It's All Your Fault
By Dien the Acolyte

Disclaimer: Altogether now. Joss is god. We are worms. (They're not mine, but I play with them.) And Alanis Morisette owns the pretty song, which I have put completely out of order in here. Okay. B/G. Alanis gets into my head way too much. A songfic. Somewhere in fourth season. Also, I am songficcing way too much lately.
*Thoughts or emphasis*

I had no choice but to hear you
You stated your case time and again
I thought about it

"Hey, Giles" Buffy smiled at him as she entered his apartment. It felt good to be here. The last few months had been.well, not very Giles filled. She couldn't recall a time when she had come over just to come over.

He looked up from his desk, where he had been immersed in some book or another. The surprise showed on his face, along with a trace of worry between his eyebrows. "Hello, Buffy. What's the problem?"

She winced, realizing just how much she had been neglecting him. "No problem. No crisis, for once. I just felt like dropping by and saying hi."

"Oh." Giles seemed at a loss.

"I thought. maybe we could do a little training or something," Buffy continued, a bit hesitantly. Giles's place had seemed like such a good idea earlier this afternoon.

Giles still looked a bit shocked.

"I mean, if I'm not interrupting anything. I-I could come back later," Buffy muttered, wondering at her sudden nervousness.

"No, no. Quite all right. It's just." he trailed off.

"We haven't done much practicing recently," Buffy finished softly. He opened his mouth as if to speak, then settled for a nod.

"I'm sorry," she said quietly.

"So am I," he gently replied. "Shall we work in the backyard?"

You've already won me over in spite of me
And don't be alarmed if I fall head over feet
Don't be surprised if I love you for all that you are
I couldn't help it
It's all your fault

It was a few hours later when they returned inside, both of them sweaty and breathing heavily from the strenuous workout. Buffy felt a grin keep tugging at the corners of her mouth, and she gave into it, smiling widely. It had felt. *right*.  Training with Giles. She didn't realize how much she had missed it. All the tension that had been between them this year had vanished in the intensity of sparring, and things seemed better, somehow. Some part of her universe that had been falling apart was coming back together.

"Why is it always so invariably bloody *hot* in California?" she heard Giles muttering as he went into the kitchen, fetching them both some ice-cold water bottles from the fridge.

Buffy grinned as he came back and handed her one of the bottles. "Solar radiation, plus the Sierra Nevadas keep many cool winds from reaching us. Also, the latitude of California is more southerly and nearer the Equator than England's."

Giles stared at her.

Buffy laughed. "I'm taking this geography course in college right now. Paying more attention than usual for me."

Giles shook his head, smiling, and sat down next to her on the couch. "And why is that?"

"The teacher is really cute, and he snowboards."

Giles made a noise that was half laughing, and half sputtering as he had just taken a swig of water. Chuckling, he asked, "So, if I had been 'really cute' and a snowboarder back in high school, does that mean you would have listened to my lectures on vampires and supernatural evil?"

"Well, according to Willow, Cordelia, and Faith, you already had the cute thing going for you."

Sputter. "What?"

"Faith held the opinion you were really hot, Willow had a crush on you forever, and Cordy-oh god, she'd kill me if she found out I told you, but she told me about this dream she'd had in which you and she went to this leather bar and you were wearing this G-stri--"

"Ah, I get the gist of it," Giles said quickly, blushing. Buffy couldn't hold back her giggles.

After a few moments, she said, "I've got an idea! Let's go for ice cream."

"Ice cream?"

"Yeah, you said you were hot."

"I didn't say I was hot, Faith said I was hot," Giles said, managing to keep a perfectly straight face. Buffy sputtered.

You've already won me over in spite of me
And don't be alarmed if I fall head over feet
Don't be surprised if I love you for all that you are
I couldn't help it
It's all your fault

The walk to the ice cream shop was short, and Buffy reveled in the warm sunshine. She and Giles joked the whole way there, and Buffy, looking up at the man next to her, felt the warm glow of a peace she hadn't experienced in a long time.

