Count on Me
By Gibberish

Title:  Count on Me
Author: Gibberish
Disclaimer: They belong to Joss, Mutant Enemy and the WB.
Rating:    PG      B/Gish   Beware, angst ahead.
Spoilers: The Yoko Factor
Summary: Confrontation of the Buffy and Giles kind.
Distribution: Solo, Jessica, Sai, Cassandra, Sal and WYWM. Anyone else,
please ask.
Feedback: Be kind

      Giles awoke with difficulty. <Oh, God, my head.> Giles thought as he moved a hand to his head. <Why ...?> <Oh, yes.> Then he heard a sound.

Crying, he'd heard crying. He sat up with difficulty and made his way to the railing. He could just make out a shape on the couch. "Who's there?"

 "Oh, go back to sleep." Buffy told him angrily from the couch. She sniffed. "Just leave me alone." She whispered.

 The previous evening came back to him. "The truth can be painful, but I don't think it's ever killed anyone." He could feel her glare.

 "There's a first for everything." Buffy told him. "Besides, I didn't hear any truth last night. Except that you were drunk. Can't tell you how much I appreciated that."

 Giles made his way down the stairs, carefully, his own glare in full force. "What the hell are you doing here?"

 Buffy stood and wiped her cheeks. "Oh wait, I know this. For some reason, I was worried about the drunk passed out upstairs. Can't remember why just now."

 "That's bloody priceless." Giles commented. "Now you remember my existence."

 Buffy looked as if she'd been slapped. "What the hell is that supposed to mean?"

 "What the hell do you think it means?" Giles asked in return. "We used to be a bloody team, but you obviously don't need me anymore. So, tell me, what are we now?"

 Buffy shook her head at him. "Well, I'm still the Slayer, but you've gone from Watcher to hypocrite."

 "Hypocrite?" Giles echoed. "I stayed for you and this is the thanks I get?"

 "Exactly what you asked for." Buffy told him. "Amazing, isn't it?"

 "I didn't ask for this." Giles stated unequivocally.

 "Didn't you?" Buffy asked. "Looked like you. Sounded like you. What was it you said? That technically, I no longer have a Watcher and that I'd have to learn to do things on my own. Run along, but I'll be here if you need me." She glared at him again. "I came to you for help."

 "I apologized for that." Giles said. "I came after you."

 Buffy raised her brows. "How long did that take? At least until you weren't busy any more." Her meaning was clear.

 "I'm entitled to have a life, Buffy." Giles said quietly.

 "And I let you have it." Buffy pointed out. "I stopped *bothering* you so much. I tried to give you what you wanted and I get accused of ignoring you. Yeah, that's fair."

 "You were never a bother." Giles told her.

 "You made me feel like one." Buffy told him. "Time to grow up, Buffy. You don't need me, Buffy." She looked at him with wide, hurt eyes. "I ought to be used to it. I get enough of it from Dad."

 "I'm not your father." Giles said angrily.

 "I think that's what fooled me into thinking I could always count on you." Buffy said, just as angrily. "I can't tell you how much last night disabused me of that notion. No, last night, you were more like Mom, but even Mom doesn't do that anymore. She just puts packing crates in my room the minute I'm gone." When she looked at him again, her eyes were dull. "So, you tell me. Screw the subtext this time and just tell me what you want. I sure as hell don't know. I gave you what I thought you wanted, but big shock, Buffy was wrong again. I can't do this anymore, Giles. I need someone I can count on and when I looked around yesterday, all I saw was me and, quite honestly, that scared the hell out of me."

 "You can count on me." Giles told her.

 Buffy bent down and picked up an empty scotch bottle from the coffee table. "I'd rather not."

 Giles winced, that hurt more than the hangover. "No more." He told her. "I promise."

 Buffy handed him the bottle as she walked passed him. She stood, facing away from him. "You haven't told me what you want."

 Giles reached out a hand, but didn't quite touch her. "No, I haven't." He dropped his hand to his side.

 Buffy reached the door and opened it. "I need you, Giles." She said before she walked through the door and closed it behind her.

 Giles smiled. "Not exactly the context I'd always hoped for." He said to himself. "But it will do." He headed for the bathroom. "God, I hope I have some aspirin."