By Renee

PLOT - My version of 'When She Was Bad.'
AUTHOR - Renee
TITLE - Haunted
DISCLAIMER - Joss etc own Buffy, Cibo Matto own the song they dance to.
SPOILERS - Set during 'When she was bad'.

The masters face. Every time she closed her eyes there it was taunting her. All she could feel was his cold hands on her arms and his fangs in her neck. She felt the life drain from her and the water filling her lungs. She'd thought LA would help, a change of scenery and all that. However the nightmares still came, it seemed they didn't care where she was. The others had buried his bones and the memory of him with them. She however was stuck with it every second of every day. Being back in Sunnydale, seeing his grave had only made it worse.

She was sick and tired of playing nice, of pretending everything was all right. It wasn't all right dammit, she'd died and at the hands of a hideous vampire at that. They couldn't understand, no one could. She walked into the bronze in a killer dress, she wanted to forget tonight. It didn't matter what she had to do or who she had to do it with, she would distract herself for a while tonight. Angel approached her as she entered, he always wanted something from her. He had waited for her return all summer hoping to pick up where they had left off, well no dice, she wasn't a puppy yapping at his heels for attention anymore. She loved a better man now, someone that Angel could never hope to compete with.

She brushed past him and headed toward Willow and Xander sitting at a table. The haunting strains of a song began, it stirred her soul and she asked Xander for a dance. The music took control, it was sensual and her body began to gyrate to the beat. She used Xander to work out her frustrations, allowing herself to forget everything. The only thing that was real right now was the music and the body she was rubbing against, didn't matter who it belonged to. There was no thought only movement, no right or wrong only need. But the feeling passed by all too quickly, she was bored with this boy now, she needed a man. She needed an equal partner, someone who was frustrated and could give as good as she.

She whispered in Xander's ear, "have I ever thanked you for saving my life?"
He replied in the negative as she danced behind him, she leant towards his ear once more.
"Don't you wish I would?" All sense of her left, she sauntered away, he was already forgotten. She grabbed her bag and without a word to Willow headed toward the exit, it was time to look for more exciting distractions. She was a step away when a hand on her arm whirled her around.

"What the hell...?" Who had the balls to make such a move on her? She smiled saucily when she saw it was her watcher, looking decidedly less tweedy this evening. Well she wasn't in the mood for pleasantries.
"Go away Giles, go back to your books or something." He grabbed her wrists and held them firmly, it would have been painful if she weren't the slayer.
"You want to play Buffy? Why don't you try playing with someone a little more in your league?" Her eyes glinted, this was just what she was looking for. She loved Giles and had fantasised many a night about him not just watching her.
She licked her lips, "What do you have in mind?"

He pulled her onto the dance floor with him and held her roughly against himself. She smiled very much aware of his arousal. The same song continued to play so she resumed her slow gyrations. He turned her away from himself and pressed against her back, his hands wound around her waist and held her tightly in place. Their bodies melded and they began to move as one to the beat. He was starting to affect her, instead of the master's face she saw Giles', instead of his cold dead hands she felt only the intense heat of her watcher. She laid her head back against his chest as he overwhelmed her senses. He smiled aware he was getting through to her.

Angel watched the couple on the dance floor, sighed and turned away. She had never been that way with him, it wasn't the dancing, even with Xander she'd been different than she was right now. It was the complete and utter trust she showed her watcher, the perfect union of the two, they just fit. If Angel and Buffy were oil and water then Giles and Buffy were a lock and a key and only one key fit that particular lock. He walked out of the bronze and out of Buffy's life, he didn't know exactly the moment he'd lost her but he knew she was gone.

Willow and Xander watched the couple dancing, it was like no one else existed but them. Willow sighed she'd had a crush on Giles since the moment she'd met him, it was yet another man's heart that Buffy had won. She couldn't begrudge them though, Slayer and Watcher were destined, they fought side by side why shouldn't they love that way? Willow allowed her feelings of jealousy to wash away and she admitted that she was truly happy for them. Xander would take a little more convincing though he had to admit he much preferred the idea of boyfriend Giles than boyfriend Angel, he trusted the former.

Buffy's heart sped up and she panicked, when had she lost control of the situation? This had been a game had it not? It was no longer a game to her, now it was very real. She was in Giles' thrall and there seemed to be no way to break free. 'Do I really want to? This is Giles holding me, sexy, smart, tried-to-give-his-life-for-mine Giles.' She decided control didn't matter anymore, this was where she wanted to be. Thoughts of the master had left her the moment he touched her skin. All thoughts bar ones of him were denied existence. Giles felt the change in her, the tension and anger had seeped away. The only things he felt from her now were sadness but also joy and desire.

He turned her to face him and raised her face to his. She blinked as the tears began to fall, the horror of who the master had made her, the power she'd allow him to have bubbled to the surface. She allowed all her hatred and fear to drain with her tears. Giles just held her knowing it was all he could do for her for the time being. It was as though a poison had been sucked out of a bloody wound. She felt weak but relieved, grateful to Giles for knowing as always just what she needed. She grabbed his hand and drug him from the Bronze to outside where it was quieter.

"Thank you Giles." He smiled lovingly, honoured that she'd allowed him to help.
"My pleasure Buffy, you know I'm always here for you." He gently stroked a finger down her cheek, she closed her eyes and leant into his touch.
"Buffy I....." She placed a finger on his lips to quiet him. She knew he didn't really feel that way for her, that it had all been a way to draw her out.

"Shhhh it's all right, I know." He kissed the fingertip then removed it anxious she hear what he had to say.
"How can you know? When have I ever told you how my heart quickens whenever you're near? How my breaths are shallow and I fear I will die without you? I love you Buffy, my heart beats only for you."
Her heart began to flutter uncontrollably, it felt enormous and out of control. She shook with emotion, she wanted to make him feel the way she did right now. Words as always failed her, they'd never been her strong suit, so she decided she'd show him instead.

She stretched upward and smiled as she noticed Giles instinctively leaning down. She was certain her heart would break free of her chest at any moment, it's beat was so insistent. Her head was light and her lips ached in anticipation. They joined in a kiss that blew their senses. It was like when you look at a light so bright that you become blinded, your eyes are overloaded by the intensity of the glare. His kiss overloaded her every sense until all she could see, smell, feel, hear and taste was the man before her. The master had been evicted from her soul and heart, had been replaced by the love of a wonderful man, her watcher.

"I love you Giles."
"And I love you my dear."
They left the bronze hand in hand, a great weight and sadness lifted from both their souls. They were no longer alone.