It's Always You
By Gibberish

Title: It's Always You
Author: Gibberish
Disclaimer: They belong to Joss, Mutant Enemy and the WB.
Rating:  PG    B/G  I can't help it, I won't give up.
Spoilers: Where the Wild Things Are
Summary: When Buffy's hurt, Riley brings her to Giles.
Distribution: Solo, Jessica, Sai, Cassandra, Sal and WYWM. Anyone else, please ask.
Feedback: Be kind


   Giles heard the banging on the door and groaned as he saw the time. He rolled out of bed, threw on his robe and went downstairs. He looked out and drew back confused, the back of Riley's head. He opened the door warily. Giles rolled his eyes when he found Buffy wrapped around Riley. "Must you do that?"

 Riley looked at him confused. "It was the only way I could think of to carry her and stem the blood."

 "Blood?" Giles echoed. He moved out of the way, alert then. "What happened?" That was when he noticed that Buffy wasn't moving. He gestured Riley upstairs and went to fetch what he would need.

 "A demon with really nasty claws." Riley told him as he made his way upstairs. He gently laid his burden on the bed.

 Giles made it to the bedroom with towels, a basin of water and a first aid kit. He gasped when he saw the front of Buffy's blouse. It was shredded and cover in blood. He went to her side. "Why didn't you take her to the Emergency Room?"

 "She told me to bring her here." Riley told him. He watched, shocked, as the older man simply ripped her blouse from bottom to top.

 Giles gently cleaned the slashes across Buffy stomach and chest. He took a pair of scissors and cut the bra away. He gently placed one of the towels across her breasts. He stitched up the worst of the gashes and bandaged her up. He gently pulled her into a sitting position as he removed the ruined clothing from her. "Would you get one of my shirts from the wardrobe?"

 Riley jumped, startled. He'd been certain that the former Watcher had forgotten his presence. Riley moved and did what he was told and handed Giles the shirt.

 Giles put the shirt on Buffy, laid her back down and buttoned it. He pulled the covers over her and gestured Riley downstairs. Riley picked up some of the discarded supplies, much to Giles' surprise.


   Once everything had been put away, Giles joined Riley in the living area. He handed Riley a bottled water and took his mug of tea with him to the chair. He faced Riley on the couch. "Tell me again what happened. Only this time, be more specific."

 "It was my fault." Riley said. He saw Giles' eyes narrow, but he didn't say anything. "I don't know what kind of demon it was. We were doing okay, until the second one showed up. Buffy took care of her own and came over to help me." He looked a bit dazed. "She still managed to take out the second one."

 "Buffy's very determined." Giles said with a slight smile.

 Riley nodded ruefully. "Very. She made sure that I was all right and then ... She just ... Fell to the ground."

 "Could you describe the demons?" Giles asked.

 "Two and a half meters tall, gray, scales and  the claws, like I said." Riley was thoughtful. "They spoke in some language that I didn't understand."

 "A demon language?" Giles asked, curious.

 "Actually, I think it was Latin." Riley told him. He took a drink of the water. "She's so small." Riley said as if it surprised him.

 Giles' eyes lit. "Are you just now noticing that? I thought Buffy said that you were observant."

 "I guess it just didn't really register." Riley commented. "She just seems larger than life."

 "Because she's the Slayer." Giles said evenly.

 Riley shook his head. "I thought that before I knew." He thought back. "I think it's from when she told off Prof. Walsh. I'd never seen anyone do that."

 "I can well imagine." Giles said drily. "Buffy's a remarkable young woman."

 "You don't like me, do you?" Riley suddenly asked. "Xander, either. Willow, she's different. It's almost like she just can't stand the thought of Buffy being alone. Anya doesn't care one way or the other. Tara follows Willow's lead."

 "I don't dislike you." Giles said quietly. "I don't know you. I am concerned, however, that she's moved a little too quickly. Her last relationship was ... Traumatic."

 "Angel?" Riley asked.

 Giles looked at him surprised, shocked might be a better word. "She told you about Angel?"

 Riley shook his head. "Not really. Bits and pieces. She'll say something and get this kind of shadowed expression. Haunted and faraway, like she's somewhere else."

 "She doesn't talk about him much with us, either, if it makes you feel better." Giles said. "Except, perhaps, Willow."

 "Buffy likes to talk, but she doesn't *talk* a lot." Riley commented. Giles nodded. "She has nightmares, but I guess you know that. She won't tell me about them." He met Giles' eyes. "It's always you."

 "I beg your pardon?" Giles responded confused.

 "That she calls for." Riley explained. "It really threw me at first. My girlfriend thrashing about on the bed, calling some other guy's name. It still kind of bothers me. She calls a lot of names. Willow and Xander, even Anya. Faith. Someone named Cordelia. Someone named Jenny." Giles' eyes jerked up, pain in them. "Even mine." Riley went on hesitantly. "But whenever she's calling for help, it's always you."

 "I-I don't understand." Giles said, still confused.

 Riley smiled. "You probably don't."

 A soft cry came from upstairs. "Giles."

 Giles and Riley looked at each other again. Giles stood and went upstairs.

"Yes, Buffy." Giles said as he reached the bed.

 Buffy looked down at the ugly green shirt. "How could you put this on me?"

 "Well, you told *me* never to wear it again." Giles said with a small smile.

 "So, you decided to torture me with it." Buffy commented. "How thoughtful."

 "Why didn't you let Riley take you to the Emergency Room?" Giles asked.

 Buffy looked at him oddly. "You always take care of my injuries. Did we bother you?" She asked uncertain.

 Giles shook his head. "No."

 "What is it, Giles?" Buffy asked.

 "Nothing." Giles assured her. "Riley's downstairs, would you like me to send him up?"

 "Giles, am I okay? I'm not going to get that aspect of the demon thing again or anything?" Buffy asked. She started to feel her face. "Cause those things weren't telepathic and they were ugly."

 Giles smiled a bit at that. "You shouldn't go back out tonight, but you'll be fine." Giles turned.

 "Giles." Buffy's voice stopped him. "Thanks. I knew I could count on you."

 "Always." Giles said without turning around.

 "I knew that, too." Buffy said softly as he went downstairs.


   Riley smiled at Giles when he went passed him. "See, it's always you." Riley went upstairs and so missed Giles' wide smile.

END