Title: Moments in Sandstone
Author: Froxyn
Pairing: Buffy/Giles
Rating: FRT
Synopsis: After Giles arrives in Sunnydale with the first round of Potentials, he shares his thoughts…and Buffy shares her sanctuary.
Timeline: AU, S7/Post-series
Author’s Note: As always, thank you A.

Buffy glanced at him as they walked down the street.  He didn’t look at her – his eyes darted between the buildings, the people, and the ground…his hands in the pockets of his brown leather coat.  It was the first time they’d had a chance to be alone since his sudden return with a handful of so-called Potentials – and instead of having a meaningful chat, they were walking through town…not talking about anything of importance.


She moved to nudge his arm with her shoulder, but stopped herself.  She sighed and shoved her hands into her coat pockets as she looked across the street.  He took the opportunity to steal a quick glance at her.  He turned his eyes back to the ground as she looked at him.


“Giles, do you think you’ll ever show up for a real visit?”


He looked at her then, confusion in his eyes. 


“You know…the kind where the word ‘apocalypse’ isn’t inserted into a ‘Hello, Buffy’ greeting?”


A small smile played on his lips.  “If we survive this, I promise.”


“Good.”  She said, finally giving in to the urge to nudge his shoulder.  “Because I miss you.”


His smile grew and he leaned into the nudge.  “I miss you too.”


“You do?”  She asked, genuinely surprised.


He sighed heavily, pausing to pick up a discarded coffee cup from the ground.  “Of course I do.  You think I don’t?”


She watched as he tossed the cup into the trash can and shrugged a shoulder.  “You don’t call, you don’t write…”


“I’ve been somewhat preoccupied with the destruction of the Council.”  He replied, more sharply that he had intended.


She looked at him for a moment…really looked at him.  He looked tired, more tired than she’d seen him look in years.


“How bad was it?”  She asked softly, continuing when he stared at her as if he didn’t understand how she could ask that.  “I mean, personally.  For you.  Did you lose anyone?”


“The entire Council was obliterated, Buffy.  I lost nearly everyone.  There are a handful of survivors.”


A year ago, she would have snapped back at him.  But, there was something very different about him now – and she felt incredibly sad for him. 


“I didn’t mean to sound uncaring, Giles.  I know what the Council meant to you.  I was just wondering…did you lose family?  Or…”  She exhaled a frustrated breath.  “I don’t know…it doesn’t really matter how I ask it, it’s going to sound flippant or something.  I’m just worried about you – you look worn down, weary…scared.  Alone?”


“You, uh…The First – you said it was in a Christmas tree lot?”


“Under it, actually.”  She reached out and placed her hand on his arm, causing him to stop walking and look at her.  “Who did you lose?”


“Three cousins, an aunt, a nephew, and a very close…friend.”  He replied quietly, his eyes glistening. 


She squeezed his arm, an act of consolation.  “I’m so sorry, Giles.”


“Thank you.”  He whispered, then cleared his throat.  “I’ll get through it.”


“Was she your girlfriend?”  Buffy asked, suddenly very unsure that she actually wanted to know.




“Your very close…friend.”


Giles smiled sadly and shook his head.  “No.  She was more like a sister to me.  We’d known each other since we were children.”


“Can I help?”  She asked, surprised to see the glistening in his eyes turn to tears.


He took a deep breath and closed his eyes for a moment.  She understood that he was doing what he could to collect himself, trying his best to rein in his impending emotional upheaval.  She gave him that moment, but moved closer to him.  When he reopened his eyes, the tears had cleared…but, the sadness remained.  He offered her a grateful smile and cleared his throat again.


“Thank you…for asking.  About the loss, about helping.  I very much appreciate it.”


“It was a genuine offer, Giles.”


“I know.  You’ve never been one to offer assistance if you didn’t truly want to help.  And perhaps I’ll say yes at some point.  But, right now…we have something more important to deal with.”


