Anywhere But Here
By Miss Witch
Title: Anywhere But Here
Author: Miss Witch
Rating: PG (barely)
Summary: Buffy misses Giles, so she goes to see him. Olivia doesn't like it. (beware anyone who likes Olivia. I am not very nice to her.)
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Not even my car. BtVS belongs to Joss (all hail), Mutant Enemy (grrr argh), Fox, UPN, WB…. whoever. Basically, it belongs to someone who is not me, no matter how much I whine and beg.
Spoilers: Season 4. Nothing in particular. In this story, Oz stayed.
Distribution: Ask and ye shall probably receive.
Feedback: Pretty please. But be nice, I have a fragile ego.
Notes: <> means thoughts.
"Um, ok. Mel Gibson. Scotland. I'm walking through one of those huge castles, sightseeing and he comes up and offers me a private guided tour." Willow closed her eyes at the image. Buffy smiled.
"Nice, Will. Ok. David Boreanez. Ireland. We're at a crowded pub, and the only available seat is at the bar next to me." Willow arched an eyebrow.
"David Boreanez?" she asked. Buffy nodded.
"He kind of reminds me of Angel." she said. Willow thought hard.
"Seth Green. He reminds me of Oz." she said. "I run into him on the street and he offers to take me as his date to the premiere of the latest Austin Powers movie." Willow giggled and put a pinky to her mouth. "One million dollars." she mimicked. Buffy laughed and thought hard.
"Giles. We're in England and he's showing me all the places he grew up in and telling me stories about his youth." she said. Willow stared at her.
"Giles?" she sputtered. Willow was stunned. Buffy placed Giles in their 'Anywhere but Here' game? Buffy blushed and nodded.
"I just think it would be kind of cool to have Giles show me around England." she defended. Willow held up a hand.
"Ok, I'm still stuck on the whole 'Giles' thing." she told Buffy. Buffy shrugged.
"I like being around Giles. He's fun in that stuffy way of his." Willow shifted on her bed, leaning forward.
"Really? Does he know that? 'Cause it's not like you two see each other much anymore." she pointed out. Buffy's shoulder's slumped.
"I know. He's got Olivia there are all, and I don't want to bother him. He deserves to have some happiness."
"That doesn't mean you can't see him. Just knock and wait for him to open the door instead of breezing in." Willow suggested.
"I guess." Buffy flopped back on her bed, and stared up at the dorm room ceiling. "I hate going over there now. She always gets to the phone or door before him. She's not fun to deal with." Willow shuddered.
"You know you don't have to tell me twice." she agreed. "You know how I feel about that… that…" Willow searched for a term that would describe her feelings. "frog-lover!!" Buffy smirked. Willow continued. "I have to go to class. You coming to the Bronze tonight?" she asked gathering her things.
"Probably." Buffy replied, never taking her eyes from the ceiling. Buffy lay there a long time after Willow left. Buffy desperately missed Giles. She missed going over to his apartment and sitting on the couch, watching him putter around. But he was so busy with Olivia, he barely had time for demon fighting, let alone just hanging out.
Besides, Olivia didn't like Buffy. Granted, the feeling was mutual, but Buffy tried. She was civil, friendly even, whenever they were together. The same couldn't be said for Olivia. Oh, she was civil, but that was it. There was an underlying hostility that Buffy just didn't understand.
Olivia knew she was the Slayer. Giles said he'd explained everything to her. So, she understood why Buffy came over, but she still acted like Buffy had no right to be there. She made Buffy feel like a trespasser in a place that had been her second home for 3 years.
The rest of the Scooby gang wouldn't go over any more. If Olivia was barely hostile to Buffy because she was the Slayer, she certainly didn't afford the others the same respect. Olivia had at various points in time and, of course, out of Giles' hearing, told Xander his jokes were stupid, Oz that he couldn't play guitar, and Anya that she was a self absorbed, childish brat. Anya had retorted that it took one to know one. But, Willow was the main reason none of the gang would deal with Olivia anymore. She'd called Willow a computer nerd, said that Willow was just the Plain Jane type of girl that the Watchers looked for.
