All Of Her
TITLE: All Of Her
DISTRIBUTION: Ask me first.
SPOILERS: seasons 5 & 6 of Buffy, and ANGEL
FEEDBACK: Sure. But I might not agree with you.
SUMMARY: In the midst of Xander and Anya's Wedding, Giles returns, and tells Buffy why he really left her.
DISCLAIMER: The characters are property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, Sandollar productions, Kuzui Enterpises, 20th Century Fox, UPN network, and anyone else I don't know about.
"Xander, you coming or what?" cried Anya from the bottom of Buffy's staircase. Buffy placed her hands over her ears. "Loud much?" she asked annoyed, at Anya's side.
"Well excuse me. Whose wedding is just one day away?" asked Anya equally annoyed at Buffy's tone. There was no need for her to be rude.
Xander finally came down the stairs, dressed in a bright flanel shirt and tanned slacks. "Hey, is that my two favorite ladies fighting over me?" he teased lightly. Xander kissed Anya, and then turned to Buffy. "Why so glum chum?"
"He still isn't here." said Buffy quietly, while crossing her arms over her chest. Her frown was from yet another no show from Giles. He had missed Buffy's 21st birthday a few weeks ago, and then missed Xander and Anya's engagement party. Now the wedding itself was one day away, and Xander again counted Giles to be a no-show. He couldn't help but feel Buffy's disappointment.
"He could still show," Xander whispered to her "Giles won't let us down."
Buffy got a far away look to her face, recalling how much her former Watcher had let her down in just the last year alone. He hadn't been honest with her on how to kill Glory, which placed her sister Dawn in mortal danger.
Upon her own death he left Sunnydale to return to London, leaving Dawn to the custody of her friends, Willow and Tara. It wasn't that Buffy didn't trust Willow and Tara with her sister. Far from it. It was the fact that Tara and Willow were still so young, and in college, Buffy feared that Dawn would have been neglected. Not intentionally of course, but it would have had to happen a lot with Willow and Tara's busy lifes.
Then when she was brought back from the dead, Giles had returned. Buffy had thought it was to stay, but she had been wrong, and it had thrown her. He had decided to leave her. Buffy had never felt more abandoned that day.
"He let me down," Buffy said softly, "More times than I can count."
Xander stayed quiet after hearing the hurt in her voice. It was the tone that was always there these days. Anya did the same.
The phone rang in the hall.
"Buffy, phone!" called Willow from up the stairs, having caught the extension.
"Okay," Buffy called back, going to the phone. Buffy waved goodbye to Anya and Xander, as the couple left out the front door for a last day of shopping.
"Hello." Buffy asked.
The voice was silent on the other end.
"Is this some weird joke?" Buffy asked after a minute, getting annoyed.
"Uh, no." The voice said. "It's me, Buffy."
It was Angel.
For a minute she couldn't find her voice. A deep wave of guilt washed over her. She hadn't spoken with Angel since before her 'relationship' with Spike started. Since before Giles left...It was so good to hear his soft, warm voice. She missed him. She always would.
"Oh Angel.." She sobbed into the phone.
"Buffy, whats wrong?"
She choked back her sobs to speak, "I just...miss you."
"I've missed you," Angel said into the phone, making her smile.
"Why did you call?" Buffy asked. "Are you okay?"
"I want to see you."
Now that shocked her. It also made her think of what Spike will say if she told him she was going to L.A. to see her former lover. He would insist she don't go, or that he would come along. Either way it wouldn't work. A lot of things with Spike weren't working actually. They had broken up recently, but he was still always there. She was finding it hard to let go of him to.
"I don't know Angel..." Her voice trailed off, not wanting to say no outright.
"Is it Riley?"
Buffy's eyebrows shot up at that, "No." she said. "We're not together anymore."
"Oh." Angel said. "Could I come there then?"
"Uh...Sure. Why not."
"See you tonight." Then line then went dead before she could protest farther.
With a deep sigh she hung up the phone. Buffy heard Willow exit out the back door. She hadn't even seen her go by her in the hall. Dawn was at school, so that meant she was alone in the house again. She could call Spike for company, but for once she let the urge to see the vamp pass. Spike was still...Well Spike, but he deserved better than the Slayer using him as a sex toy whenever she felt lonely.
Buffy was about to head into the kitchen when the doorbell rang. Buffy turned and went back into the hall. She opened the door to find the sunlight bright in her face. "Hello?" she said into the bright rays.
Buffy opened her blue eyes to see her ex-watcher standing before her.
