Heat of the Moment
Title: Heat of the Moment 1/1
Author: Tricia Stewart (GylzGirl)
Disclaimer: Joss the Deity. WB. fox.
Distribution: Solo, anyone else, just ask.
Rating: PG-14 (slightly smutty overtones but nothing really more than I think they'd let Xander get away with on an ep <G>)
Timeline: After Goodbye Iowa. Probably the same time as This Year's Girl happened but AU.
Author's Notes: Thank you Karen. Basically a sort of denial fic. My B/G way of trying to excuse Buffy's behavior to Giles this year in a non-hateful way. Also tries to tidy some of the Olivia and Riley issues. Here's hoping :)
Buffy knocked on Giles' door and cleared her throat. Her foot
tapped impatiently during the 20 seconds it took for him to open
the door and smile at her. He stepped back to allow her entry.
Instead of taking up her customary seat at one end of his couch,
she settled herself in his armchair. He sighed. This told him she
wanted to keep her distance. The news could not be good.
Giles sat on his sofa and waited patiently for her to meet his eyes. When she did, they were sad but resolved. "I talked to Riley."
"Despite what we know, he refuses to leave the Initiative."
"Then he's a very foolish boy."
"I told him I'd stay too."
"You did what?"
She shrugged. "He's my boyfriend. What could I do?"
Giles stood and paced before her. "You could have told him to get stuffed! You could have gotten yourself another boyfriend who didn't plan on a career in a homicidal paramilitary organization!"
"No one else wants me the way Riley does."
"No it's not!" She stood as well. "Parker didn't! I can't be with the man I really love so I have to take what I can get!"
"Angel? This is all about Angel?! You were willing to throw your life away for him while he was here and now you're willing to throw your life away because you can't be with him?!"
"You don't know what you're talking about!"
"The Hell I don't! Three years Buffy. Three years of crying and heartbreak is what I saw him bring to you. Three years of life revolving around him, around death when you should have been living your life. Angelus couldn't kill you, but Angel nearly finished the job didn't he? I won't stand by and do nothing while you continue to let him..."
"This has nothing to do with Angel! Willow was right! You don't see what's right in front of you! I'm in love with YOU! You big jerk!" She made a break for the door.
Despite his state of shock, he managed to grab her arm and turn her to face him. "You're what?"
"Nothing! I didn't say anything! Leave me alone! Go away!"
"You're not running away from me this time dammit! I have no intention of turning you loose until you repeat what you just said."
"You heard me the first time. Now let me go."
She blinked back tears. "In love with you."
He released her arm but stayed close in case she tried to run again. "I don't understand."
Buffy walked to the sofa and seated herself. Giles followed. "At school, my feelings were all confused. One week I'd have a crush on you, the next I couldn't stand the sight of you for making me train so hard. But after the way you treated me when I told you Angel was leaving me," she lowered her gaze from his. "I knew then that it had become more than a crush."
"I was so stupid. I...I thought you loved me. I thought you were waiting for me to get into college. You know, give it some time after your being faculty guy. And then," she lowered her head even further, "I met Olivia."
He tried to touch her arm but she scooted further away. "I latched onto the first guy who showed an interest after that. Parker." She half-laughed. "God it could have been Jonathan if I thought it would make me forget how I felt about you. But nothing made me forget. I tried to stop coming over to see if that would help. It did. A little. The only problem was I could see that it was hurting you."
Giles removed his glasses and set them on the table.
"I held Riley off for as long as possible. Just when I thought maybe youwere interested in me after all and I might risk telling you how I felt, The Gentlemen had to come to town. I couldn't tell you or anybody else anything.But I still had to see you. And wouldn't you know it, Olivia was already here. How like me to have my every nightmare come true."
When her eyes finally looked into his once more, she couldn't tell if what she saw there was sadness or pity. "And Riley?" His voice betrayed no emotion.
She shrugged again. "He loves me. And I needed someone to love me."
"And you thought I didn't?"
"I was pretty sure Olivia thought you didn't."
"Well Olivia would be wrong then wouldn't she."
"I gu...pardon me?" She blinked at him.
He smiled slowly and moved forward until their bodies touched. "I think you heard me."
"I..." He stopped her mouth with a kiss. She slipped her hands into his hair and held him to her as she kissed him back in earnest. He smiled against her lips and embraced her.
When they broke the kiss, he witnessed a tear escaping down her cheek. He wiped it away with his thumb. "I've always loved you Buffy. How could you think I didn't?"
"Starts with an O."
"I never knew how you felt about me. From your comments, your teasings, I thought you saw me as old and well...thoroughly unattractive."
Her lower lip quivered. "I made you feel that way. And Olivia made you feel sexy... and loved."
"Shh." He caressed her cheek. "She'd just gotten herself out of a badly abusive relationship. We've been friends for a long time and we were both lonely. We needed each other for a time. Perhaps it could have been more..."
"Yeah, if she hadn't gotten spooked by the neighbors."
"There is that. There is also the fact that she could hardly have my heart when it was no longer mine to give." Buffy looked at him, confused. "You have it Buffy. You have for a long time."
"I haven't been taking care of it very well I'm afraid."
He smiled. "Tears that can be mended. "
She touched his face tenderly. "What about Olivia?"
He grinned. "Olivia who?" Buffy smiled brightly.
"What about Riley?"
She looped her arms around his neck. "I'm sure he and the Initiative will be very happy together. I've just left them both. And heaven help either of them if they get in my way."
She nodded happily. "Our way." He scooped her into his arms and headed up the stairs. "What are you doing?"
"Right now, our way is this way. Coming?"
"Not yet." At his questioning look, she smiled. "I guess that would be up to you." The blush that crept up his cheeks was the cutest thing she thought she had ever seen.