Since she felt that her presence would cause problems, Buffy had taken to staying away as much as possible. And it wasn't like she had the library to hang out in anymore, so she never saw him. Buffy didn't like it, but she didn't feel there was much she could do about it.
"Rupert, did you remember to go grocery shopping?" Olivia called up the stairs. <Damn it!> Giles thought <I knew I forgot something.>
"No, I'll get it done today." he called back as he pulled a sweater over his head. Giles looked in the mirror and ran his hands through his hair. He'd been awake last night, researching the current demon Buffy had to fight. With Olivia waiting for him in bed, he hadn't managed much sleep.
Giles was tired. Olivia was wearing him out. Not physically. That wasn't a problem. But emotionally. She had come into town for a short visit. Her short visit had been dragging out, and Giles found himself wondering if she'd ever leave. He loved Olivia. They went way back, but he wasn't in love with her and her constant presence was wearing him down. Besides, the gang had taken to avoiding the apartment since she arrived. She made them uncomfortable.
Giles was well aware of Olivia's hostility toward the children. He'd even witnessed her being mean to Willow when she thought he wasn't around. They'd had a heated argument about it, after which she'd apologized and promised it would never happen again. She hadn't had the chance. One by one, they'd stopped coming. Only Buffy came occasionally, when she needed help.
Giles missed Buffy the most. And not for the obvious reasons. He missed her coming over and sitting on his couch, mocking him as he moved around the apartment. He missed training with her. He missed her laugh, the scent of her hair, the way she moved. Hell, he just missed Buffy. But he supposed that he let Olivia stay because he knew Buffy wouldn't be coming around anyway. Olivia filled a gap in his life. A gap she could never completely fill because she wasn't Buffy.
A knock on the door interrupted his thoughts. He heard Olivia answer it and a soft voice ask for him. There was a short conversation and then the door closed again. Giles trundled down the steps to see who was here, but the apartment was empty.
"Who was that?" he asked. Olivia shrugged.
"Just a salesperson. I sent them on their way." she told him, returning to the kitchen. Giles watched her with narrowed eyes. He could've sworn the voice had been Buffy's.
"I'm going to go to the grocer's now. Did you want anything?" he asked.
"Just something to eat that's not green with fuzz." she replied, returning to the living room. She leaned up and placed smoldering kiss on his lips. "And maybe some more condoms. I think we're out." Giles set her away and nodded.
"I'll be back."
Giles strode purposefully through the campus towards Buffy's dorm. He made his way through the busy hallways and was about to knock on the door when he heard jagged weeping inside. Willow's soft voice floated through the thin wood.
"I'm sure he didn't say that. How could he say that? Giles would never say that. And if he did, he'd tell you to your face." The weeping grew harder, and Giles knew that Willow's attempt at consolation had failed miserably.
"He's going back to England. She said he had no purpose here anymore and when she left next week, he was going with her. And that he didn't want to see me." Buffy sobbed
"Did you talk to him?" Willow asked. Buffy must of shook her head, because she continued. "Well, how do you know for sure if you didn't talk to him?"
"Why would she say that if it wasn't true?" Buffy wailed. Giles had heard enough. Quietly, he opened the door, to find his Slayer with her head in Willow's lap, crying her heart out.
"I'm not going anywhere." he said quietly. Both girls' heads snapped up to look at him. Buffy's eyes were red and tears were running down her face. Buffy jumped up and threw herself into his arms.
"Please don't leave me." she wailed. "I don't want you to go." Willow's jaw dropped open in shock. Giles motioned with his head for her to go. She nodded her understanding and squeezed his arm as she walked past.
"Buffy, I swear, I'm not going to England." he murmured.
"But, Olivia said…." Buffy began. Giles cut her off. "I don't care what Olivia said, I'm not going anywhere." He kissed the top of her head. "I promised. Besides," he said, holding her away so he could see her face. "If I go to England, it'll be to take you on a tour."
"Really?" she asked tearfully. Giles nodded.