A long silence passed between them as they sat in the living room together. Buffy on the Sofa, and Giles in the big white plush chair.
"You made it..." she noted.
Giles relaxed a little, at her speaking first.
"I did." He smiled. "I couldn't miss this."
"Xander will be happy you're here." Buffy said. "So will Willow, Tara and Dawn."
"What about you Buffy?" Giles dared to ask, almost fearing the reply. He had hurt her deeply at the neglect he placed in their friendship, and also in their relationship as a Watcher and Slayer.
"Huh?" Buffy said, unsure of what to say.
"Are you pleased that I'm here?" He insisted.
"I'm suprised you're here," she said. "I don't know what to say other than that," finished Buffy honestly.
"You didn't think I'd come."
Buffy looked to her feet.
"You didn't come on my birthday, so it was easy to think you'd miss the wedding too," Buffy replied softly, hoping not to hurt him, and not caring if she did all at once.
"I'm sorry Buffy, but it was for the greater good."
Buffy caught his gaze at that remark. "How can you say that?" she demanded furiously, "I thought you cared about me."
"I do, Buffy, but..."
"NO," she shouted. "No buts..." she declared. "I'm tired of thinking up reasons why you left me Giles. I--I thought you gave a damn about me. That made you different from the rest."
Giles looked away from her, knowing what she meant. Every man she had ever loved in her life had left her now. Every man she had trusted. First her father, then Angel, then Riley, and finally himself. He had betrayed her on a deep and personal level.
Even more so than the others in a way. It would be most difficult to gain back the bond they lost between them. But he was willing to try. No matter the cost to himself.
In London he had learned one thing. No matter how far across the world he would run to, he would always still love her. He thought it would die by leaving her. That it was just a silly school-boy crush that would vanish with time and distance. But it wasn't. He, Rupert Giles, was in love.
But she could never know the truth. It would change everything for her, and for him. And likely not for the greater good. What 21 year old woman as lovely as his slayer, would ever love a run down, 40 plus, old man? He would be a fool to think that it could ever be possible. Buffy loved him. He knew that. But it wasn't a love a man and a woman would share. It was a rare gift that he would treasure until they day he died.
"I'm not your father Buffy." He said, a little suprised himself.
"I know that..." she said quietly, unsure of where he was going with this.
"Good." Giles smiled. "But--I am and forever will be someone who does give a damn about you..." He said, letting the words flow. "I love you."
Her blue eyes narrowed, unsure of what to think of his last few words. They had been so intense...So unlike Giles. He loved her? Surely he wasn't saying what it had sounded like.
"You love me?" she choked out.
Giles' green eyes went wide, at realizing what he had all just said. The first time she sees him in months, and he declares he loves her. What a way to drive her away from him forever.
"I'm sorry." He whispered, knowing it was too late to take it back. "I had no right to say those things..." Giles rose quickly to his feet, and she stood too, afraid he would leave her again.
"Don't go." She whispered.
"I'm sorry." He said once more, before he was out the door. She no longer had the will to go after him. She hadn't the will to do much of anything anymore. Buffy wanted to tell Giles that. But Giles wasn't here. He was gone.
Giles looked up from his place on the bench in Sunnydale park to see Willow standing before him.
"Oh, Willow." He smiled, afraid that it was Buffy standing there. After what he had said to her, he didn't know if he could ever face her again. Giles relaxed a bit when the witch hugged him.
"When did you get here?" Willow asked, sitting beside him, "And where's Buffy?"
"At home I think," he said. "I got here this morning."
"Why aren't you with her?" Willow asked, "She'll be so excited to see you."
"I don't very well think so Willow," Giles said, "Not after what I said to her.."
"Willow...I told Buffy why I left Sunnydale."
"Well, she died.." Willow said.
"No Willow...." Giles said, "Why I left after..." He trailed off, not having to go on.
"Oh," Willow said, recalling the conversations she had with Giles before they faced Dracula last year, and the last before he last left Sunnydale for London. He was in love with Buffy, and felt he could never tell her, nor had the right to. "You actually told her?"
"Yes," Giles admitted. "Me and my bloody big mouth."
"Well...What did she say?"
"She had no words."
"Oh," Willow said softly.
"I can never face her now..." Giles declared sadly.
"Because she doesn't feel the same way, for one thing," Giles snapped. "And I horrified her."
"Did she say she didn't love you?"
"She didn't have to," Giles said. "I saw it for myself."
"You have no right to judge her like that."
"Excuse me?" Giles asked, shocked Willow would ever say such a thing.
