Aware

AUTHOR: Gabriele Schulz
EMAIL: gabi@gschulz.de
RATING: G
DISTRIBUTION: The New Buffy/Giles Relationshippers, A Watcher's love. Others please ask first.
SPOILERS: up to (and including!) Graduation II
FEEDBACK: *Pleeeease* let me know, if you liked it.
SUMMARY: Buffy confesses her love with a song. 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. "Head Over Feet": Lyrics by Alanis Morissette, Music by Alanis Morissette and Glenn Ballard. It belongs to them and probably other people, but certainly not me. I do not mean to infringe upon any copyrights.
NOTE: My try at a song fic. The song is "Head Over Feet" by Alanis Morissette from the album "Jagged Little Pill". (Do I even have to mention, that I loved it and that you should check it out, if you haven't already?) Also, song fics don't work well if you don't know the song. I hope you know this one and if you have it on cassette or CD why not play it while reading this fic...
DATE: 6/19/99

"He's coming."

They ran to hide in the stacks, giggling. Well, she wasn't giggling. She had no reason to giggle. While the others could see that as fun, it was serious for her. Just like the others she watched Giles as he entered the bookstore that was his new working place now that the library was gone. She wished they still had it as "their" place. Not that the antiquarian bookshop wasn't as good for their needs (there was hardly ever a customer inside, Giles sold most of the books over the phone), but it wasn't part of their history. Yet.

He sat down behind the counter going through the letters. The first two were fast dismissed, but when he took the third, he frowned.

She could hear her friends giggle next to her and she couldn't help smiling, more about them, than about Giles finding her letter. They were so excited, believing this would be the greatest gift Giles would ever receive and they were here to deliver and witness.

She really hoped it was true. After Angel left everything had changed. Trying to forget him, she had turned to someone else. Fantasizing. About being happy. With someone, anyone else. She had dreamed about Giles, thinking that it didn't matter whether she fantasized about being with Giles or Xander or some faceless stranger. But then what had started out as a deliberately chosen way to forget Angel had become what she hadn't thought possible: Love. She had fallen in love with him, like she thought she could never again after Angel.

And then demandless fantasizing hadn't been enough any longer. She thought about Giles' feelings for her, trying to believe in what she thought she had seen more and more often in his eyes: that he loved her, too. But she had been afraid.

She was still afraid. Even after Xander, Willow, Oz and Cordelia had assured her that they saw the same. They were certain Giles loved her, too, and that was the reason, why they were so happy, watching him as he opened the letter that would change everything.



Dear Giles,


you're probably wondering what on earth would bring me to write you a letter.

It's just that I don't think that I have the nerve to tell, what I have to tell you, to your face. Don't worry, it's nothing bad (I hope). I won't run away or anything like that.

I don't quite know how to start, so I'll just begin with my 18th birthday. Not about what you did to me, but what I saw that day for the first time. I guess both of us will never forget how you were fired and after that when you came to wash my wounds. Not a single word passed between us, but yet so much was "said". You offered to care for me, to watch me even if you weren't my Watcher any longer and I let you and I forgave you. But when I looked at you, there was a split second when I thought I saw something that I had never noticed in your look before: Love, and NOT a father's love, but 'real' love. I looked down (I don't know whether you noticed) but I never forgot it and sometimes I thought I saw it again.

You must be shocked by this. Either because I (and Xander and Willow and Oz and Cordelia, who all believe that you love me) am wrong or because we're all right and your secret wasn't as well hidden as you thought.

If it is the first I guess I should stop now and apologize for being so stupid. But I feel that even then I have to let you know, what is intented for you if it is the second (that you do love me).

When I wrote this letter (with the help of the others) I didn't quite know how to say what I have to say and it was Oz who suggested a song.

So if you look into the cupboard with the catalogues you'll find a CD Player.

Just press play and listen. I hope it's not too dreadful to hear (knowing that our definition of what is music differs somewhat), but it expresses what I feel in a way I could never write down or even tell you.



Buffy




He bent down and took out the CD Player. His face was rather unreadable and the five people hiding in the stacks could barely breath, the anticipation killing them.

Then he pressed play.



I had no choice but to hear you
You stated your case time and again
I thought about it

You treat me like I'm a princess
I'm not used to liking that
You ask how my day was

You've already won me over in spite of me
Don't be alarmed if I fall head over feet
Don't be surprised if I love you for all that you are
I couldn't help it
It's all your fault


Willow, Xander, Cordy and Oz saw him gasp in surprise and grinned at each other but Buffy just looked at him, not able to allow herself to believe.



Your love is thick and it swallowed me whole
You're so much braver than I gave you credit for
That's not lip service

You've already won me over in spite of me
Don't be alarmed if I fall head over feet
Don't be surprised if I love you for all that you are
I couldn't help it
It's all your fault

You are the bearer of unconditional things
You held your breath and the door for me
Thanks for your patience

You're the best listener that I've ever met
You're my best friend
Best friend with benefits
What took me so long

I've never felt this healthy before
I've never wanted something rational
I am aware now
I am aware now


She watched him as the chorus was repeated again, tried to read in his look, tried to make sure what seemed clear to the others. When the song was over the CD stopped. At first she wasn't sure whether he had noticed at all. Then he pressed play and listened to it again.

At the line "I've never felt this healthy before" she stepped out of the stacks and approached him. He didn't see her. At the second "I am aware now" she joined the singer and he looked up. They looked at each other and when the song was over she said: "I am aware now."

Then she laughed nervously.

"And frightened and nervous and a thousand other things."

He just looked at her.

"If you could just let me know, whether I made a complete fool of myself or whether I made you the happiest man on earth."

He finally could speak.

"I've always been happy around you. This is more than happiness. This isn't even a dream. It's more than everything I dreamed and wanted and wished for all my life."

He looked at her for a moment before adding.

"I love you."

He started to walk around the counter to get to her but she just jumped over it and hugged him and kissed him passionately. Her arms were around his neck and he held her as close as possible. When they came up for air, they heard the others clapping and he turned around surprised. He looked at his young friends then back to Buffy.

He had never realized how well they all knew him. And he couldn't have been happier now that he was aware of it.

He bent down to kiss Buffy again and one thought crossed his mind. Maybe not all of her music was just "meaningless sounds".

She felt him smile against her mouth and withdrew.

"What's so funny?"

"Nothing."

She looked at him expecting an answer.

"I'm just glad you're aware now."

She smiled pleased and they kissed again, putting into it all they dared in front of the others ;-)

THE END


Another note:
I already started writing, when it hit me that I couldn't set it in the library, because the whole school was blown to pieces. Damn. I already miss the library. It's my favorite setting (followed by Giles' couch :-) and I can only hope that Joss will find a good new place for them. And while we wait for that I have this bookstore. And I guess I'll use it again, if ideas keep coming in that frightening frequency...