AUTHOR: Gabriele Schulz
DISTRIBUTION: Dria14, Solo, Cap, Eskalade, Jess. Others please ask first.
SPOILERS: 'Passion'(you know...), set in season IV (also GII)
FEEDBACK: You bet!
SUMMARY: Buffy finds out something lifechanging, when she takes a glimpse into afterlife. B/G
DISCLAIMER: The characters are the property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, Sandollar Productions, Kuzui Enterprises, 20th Century Fox Television, the WB Television Network, and whoever else may have a hold on them. I do not mean to infringe upon any copyrights.
NOTE: Dria14's first challenge: "Giles saves Buffy's life and she's extremely grateful." I found it hard to come up with something PG13 or under (this basically screams NC17 doesn't it ;-) so I let it inspire me to something slightly different...
Then everything went black.
When she awoke she moved up her body before even opening her eyes. Where was she? Oh, yes, the cemetary. She got up and was surprised to feel nearly weightless. But before she could wonder why, her gaze fell upon a familiar figure standing next to a gravestone.
"Am I... dead?"
"Do you want to die?"
"Then he'll rescue you."
Jenny looked past her and when Buffy turned around she could see Giles trying to resuscitate her body.
"He can't hear you."
She turned back to Jenny.
"Where am I?"
"This is just the place between life and what comes after life. You don't have to be afraid."
"I'm not. I just... why are you here?"
"I like to watch you. Him. See how you're doing."
"You miss him."
"Yes, I do. Especially teasing him."
Buffy couldn't help but answer her smile with one of her own.
Then her smile faded.
"I'm... I'm so sorry."
"Don't be. It wasn't your fault. It wasn't anyone's fault. It just happened. It was how it was meant to be."
"You don't blame me?"
"I don't blame anyone, Buffy. This is not the place for blame. Nor for guilt nor for hate. Things are different here. There is no danger, no hurt, no confusion, just love."
"You are... happy?"
"Quite. Afterlife is simple. All the things you could never figure out become suddenly very clear. There is happiness for all of us. Even love. Here everyone has someone to love. There is no doubt, no complication, just this one person. And the someone you love loves you back."
"Even Snyder. He still is a little troll, but he has a troll lady by his side."
Jenny winked and Buffy couldn't hold back a chuckle.
"So you have someone, too?"
"He's not yet here."
Buffy's face clouded.
"I'm waiting for him, but that's all right. We have an eternity to share, so what are a few years of waiting? I can watch him whenever I want to."
Buffy turned to Giles her jaw clenched.
"It's not him."
She spun around eyes wide open.
"It's not... Giles?!"
"No, Buffy. You may find it hard to believe but he wasn't the first man I loved. There were others before him and one of them is the one I am waiting for."
Buffy didn't even notice her own sigh of relief.
"Besides he never had the chance to really love me."
Buffy turned around and watched Giles as he desperately tried to force life back into her.
"His heart belongs to another."
Buffy looked at Jenny.
"Listen to him."
"Buffy, you can't die. Not here. Not like this. God, my darling, I cannot lose you. Buffy please."
"Me? He loves me?"
"He always will."
Buffy just watched him as he again started to work on her lifeless body.
"I think you should go back now, if you don't want to stay."
"Yes, yes. Thank you, Jenny."
"You are welcome."
Buffy moved to where her body lay.
"Tell him, I like the new style. No longer a fuddy-duddy, but still very sexy."
Buffy returned Jenny's grin.
Then she lay down into her own body, closing her eyes.
When she opened them again her body felt like she had been crushed by a herd of elephants.
"Buffy? Buffy! Thank god."
She felt herself being wrapped into strong arms.
"Are you all right? Can you speak?"
She wanted to say 'yes' but felt too weak to open her mouth, so she just looked at him, trying to tell him through her eyes that everything was all right.
"We'll get you to a hospital."
He picked her gently up and carried her through the graveyard.
She enjoyed his soothing warmth. Not only that of his body, but also that of his love. Somewhere inside she knew that this should be a shock, but the simple clarity from afterlife seemed to have carried into this life, for she only felt happy. Giles loved her and he would always love her. And that wasn't surprising or shocking, just wonderful.
She smiled and closed her eyes.
"Buffy open your eyes. You mustn't lose consciousness. You must stay awake."
She opened her eyes and looked up at him. She wanted to smile, but felt she was to tired for that. She closed her eyes again and he stopped walking and got down on his knees.
"Buffy don't close your eyes. Listen to me. You have to stay awake. It's not far. Hold on, okay?"
She looked at him and somehow managed to speak.
"You love me."
"I... yes, Buffy, my dear, of course I love you. I... just keep your eyes open."
She nodded weakly. He got up and started walking again. She watched him as he looked in turns at her and in front of him, so that he wouldn't crash into one of the gravestones.
When they were out of the graveyard, Buffy remembered something Jenny had told her: 'And the someone you love loves you back.'
That meant that she loved Giles. Would always love him. Would share the afterlife with him.
She smiled up at him and he smiled back his face still full of worry.
Just as his love for her wasn't a surprise, the fact that she loved him wasn't. It was right. It was how it was meant to be. She just hadn't seen it before. But that didn't matter now.
She felt very tired again, but forced her eyes open, thinking of the moment she would tell Giles, that she loved him. Not now. She wanted to be fully awake to enjoy his reaction. But when she felt better she would tell him.
And then they could start their afterlife even before death...