Come Rain Or Come Shine
Title: Come Rain Or Come Shine
Spoilers: Set shortly after The Body
Summary: Rain, homesickness, and comfort
Distribution: Gabi if she wants it, UCSL. All others, ask and ye shall receive.
Feedback: Constructive criticism always welcome. Praise abjectly sought.
Disclaimer: It all belongs to Joss, Mutant Enemy, etc., etc., etc. I just let them have all the fun Joss won't. I own nothing except my twisted mind which you really don't want. Please don't sue. I don't own the song either. Somebody with more money than I have does.
Dedication: To Savage.
It never rained in Southern California.
Not the way it did in England.
Giles welcomed the Spring rain. It was the first proper one he'd seen since he'd left his home and come to this Godforsaken wasteland of shopping malls and freeways. Not that malls and freeways didn't exist in England. Of course they did. But just as the rain was different, so were the roads and the shops and everything else.
He'd been homesick and weary for days now.
Somehow dealing with the details of Joyce's death had made him realize just how long it had been since he'd seen his homeland.
And so it was that he sat in the courtyard of his building letting the rain wash over him in his depression. On any other day he would have long ago retreated to the warmth of his flat and settled himself before the fire with a cup of tea and a good book.
But the rain was just right.
He leaned his head back to let the rain wash over his face. It was cool and refreshing. As long as his eyes were closed, he was sitting in a park in Chelsea. He knew that he would open them to see an ancient stone church across the swath of green. A sense of peace began to flow through him. Home.
"Hey Giles! Don't you know enough to come in out of the rain?"
And the peace was gone.
"Buffy. Hello. What brings you here?"
"You do." At his blank expression, she continued. "Giles, what's wrong?"
"I haven't the faintest idea what you mean, Buffy."
"You haven't been you all week."
"Then who have I been?"
"I don't know. I never met him before. Care to introduce me?"
"You're being ridiculous."
"I'm being ridiculous? I'm not the one sitting out here in the rain. Okay, I am, but only because you are. Can we please go inside? It's freezing."
"No. I'm enjoying the rain and I'd like to sit out here. If you don't care to join me, you're free to go."
"Fine. If you're gonna be all stubborn about it."
She seated herself. Her face scrunched in discomfort as she realized just how wet the chairseat was.
Both remained silent for a time.
Buffy tried to outwait Giles, but it was a futile effort. He was infinitely patient. She was not.
"So are you ever gonna tell me?"
"Tell you what?"
"Why you're acting this way. I know why I've been wigging lately, and I know how much you've been doing to try to keep me and Dawn together, but there's more. And don't try to tell me it's all about my mom. I know you liked her and she liked you, but not that much."
"I did like your mother. I shall miss her."
"I know. But she's not what's bugging you. It isn't...you didn't find out something about Glory that you don't want to say, did you?"
"No. We know no more than we did a few days ago."
"So not Mom, and not Glory, but you're sitting in the rain looking like somebody spilled Kool Aid on your first edition of Beowolf. What gives?"
"My first edition of Beowolf?" He tried to fight it, but the smile happened anyway.
"Thought that might get you. So, spill."
"If I do will you leave me in peace?"
"On what you say."
"Then why should I say anything?"
"Because then you've got a fifty fifty chance of getting rid of me. Otherwise you're guaranteed to be stuck."
Giles sighed. He knew he'd lost. How did she keep getting past his defenses?
"If you must know, I'm homesick."
"That is where I'm from."
"I know that. I just meant...sometimes you get more lonely for people than you do for places."
"And how much would you know about that?"
"Giles, you're not the only one here who's from somewhere else. I'm from LA."
"That's hardly the same thing."
"Okay, so maybe it's not. But I missed it like crazy when I came to Sunnydale. I still do sometimes."
"No, let me finish. I miss LA, but it's more than just the place. It's the people I knew there. My friends from Hemery and stuff. And I know this is a laugh, but I even miss my dad sometimes. So when I start Jonesing for smog you can cut with a chainsaw and traffic jams, it's usually because of someone I think of in that place."
"I miss the rain."
He said it so softly she almost didn't hear it.
"I miss the rain. I miss parks in the city where the benches aren't covered in graffiti. The bookshops I used to visit even when I had no money for books. The museum. And of course the people. The last few days, I've been wondering if I'll ever see my English friends again."
"And you can't leave."
"No. I can't."
The silence descended yet again. After a moment, Buffy filled it.
"This. If it wasn't for me, you wouldn't have had to come here. You could be in England with all your friends."
"Not all of them."
"You mean Randall and the others?"
"You remember their names?"
"Well, yeah. You don't talk much about your past, so when you do I sorta tend to remember. Is that who you meant?"
"Actually, no. I meant you. And Willow and Xander. Tara. Even Anya, oddly enough."
"Hey, it makes me feel less strange for missing Cordy sometimes. So you would really miss us all if you went away?"
"I'm not going away. I miss England, and I miss the people I knew there, but I live here now. My place is with you."
"Good. Well, not good good, because I want you to be happy, but I guess I'm just selfish enough to want you with me anyway."
The two shared a rueful smile.
"Come on then, let's get you in out of the rain."
"Not a chance, Giles. Not until you're smiling."
"Not ten minutes ago you were begging me to go inside and now you won't let me in my own door?"
"Now that I'm soaked, it doesn't matter if I get more soaked. Now I remember why I liked it."
"Playing in the rain when I was a kid. Mom...she made the mistake of letting me watch Singing In The Rain when I was five. For years, every time it rained I wanted to go out and dance in the rain. It looked like so much fun when Gene Kelly did it. And it was."
"You want to dance in the rain?"
"If it'll make you smile for real, I'd do almost anything."
Giles suddenly looked at his feet and stuffed his hands in his pockets.
"Sorry. I didn't mean to embarrass you. It's true, though. I like to make you happy."
Buffy went to Giles and placed a hand on his arm.
"Shall we dance?"
He raised his eyes from the ground and saw her expectant look. He found he couldn't look away from her.
"We...we haven't any music."
"So we make our own. Will says you're a good singer. Sing for me, Giles. Something we can dance to."
A small smile curled his lips.
"It will have to be something slow, then. I'm not certain I'm up to anything too energetic."
"Slow it is, then."
He took her in his arms nervously. They'd never danced together before. It was new and slightly alarming territory. Somehow, though, when he looked down at her warm smile and wet hair, it felt good. He began to sing his heart to her.
I'm gonna love you like nobody's loved you,
Come rain or come shine.
High as a mountain and deep as a river,
Come rain or come shine.
I guess when you met me
It was just one of those things,
But don't ever bet me,
Cause I'm gonna be true if you let me.
You're gonna love me like nobody's loved me,
Come rain or come shine.
Happy together, unhappy together
And won't it be fine.
Days may be cloudy or sunny,
We're in or we're out of the money,
But I'm with you always,
I'm with you rain or shine.
Even when the song was over, the two continued to sway to a rhythm nobody else could hear. A feeling of peace blanketed Giles again.
He was home.