Giles held the door for her as they entered. Despite the warmth of the day, the place was not very busy, with only a few customers scattered around."So what flavor did you get?" asked Buffy, licking her cookie dough into submission.

"Almond praline," murmured Giles between slurps.

"Ooh yummy. Lick?" Giles obediently held it out for her to taste, then indignantly pulled it back. "That's not a lick, that's practically swallowing the whole thing!"

"Spoilsport. You can have some of mine."

You treat me like I'm a princess
I'm not used to liking that
You ask how my day was

           A few moments of silence ensued, except for the noise of slurping. Giles finished his cone first, licking his fingers in a way Buffy found highly entertaining.

"So, how has your day been, Buffy?" Giles asked, leaning back with a contented sigh.

"Pretty darn good. Well. this afternoon has been," she said, a small frown appearing between her eyes. "The morning.. Erm."

"Tell me about it," Giles said, leaning forward to listen, the familiar interest and concern in his eyes. As she told him of the horror of the morning, which had consisted of a flunked sociology test, a VERY flunked calculus test, and losing her ID card, it occurred to her that she never felt this comfortable talking to anyone else. If it had been Riley, he would be telling her all the ways she could do better on the next test, or suggesting places to check for her ID card, or doing something else that made her want to scream. But Giles just listened; as always, picking up on the little, hidden things in her voice, the small gestures that told him the whole untold story behind her words.*He understands me so well.*

You're the best listener that I've ever met
You're my best friend
Best friend with benefits
What took me so long

Giles and Buffy returned to the apartment as the sun started its late afternoon descent.

"So, ready for more practice?" Giles said sternly, but with a twinkle in his eyes. Buffy groaned, throwing herself onto the floor lazily.

"You have got to be kidding me. Practice? No way. Not unless you want ice cream everywhere."

Giles chuckled and sat down next to her. "Likewise for me, I believe." Buffy grinned. "So, let's see. Today I disrupted your nice, quiet afternoon of studying, made you get out into the hot sun, beat you up, then got you practically sick on ice-cream. Why do you put up with me, Giles?" Giles just smiled, but Buffy's own smile faded and she repeated softly, seriously, "Why do you put up with so much crap from me, Giles?"

He looked at her, his green eyes dark with something a little like sorrow and a little like joy. "Buffy, how. how could I ever do otherwise? You are the most important thing in my life."

Buffy looked away from that, from such deep and unconditional love. "Why? I don't deserve that," she whispered.

Her Slayer senses caught the catch in his breathing, though she didn't look at him as her eyes closed to hold back tears. He was holding his breath, and without knowing why, she held hers too.

Her eyes flew open as she felt his lips on hers. Warm and gentle, his kiss was the most incredible thing she had ever felt. Leaning back, he stared at her seriously and said, "Is that reason enough?"

You are the bearer of unconditional things
You held your breath and the door for me
Thanks for your patience

She stared at him, her eyes wide open. "You. you feel that. for me?"

"Ever since I met you," he answered, waiting for her anger, her condemnation. anything.

A tear glistened, rolling down her cheek. "It's taken me so long to see. Thanks for waiting."

He stared, not understanding. She reached up and brought his lips to hers again.

Your love is thick and it swallowed me whole
You're so much braver than I gave you credit for
That's not lip service

The kiss grew in passion, her tongue meeting his lips and tracing them. He pulled away, staring at her with jade green eyes. Breathing heavily, he reached out a trembling hand and touched her cheek. "Buffy. are you sure."

"Why wouldn't I be?" she asked softly. "Giles, you're the best thing to ever happen to me. For the first time, I'm seeing you-I'm seeing us--clearly."

I've never felt this healthy before
I've never wanted something rational
I am aware now
I am aware now

Giles leaned forward and kissed her again, her simple words all the reassurance he needed. Her hands came up around his neck, drawing him close. Kissing her tears away, he heard her say, "I'm in love. It's all your fault, too."

You've already won me over in spite of me
And don't be alarmed if I fall head over feet
Don't be surprised if I love you for all that you are
I couldn't help it
It's all your fault