, we realised that we both want more…so, we’re going to see where this goes.  Me and him…together.”

Willow stared at them.  “You had sex.”

“This isn’t about sex, Will.”  Buffy said, taking hold of Giles’ hand.  “This is about love.  And we love each other.”

“Three months ago?”  Willow’s eyes narrowed as Buffy slowly nodded.  She turned her attention to Giles.  “You kissed her three months ago.  When her friend from LA had her accident?”

“It wasn’t…”  Giles paused and shook his head.  “I was comforting her.”

“With your tongue?  When her friend died?”

Giles’ eyes narrowed.  “It wasn’t like that, Willow.”

I kissed him.”  Buffy interjected.  “He just….kissed me back.”

“Why do I feel that you’re more concerned over what happened three months ago than what happened last night?”  Giles asked, tilting his head quizzically.

Willow paused and then smiled.  “Because I am.  You’ve loved her for ages, Giles.  I just didn’t expect you to make that move.”

“Technically, I didn’t.”  He stated, rubbing the back of his neck again.  “I just didn’t back away…either time.”

“So what was with the weirdness then?”  She asked, but then shook her head as the answer suddenly occurred to her.  “You thought you were taking advantage of her when she was in a vulnerable state…so you did the ‘it was just comfort’ thing.”

“Something like that.”  He said quietly.

“You let him use that excuse?”  She asked Buffy, amusement in her tone.

“I probably wasn’t thinking too clearly at the time, if I’m being honest.”  She exhaled a deep breath and shook her head.  “By the time I realised things had been…misconstrued…it was too late.  And then I figured he was just trying to let me down easy or whatever…so, that’s when the ignoring the situation started.”

Willow was quiet for a moment and then shook her head sadly.  “That really hurt him.”

“Willow.”  Giles said in a warning tone.

Buffy looked at him and curled her fingers around his hand.  “We still have a lot of things to talk about, don’t we?”

“They will be discussed when the time is right.”  He replied, gently squeezing her fingers.  “I understand more now, Buffy.”

“I thought I was making it easier for you…not hurting you.”  She whispered emotionally.

He lifted his free hand and tenderly stroked her cheek.  “I know.”

Willow watched them…their interactions, the unspoken sentiments in their eyes, the heightening arousal in their seemingly light touches…and she smiled.  “Okay…well, since I know you’re not dead or anything…I’m just gonna go.”

“Okay.”  Buffy answered quickly.

“Hm?”  Giles murmured at the same time.

Willow snickered and stood up.  “You two are quickly forgetting anyone else is here…and that’s a good thing.  For you.  It’s good for you.  Not so good for me when I’m pretty sure that as soon as I leave you’re going back to bed.”

Giles lowered his hand and cleared his throat.  Buffy laughed and squeezed Giles’ hand.

“And that’s a good thing too, Giles.”  Willow continued with a bright smile.  “You…the two of you…deserve to be happy.  And that was never going to truly happen until you both came together.”

Giles’ eyes widened and Buffy laughed loudly.  Willow blushed and shook her head. 

“That’s totally not what I meant.  You think about it and you’ll know what I meant…I’m just…”  She gestured towards the door and walked around the side of the sofa.  “I’ll see you guys later.  You know, if there’s a Scooby meeting or anything?”

Giles nodded slowly.  “Before patrol.”

“See you then!”  She grinned as Giles turned his head from her and gave Buffy a thumbs up. 

Giles sighed heavily as the door closed, leaving them alone once again.  “Well, it’s good that we didn’t want to hide it.”

“You’re okay with that, right?”

“Mm…”  He nodded and glanced over his shoulder towards the door…almost as if he was checking that Willow had actually left.  “She was right, you know…”

“About us not being happy until we ‘came together’?”

He chuckled and nodded again.  “That too.”

“What was she right about?”

He lifted his eyes to hers and looked at her for a moment.  “Taking you back to bed.”

She leaned into him and kissed him warmly.  “We should probably eat something first.”

His eyes flickered with desire and she grinned brightly.  “I, uh…was actually talking about food.”

“We can do that too.”  He said in a tone rich with arousal. 

Buffy slid her arms over his shoulders and sighed happily.  “I’m really glad I came by last night.”

He returned her sigh and pulled her into another deep kiss.

There was still much to discuss.  But, as he said earlier, that could wait until later.  Right now, his mind was very much preoccupied with other thoughts.

He’d rather eat than talk any day. 

Especially today.

~ End

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