“You don’t think you’re important?”  Buffy asked quietly, placing her hand on his chest.  “You are pretty much the most important thing in my life.”


“We’re in the midst of an impending apocalypse, Buffy.  I think that trumps any personal emotional distress I may be experiencing.”


“Apocalypses come and go.”


“Apparently, so do I.”  He replied, glancing down the street.




He exhaled a shaky breath and then looked into her eyes.  “Is there somewhere quiet we can talk that’s open this time of night?”


“Well, not my house…”  She smiled when he chuckled.  “Yeah, I know a place.  Follow me.”


He inhaled softly when she let her hand drop from his chest.  He wasn’t sure how she was going to react to what he needed to say, but…it needed to be said.  Once and for all.


* * *


“Has this always been here?”  Giles asked, looking up at the ceiling as he carefully placed his hand on the wall.


“Apparently so.”  She replied, smiling as he reverently traced his fingertips along the sandstone.  “They started clearing out this section of the woods last year when they were going to build that new complex – when they sent a surveying team deeper into the woods, they found this.  The Heritage Commission ran in and put a stop to the plans quick smart and kept the news of the site super quiet.”


He arched an eyebrow as he lowered his hand.  “Obviously not quiet enough?”


She leaned against the wall and shrugged.  “Well, when they did the clearing out bit…that opened up new real estate for vampires and demons and whatever oogly-boogly decided to show up.  That meant I had to show up and go through the area.  When I came across this place…I was in desperate need of a place that no one else knew about.  So…I didn’t tell anyone about it – until tonight.”


He regarded her closely and then sat down on a sandstone block that had been left off to the side.  “Are you alright, Buffy?”


“I was fucking Spike, Giles.  Pretty sure that’s a big fucking clue that I was not alright.”  She grumbled as she sat down next to him. 


“And now?”


“I haven’t been with Spike since…”  She paused uncomfortably and furrowed her brow.  “It’s been a long time since I’ve done anything with him.”


“No, I meant…are you alright now?”


“I miss you.”  She said, for the second time in less than an hour.  “I miss everything about you…and about you being here.”


“I have two major regrets – a multitude of minor ones, but two major ones.”  He took a deep breath and turned towards her.  “The first is that I stayed after you died.”


“Why did you stay?”


“Because she looked like you.”  He replied.  “And if I looked at her, then I could try to fool myself into believing you weren’t really gone.  Ludicrous, really.  But, then…I wasn’t in my right frame of mind after I buried you.”


“But, you did.  Leave, I mean.  You weren’t here when I came back.”


“I had reached the end of my tether.  And I knew if I didn’t leave, I wouldn’t survive.  So I left…and had barely gotten home when I got the call you were…here.”


“Those days without you were…fucking horrible.  I don’t even know how many times I asked about you.  I remember saying I missed you…and that I needed you.  And I remember hearing the bell, looking up, and…there you were.  Finally, you were there.  And I forgot how to breathe.”


“I’m fairly certain my heart stopped when I saw you – when I saw that it was really you and not a piece of machinery that merely had your image.  At that moment, I understood how deeply I was lost.”


“And then you left me a few months later.  You just…decided I needed to stand on my own two feet – insisted I could when I told you that I couldn’t.  And you left.”


“And that was my second major regret.”  He whispered emotionally.  “I…was wrong.  Not about insisting you could stand on your own – you were much stronger than you were giving yourself credit for.  I was wrong for leaving.  I should have stayed – I was your Watcher, you were my Slayer.  I’m sorry, Buffy.  I should have stayed.”


“Why did you leave?  I mean…was it to prove a point or – ”


“God, no.  There was no point to prove.”  He interjected.  “Simply put…I was scared.”


“Scared?  What the hell were you scared about?”


“Losing you again.”  He said, lifting a hand to her cheek.  He swallowed nervously and exhaled slowly.  “Falling…further in love with you.”


Her eyes widened – she obviously hadn’t expected him to say that.