"She's been throught a lot the last year you know," Willow said, defending her friend. "And hearing you love her like that, well, it might have sent her over the deep end or something....She did die recently remember? And that whole thingy with Spike...and she doesn't even know yet that Angel's a Dad...And you suddenly blow back into her life and say.. "OH BUFFY, I LOVE YOU." What do you think that would do to a girl?" Willow said finishing her rant.
"Angel's a DAD?" Giles asked, dumbstruck. "And what Spike THINGY?"
"The THINGY is dead in the water, so don't worry," Willlow reasured him with a grin.
Giles took afew minutes to collect his thoughts, and said the one and only word that came to mind right now.
It was early the next morning, still dark, when Giles knocked on Buffy's front door. He knew he could wake up Dawn too, but this couldn't wait. He needed to see Buffy before the others arrived, and settle things between them. He had no idea of how lost she had been these last few months without him.
Dispite what he had told her, he had to let her know she could still count on him as a friend, and perhaps as her Watcher again, should she want that back in their relationship. If they had a relationship that is...
Buffy answered, rubbing her eyes tiredly.
"I'm sorry to have awakened you Buffy," he began.
He stoped speaking when Angel opened the door farther, leaving both him and Buffy to stare at him curiously.
"Giles, what gives?" Buffy demanded. "It's 3 a.m."
Giles looked to Angel, then back at her, "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have come.." He moved to leave, and Angel caught his arm.
"Stay," Angel told the ex-Watcher. "I was just leaving." Before they knew it the Vampire was gone.
"We had some talking to do," Buffy managed weakly.
"I think we do too."
Buffy steped out onto the porch with him, despite the cold air.
"Talk away watcher man."
"I don't think I've been that very much to you either," Giles said.
"The jobs open if you want it." Buffy grinned, making him relax more.
Giles smiled, "I don't want it."
Buffy's face fell, "Oh."
"Not yet anyway," Giles told her. "Not until you hear me out."
"I'm a listening," she replied cheerfully again.
"I said I loved you before, and I meant it Buffy," he confessed. "I have loved you for sometime," he said. "That is also why I left."
"You loved me so you left me?"
"Yes," Giles insisted, hoping she could see it his way.
"Why did you leave though?" she asked, hurt. "Why didn't you tell me the real reasons why?"
"I couldn't Buffy."
"You wouldn't, you mean." She glared darkly.
"What would you have said to me, if I had?" he challenged. "That I was losing my mind? Ewww?"
"I wouldn't have said that..." replied Buffy. "I would have said something, but not that," she said. "I couldn't hurt you like that."
"Well, it's too late to go back now Buffy," Giles said, looking at the moon in the sky. "It wasn't meant to be anyway."
Giles looked back to her, suprised at the sound in her voice. Why would him saying that upset her so much. "Buffy, I..."
"No, tell me why!"
"Because I was assigned as your watcher," he said softly. "Taking any other steps than we already have would be taking advantage of that."
"You heard me," Buffy hissed. "You're just a coward; that's the reason why."
"I'm NO coward," Giles said a bit dangerously.
"Then why are you letting it go?"
"Let what go?" Giles demanded.
"This." Buffy then pulled him into a passionate kiss, knocking the wind out of both of them in the process.
Giles pulled back from her, "Why did you do that?" He asked, hoping it hadn't been out of pity.
"Because...If you haven't noticed, I love you back."
"No, you don't Buffy," Giles said, gazing down at her beautiful face
"I do love you Giles," she said softly, embracing him. "Believe it or not, but I do," she said. "I just never knew it until you left."
Giles touched her face, "Are you certain of this Buffy?"
"Yes. God yes." She kissed him again, loving the feel of him. It was so good to have him back.
"Then your word is all I need." He sealed their declared love with a kiss that drove a fire into her very soul.
"Wanna be my date at the wedding?" Buffy asked, as they walked together back to his car.
"Won't we steal attention from the bride and groom?"
"Anya's getting married to Xander, Giles. If you've ever seen her with him, you KNOW that's Impossible." Buffy laughed.
"Then we have our first date," he said.
It was an outdoor wedding in Buffy's back yard. Xander and Anya both looked beautiful and in love as ever as they said their vows in the bright sunlight of Sunnydale.
"Buffy?" Giles whispered in her ear.
"Out of curiousity, what exactly was the THINGY you had with Spike?"
Buffy's blue eyes went wide, then she glared at Willow, who gave her a sorry look if there ever was one.
Buffy turned back to Giles as she felt his steady gaze on her.
"That's another long story." She said.
~~ The End