Title: Injuries 1/1
Author: Tricia Stewart (GylzGirl)
Disclaimer: Joss, Fox, WB, not me, 'nuff said.
Distribution: Solo if she wants, HQ, Anya, WorstWitch, anyone else just ask.
Rating: Movie PG-13 (Two bad words. Jinkies!)
Spoilers/Timeline: Revelations. Takes place between the defeat of Gwendolyn Post and the wounded Scooby Gang gathering in the SHS student lounge.
Feedback: Love it. No flames.
Author's Note: Further proof that old unfinished fics never die, they just linger until you go on a tape watching binge. Bless my Beta babes <G>
Giles lay in his hospital bed with his eyes closed. She may
have been a psychotic, and a fourth-rate Watcher, but Gwendolyn
Post was a dead on shot in delivering blunt trauma wounds. Every
time he tried to open his eyes, his vision swam. At least closed,
the pain was only a dull throb. "Giles?" Buffy's voice
was uncharacteristically meek sounding, she was likely unsure
that he was not sleeping and didn't want to wake him.
"Yes?" His voice sounded groggy and slurred, a combination of the concussion and the painkillers.
"Are you okay?"
He barked a short laugh that sent a shot of pain straight through the top of his head. He winced at the sensation. An involuntary tear squeezed out of his eye and was caught and wiped away, halfway down its journey, by Buffy's soft hand. "I'm bloody fantastic. Best couple of days of my life."
"I'm sorry," Buffy lowered her eyes.
"More like what aren't I sorry for," she attempted a half-smile.
"Don't lie to me anymore. I won't fucking put up with it!"
"You heard me. You want to tell me you're sorry to make yourself feel better, not because you mean it. You can't mean you're sorry Angel is alive because if that were true, you wouldn't have been kissing him. You can't say you trust and respect me because otherwise you would have told me about Angel being back. So you're what? Sorry I got hurt? Sorry you weren't there with me yet again? Why bother? I have no doubt you were upset to see me bleeding on a stretcher, but spare me the tears and hysterics over my injury. I don't feel up to it." Part of Giles was already kicking himself for letting the medication and the pain talk for him but mostly he felt too good getting these poisonous thoughts out. He began to get anxious at the conspicuous silence in the room. He expected to hear her cry, or yell at him, or do what she was best at, storm out and run away. He did not expect the crisp slap on his cheek that made his skull ring yet again that night.
Giles' eyes snapped open and focused with some effort on his Slayer's face. There was obvious pain there, not physical as his was but very real none the less, and tears. Buffy however was remarkably calm. "I know you're hurt, and I will attribute your being this incredible bastard to that. I have some things to say though."
Giles watched her through half-closed lids. "I'm listening."
She took a deep breath. "You have every right to be mad at me. I screwed up...again...and I realize that. I have no excuse for keeping Angel from you, just an explanation." When he didn't object, she continued. "At first, I was too shocked myself, and there was too much happening. As time went on, that became less the reason than the fact that I had already hidden it so long, I was afraid of getting the reaction I got today. I was also, believe it or not, afraid of hurting you more. I keep doing that, don't I?" Giles said nothing. "I am sorry Giles. For a lot of things. If you want to quit, to leave me, I don't know what I would do without you, how I could live, but I would understand it."
Giles' eyes opened fully this time. "I will never leave you. No matter what."
"Even if you hated me?"
"I could never hate you either. Why do you think these things you do hurt me so very much?"
This time she could not choke back a sob. Giles rolled his eyes. So what if she was crying? Perhaps she should. Perhaps it was the only indication that she had feelings for anyone but Angel. He bit his lip and closed his eyes. And perhaps he hadn't made the best decisions himself at her age, and with a lot less trauma and terror behind his reasoning.
"Please don't cry. I can't do this."
Buffy quickly wiped her cheeks and tried to stop herself. "I'm sorry. You're right. I don't have the right after all I've."
He opened his eyes and took her hand. "I only mean that I can't bear to hear you crying. It breaks my heart."
She placed her other hand on his chest, over his heart. "How is there any room left in there for me after all I've done?"
He covered her hand with his own. "As long as this heart beats, there will always be a place for you there." She smiled, eyes glinting with unshed tears. "I forgive you Buffy. I always will."
"No matter what?"
He smiled at her. "Leave it to you to try to test that. There is nothing you could ever do, to me or anyone else, that would make me want you out of my life. No slight or crime that you could commit that would have me stop. caring."
"Because I'm the Slayer?"
"Because you're Buffy."
She leaned her head on his chest and hugged him. Giles ran his hand through her hair. When Buffy pulled away, she saw that he had fallen asleep. She grinned and bent to kiss his cheek. "Giles," she whispered. He smiled in his sleep but did not awaken. She leaned forward and placed a kiss on his lips. He stirred and Buffy waited to see if he would open his eyes, a little scared but a little excited at the thought too. When he didn't, she ran her finger softly along his stubbled cheek. "Bye Giles."
As soon as she was out the door, Giles opened his eyes, grinned and put his hand over his still tingling mouth. "Bye Buffy."