“I was trying to protect myself.”  He continued, his thumb tenderly stroking her cheekbone. “And in the process I hurt you even more.  I was an idiot…in more ways than one.  I am sorry, Buffy.”


“Um…you, uh…”


He glanced briefly at her lips.  “I expect nothing from you, but I believed that you deserved the truth.  That I’m weak and I ran because I couldn’t bear watching you…move ahead with someone else.”


“If you had stayed, I wouldn’t have…not with Spike.  That wouldn’t have happened.”  She leaned into his touch and exhaled a deep breath.  “You make me stronger, Giles.  And…you’ve always been my Watcher, I’ll always be your Slayer.”


His eyes widened slightly as she turned her head, pressing her lips against his palm.  “Buffy?”


“Always, Giles…”  She whispered, resting her hand on his chest directly over his heart.  She licked her lips, feeling suddenly warm when his eyes darted to her mouth.  “Why do you think I was so angry with you for leaving?”


“I couldn’t possibly know…”  He murmured, sliding his gaze back to her eyes.  “What’s going on here?”


“Do you know why I didn’t tell anyone about this place?”  She rubbed her fingertips over the soft material of his shirt and felt his heartrate increase.  “Because when I came here…it was to think about you.  And not in the ‘I’m pissed off because he left’ way that you’d think.”




She shook her head slowly.  “No…”


He placed his free hand over hers on his chest, curling his fingers around her palm.  And then he lowered his mouth towards hers…giving her the opportunity to pull away if she wanted.  He was pleasantly surprised when she lifted her mouth towards his instead, meeting him halfway for a kiss that they both desperately wanted. 


In that moment, everything changed…and pieces fell into places that had lain empty for far too long – for both of them.  The kiss deepened, their arms held one another, lingering doubt merely dissipated.  As she moved to straddle his lap, he pulled from the kiss and stared into her eyes.




“Yeah, not here, Giles.  Not for the first time, anyway.”  She grinned as he smiled adorably at her.  “But, this…what we’re doing?  This is good and you need to know that I’m in love with you too.  So…know that, okay?”


He slipped his hand into her hair at the back of her head and pulled her back to his still-tingling lips.


They stayed there for ages, kissing…whispering…touching…promising.  And then when it was time for them to head back to Revello Drive, she hooked her arm around his and enjoyed the warmth of his body next to her as they walked down the street.


Their banter was lighter, playful even.  And as they turned the corner that led to her house, she looked up at him and smiled brightly…love showing clearly in her eyes.


“Wouldn’t it be funny if ten years down the road, we’re here…together, laughing, safe…”


“Funny?”  He asked, doing his best to follow her line of thought.


“Funny, like…who would’ve thought?”


“Ten years, huh?”  He asked, a small smile playing on his lips.


“It’s a nice round number…” 


He laughed and leaned down to kiss her.  She kissed him first.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


Ten Years Later…



The snow crunched under his feet, the air was bitterly cold…but, he was used to that.  She was from California – and though they’d traded in the sandstone in the woods of Sunnydale for a farmhouse in the hills of the English countryside nearly eight years earlier, she still wasn’t used to the English winter. 


And she complained very loudly about the cold, which amused him to no end. 


He grinned down at her, her arm hooked through his as they walked along the fence line.  She rolled her eyes playfully at him and then laughed as a snowball hit him directly in the chest.


The laughter of their three children was loud and beautiful as Giles brushed the snow from the front of his coat.  And then the laughter turned to shrieks of excitement as Giles bent down and scooped up a handful of snow.


He formed the snowball quickly and just as he launched it at his oldest child – a seven year old boy they’d named Flynn – Buffy tackled him and pushed him to the ground. 


Flynn and his younger siblings – Stella and Charlie – took off at a run towards the house.


Giles grinned up at Buffy, easily knocking the hastily-made snowball from her hand.  She beamed at him and leaned down to kiss him.


He kissed her first.

~ End

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