"Giles, I hate Olivia. The gang hates Olivia. She's mean, and she made Willow cry." Buffy stated. She walked away from him and stared at the floor. "Besides, I want to break her face every time I see her prancing around in one of your shirts." Buffy braced herself for the reprisals of her statement. Giles sat on the bed.
"Buffy, I'm so sorry. I realized that Olivia wasn't exactly nice to you lot, but I had no idea. I'm sorry." He rubbed his hands over his face. "Why didn't you tell me?" Buffy sat on the bed next to him.
"How? You were always with her. She never left you alone. Even when we trained, she was there. She always answered the door and phone. I'm willing to bet that you never got a single message I left you." Buffy said, laying her head on his shoulder. Giles put his arm around her and held her close.
"I'm so sorry." he whispered. Buffy shrugged.
"It's ok. Lord knows that my stupid mistakes are still outweighing yours." She smiled weakly.
"Oh, I'd say we were about even now." Giles assured her. Gently, he kissed the top of Buffy's head. He cursed himself as he felt her stiffen at the gesture.
"Buffy, I want you to tell me everything that Olivia has said and done without my knowledge." Buffy stared at him. Standing, she walked to the desk and pulled over the chair to face him. This was something that needed to be done eye to eye.
Giles listened as Buffy ran through the list of Olivia's cruelties along with the gangs' reactions. His expression grew grimmer and grimmer as Buffy finished with the gang and was now cataloging Olivia's crimes against herself. Finally, Buffy wrapped everything up with the incident that morning, where Olivia had said that Giles didn't want to see her any more.
Giles sat silently, eyes narrowed, his face hard. Buffy had only had that look directed at her once, when he'd found out that Angel had returned from Hell and she hadn't told him. She was so glad that that look wasn't for her now.
"Buffy, could you ask everyone to come to the apartment this evening?" he asked her, finally breaking the silence.
"Is Olivia going to be there? 'Cause they won't if she is." Giles pinched the bridge of his nose.
"Olivia won't be there. I promise." Buffy nodded.
"I'll ask them." she promised. Giles walked toward the door. He paused with his hand on the doorknob.
"Tell them I'm sorry." he said, never looking at her. He pulled open the door and was gone before Buffy could reply.
Olivia hummed as she breezed into the apartment, her arms full of bags. She thought Rupert would enjoy the lingerie she'd purchased.
"You're in a good mood." Olivia jumped at the sound of Giles cold voice. He was sitting in a chair, waiting for her.
"Ripper, you startled me." she exclaimed, hand to her throat. Giles ignored her comment.
"That's an awful lot of packages for someone who's going back to England in a week." he commented. "And imagine my surprise when I learned that I was going with you." Olivia stared at him, speechless.
"I just thought that since you really have no reason to stay, you'd come back with me." she stuttered. Giles stood.
"Well, it seems that my reason to stay, my many reasons to stay" he corrected, "have all been told that they're not welcome here." Olivia took a step toward him.
"Rupert, they're children. They have their own lives, it was time you had your own life." If possible, Giles' face became even colder.
"If they are children, they are my children. They are my life. If I didn't want them here, I would've told them myself. You made Willow cry with your callousness. Willow, who is the sweetest person you will ever meet. I found Buffy sobbing in her room because she thought I was leaving her. Buffy never cries for herself. She cries for her friends and those she couldn't save, but never for herself."
"You're in love with her." Olivia spat. "You don't think I notice that you almost call out her name during sex."
"Which would be why you were so desperate to drive her away. You didn't want any competition." Suddenly exhausted, Giles rubbed the bridge of his nose. "Pack your things, Olivia. You are no longer welcome here. Be gone by the time I get back."
With that, Giles strode from the apartment, slamming the door behind him.
Buffy knocked quietly on the door, the gang hanging back behind her. No one was sure what to expect, and Buffy certainly hoped that Giles kept his word and that Olivia was gone. Buffy had spent the afternoon repeating her conversation with Giles, including his apology.
Reluctantly, everyone had agreed to the meeting, but there had definitely been an expression on Oz's face when he'd said that if Olivia was there, he wouldn't be held responsible for his actions.
Giles opened the door and gestured for them to come in.
"Is it safe?" Buffy asked, peeking around the doorway. Giles smiled.
