Behind Blue Eyes
By Karen Jephson

Title: Behind Blue Eyes
Author: Karen Jephson
Rating: G.
Spoiler: Where The Wild Things Are
Distribution: Anya, Solo, my site if I ever update it.
Summary: The ending we should have had.
Content: B/G. Big surprise huh? <G>
Disclaimer: Joss screws with them, I just unscrew them (so to speak).
Dedication: Written for my sis GG who generously offered to share. And for
Mea. You know why love.

Buffy finished her patrol along the empty streets of Sunnydale. Riley had offered to join her but she'd declined, wanting this time alone to think about what had happened. Plus, there was a visit she'd needed to make, and she didn't want him there when she did.

Pausing outside the window, she sighed in satisfaction. She knew he'd be there, waiting for her. Turning the knob, she entered the now deserted coffee house, the click of the lock loud in the silent room. Giles looked up from his guitar strumming, the light tune not missing a beat. A look of acknowledgment passed between them before he bent his head back over his active fingers.

Moving closer, Buffy straddled a chair near to the stage. She watched his fingers, imagining their nimble movements on her skin instead of the strings. She hadn't even heard him sing, but she already knew why Willow had gone "Wow" on him again.

The two sat in companionable silence for a few minutes more, before Buffy finally shifted. "Can I hear the same song you played to the others?"

He smiled. "I didn't play it to the others. They just happened to be here."

"But you'll play it for me anyway?"

He nodded before changing the tune he was playing, humming along to the notes. Then he added the words, his real emotion coming through in each phrase. At first, Buffy just listened to his voice, wallowing in his very real talent. Eventually however, the words began to penetrate her pleasant haze, the pain he'd been feeling as real to her as if she'd experienced it herself. By the time he'd finished, her cheeks were wet with her tears.

Giles looked up, surprised at her sadness. "Oh Buffy, don't. If I'd known my singing would have that effect on you, I wouldn't have begun." The last was in half humor, hoping to break the tension.

A wobbly smile graced her lips as she wiped the wetness off her cheeks. "No, I wouldn't have missed it for the world. I just realized that I'd done that to you." At his querying gaze she continued, "Made you look behind blue eyes. It was me wasn't it?"

He hesitated, tempted to lie to her. But they'd both been doing that too much recently. "Some. Others have made an impression too, but the separation between us has hurt. I won't lie to you about that." He put his guitar to one side before kneeling before her. "We were a team Buffy. What happened to us?"

She sniffed, rubbing her cheek against his raised hand. "Me. I happened. I got so selfish and involved in my own pitiful life, I forgot about everybody else. Especially you."

His thumb traced the smooth skin below her eye. "Why?"

"I don't know!" Real agony laced her words. "I was trying to act grown up, but I turned out to be more of a spoilt brat than before. It was such a novelty, having Riley. Not having to hide our love when the sun rose. I was trying to prove to you that you were right. I am grown up and don't need a 'Watcher' to do all the dirty work. I just forgot one thing."

"That without the dirty work I don't have anything to do?"

She shook her head. "I forgot to let you know that I still need you. Not the Watcher, but the man."

A genuine smile lit up his face, one she hadn't seen in a long time. "And if you'd remembered to tell me that, this year wouldn't have been so bad."

Buffy cupped his hand with her own. "How can you ever forgive me?"

"I already have. Don't you know how much you mean to me Buffy?"

"Uh-huh," a nod accompanied the sound. "I just wasn't ready for it before."

"And Riley?"

"Is gonna take some time to get over the past couple of days." They both smiled at the thought. "And in between the sex and fighting the demons we had nothing to talk about."

His brows lifted. "That's a fair amount."

"And when we did talk, we didn't. You know? It was like we had to fill the silence with something."

"If this is going to be another sex talk Buffy, I don't think I really want to hear it."

"No," she leant closer to him in her eagerness, "but take away the sex and there wasn't much left. I so wanted him to be the 'normal relationship' after Angel that I tried to make him something he wasn't. To feel something with him that I can't."

"And what's that?"

"What you make me feel." They both held their breath as the truth was finally revealed. "Kiss me Giles?"

He moved forward. "Are you ready for this?"

"I don't know. I just know I'm tired of running away, and I think it's time for me to grow up. Don't you?" He showed his agreement by pressing his lips against hers.