"It's safe." The group came through the door, looking around as if Olivia was hiding in the closet, ready to jump out at any second.
"Olivia left this afternoon." Giles assured them as they took their regular seats on the couch. Giles sat in the chair.
"I asked you to come over because I wanted to apologize in person for how she treated you." Giles looked at them, his eyes imploring them to understand. "I didn't know. I didn't allow myself to see." Giles rubbed his hand over his face. "I was a very stupid man, and I'm sorry."
"Oh, Giles." Willow threw herself into his arms. Instinctively, Giles arms closed around Willow. "It's ok. We understand. Don't we, guys?" Willow's entreaty was met with enthusiastic nods, or simply a nod in Oz's case. There had been much discussion before this meeting, and the decision to forgive Giles had been reached before they got there.
"It's cool, G-man." Xander offered. "We understand that a beautiful woman put you under her womanly spell and you were helpless to do anything intelligent." Giles glared.
"Don't call me that. And I don't know what you mean by a spell."
"Oh please!" Anya said. "You were so busy having orgasms with her, we could've danced naked in the room and you wouldn't have noticed." Unbidden, that image immediately zipped into everyone's mind. Giles gulped when he imagined Buffy dancing naked.
"Bad, bad thoughts." Xander said shaking his head. Giles cleared his throat.
"Yes, well… could I get anyone something to drink?" he asked. Willow, still on his lap, patted his cheek.
"No thanks. We're off to the Bronze. Oz has a gig." Willow turned to Buffy. "My boyfriend's in the band." Oz actually smiled.
"She never gets tired of saying that." he said. The group stood and headed to the door. They all left, with promises to stop by the next day. Giles closed the door and turned back to the living area.
Buffy sat on a chair, legs curled up beneath her.
"That certainly went well." she said. Giles nodded, sitting on the edge of the couch closest to her. Buffy grinned.
"We're all very relieved you made Olivia leave."
"Yes." Giles reached out and caressed Buffy's cheek. "I'm so sorry for the things she said to you." Buffy shrugged.
"It's cool. Besides, it was the shirt thing that drove me nuts. Every time I was here, she greeted me in one of your shirts. She looked so stupid." Buffy muttered, staring at the floor. Giles looked at her hard for a moment, but she didn't look up.
"Did you think you'd look better in them?" he asked teasingly. Shocked, Buffy looked up.
"Yes, actually, I do." she retorted when she found her voice. Giles interlaced his fingers with hers.
"Olivia and I were… well, sleeping together is the best description of our relationship." he told her. "I'm not a monk, Buffy. But I don't love her. I never have. The only reason I let her stay was because I'm desperately in love with someone who will never love me back." Buffy gazed at his emerald green eyes. Inside, her stomach was doing flip-flops and her mind was racing with a million questions at once.
<Was he talking about her? Was he in love with her? Was she in love with him? Was that why she wanted to be with him all the time? Why she hated seeing Olivia in his shirts?>
"How do you know she doesn't love you? Has she told that she doesn't?" Buffy whispered. She rubbed her thumb along his hand.
"She doesn't see me romantically." Giles turned his gaze to the floor. "She thinks I'm very, very old and that it's gross."
Buffy was sure her heart had stopped while he was talking, because it was suddenly pounding against her chest. <Giles was in love with her!!!> The realization brought warmth surging through her. She leaned closer and covered his lips with her own. It was a soft, gentle kiss which didn't last nearly long enough. But it was enough for her to know that, yes, she was in love with him. <Well, this explains a lot.>
Giles pulled away, brushing his lips over her still closed eyes.
"I take back the very, very old part. But it was gross." she whispered. "It was gross because it was Olivia and not me." Giles didn't speak. He simply captured Buffy's lips again, a deeper kiss, his tongue dueling with hers.
Finally, Buffy drew away, taking a deep breath. Giles opened his eyes, holding hers with his gaze. They were both silent. Taking a deep breath, Giles broke the silence.
"What are you thinking?" he asked softly. Buffy smiled, a beautiful wide smile.
"That I didn't want to be anywhere but here."