Had Jenny spoken...
AUTHOR: Gabriele Schulz
DISTRIBUTION: The New Buffy/Giles Relationshippers, A Watcher's love. Others please ask first.
SPOILERS: up to Surprise
FEEDBACK: Any time.
SUMMARY: What if Jenny had told them in time about the happiness-clause in Angel's curse. B/G
DISCLAIMER: The characters are the property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, Sandollar Productions, Kuzui Enterprises, 20th Century Fox Television, the WB Television Network, and whoever else may have a hold on them. I do not mean to infringe upon any copyrights.
NOTE: My way of dealing with Jenny. I just have to believe, that even if she hadn't died, Giles and Buffy were meant to be together. Also, I have to say that I was a little depressed while I wrote it, so maybe that shows through.
He turned to the figure in his bed and recognizing the worry in her question knew that he should go to her, take her in his arms and kiss her good-bye as he usually did, when he went to the library on a saturday morning. But he couldn't bring himself to do it today. So he forced a smile to his face and just said "Don't worry, Jenny. I'm going to the library" before leaving.
The library was quiet and cool, the opposite of his state of mind. The thoughts raced in his head. How could all of this have happened? He thought about his relationships with Jenny and Buffy. How they had worked fine together, courting Jenny, watching Buffy. And after they had overcome the aftermath of Jenny's possession by Eyghon everything had seemed to go as smooth as life could for a Slayer and her Watcher and a computer teacher living on the hellmouth.
And then Jenny had told him the truth. That she was here to watch Angel. It had hurt, but the pain had been washed away by her confession that she loved him. Wasn't that what he had always wanted? But then she had told him about the happiness-clause.
When he had given that news to Buffy it had been painful in several ways. He had expected that she would be heart-broken to hear that a relationship with Angel was not possible on a level beyond friendship. And he had also known that she wouldn't like the fact that he was with the woman, who brought her that information, but something else had hurt more: When he had told Buffy, he had somehow hoped, that it wouldn't mean too much to her, because she had never thought of Angel in that way yet. Or at least only as a distant fantasy. But the look on her face had made it more than clear that the idea of being intimate with Angel had crossed her mind more than once and it hadn't been a fantasy, but a consideration. And that realization had hurt more than anything, even the fact that Jenny had lied to all of them. He had wondered whether that was what fathers felt when their little girls grew up and started dating. But he had no daughter, so he wouldn't know.
From that point on things had gotten a little more complex, both with Buffy and Jenny. Buffy had never in any way said or even hinted, that she resented his relationship with Jenny, but he knew that she did all the same. Whenever she saw Jenny a cloud crossed her face and she didn't seem able to look at them when they were together. He had stopped kissing Jenny in Buffy's presence after noticing that. Actually he tried to avoid Jenny altogether when they were in school and Buffy could see them together. He also didn't mention her name, not wanting to see the pain that blinked in Buffy's eyes or even worse watching her drop her gaze altogether. This had gone so far that he occasionally downright lied to Buffy, when he couldn't disguise the fact that he was meeting Jenny (which he did by saying "I'm eating out tonight." instead of "I'm having dinner with Jenny." and so on). Buffy of course most of the time knew exactly when he was talking about Jenny, even when he didn't mention her, but still he thought he could see a hint of gratitude in her eyes, for him wanting to keep that fact away from her.
Jenny knew how Buffy felt about her and after realizing that no matter how much she tried, this wouldn't change, she stayed away from Buffy as well as she could. When Buffy came to his home, Jenny left and went to her appartment. He had insisted that she keep it, even though she had practically moved in with him as time went by. He knew that Jenny couldn't really understand why he wanted her to keep her appartment and he wasn't totally sure himself. He had thought that it was that he wanted things to go slowly considering the rocky path their relationship had taken. Another reason was that she had a safe place, because as Buffy's Watcher he was always a target to the forces of evil that crossed their way. What he had not thought of was that he might not want Jenny to move in with him because he knew it wouldn't be forever. He loved Jenny. Had loved her, no, he did still love her, but still everything had changed yesterday.
He looked at his watch. 8.30. It had been less than twelve hours, that they had sat at this very table. He had seen that something was wrong with Buffy, but she had refused to talk. Then he had mentioned Angel and she hadn't been able to hold back her tears. At first he had thought that they hadn't been able to hold back any longer and had become intimate, but no, she would have told him that immediately, if only to let him know that they had Angelus to fight now. And he had felt a strange relief at that thought. But if she hadn't slept with Angel, what had caused this outbreak of tears that went so much beyond the sadness, she usually displayed when talking (or thinking) about her relationship with Angel? He had just taken her in his arms and stroked her head.
"Angel is leaving me."
He had stopped short, but then resumed soothing her.
"I'm sorry, Buffy."
"Don't. It's... it's the right thing... the only thing, he can do... We can never be just friends. And we both know it."
She kept sobbing into his shirt, then she added.
"And you know it as well."
"I still wish you wouldn't have to go through this."
"I'll never have happiness."
"I... everyone has someone. Willow has Oz, Xander has Cordelia and you have... you have..."
He had stopped stroking her hair. Just as he himself, Buffy avoided even mentioning Jenny and if she did, she only referred to Jenny as "she" or "her". But now she didn't do that.
"You have Jenny."
The pain attached to the name was heart-breaking. He had always known that his relationship with Jenny hurt her far more than Jenny or any of the others thought, but when Buffy had said it out loud ("You have Jenny") he realized that it was not possible for him to have a relationship with Jenny and at the same time keep the bond between Buffy and him intact. He would have to chose one. He wouldn't have thought long about it anyway, but what had happened next had made it unnecessary altogether.
Buffy had moved her head slightly up so that they were at first cheek to cheek and then she moved slightly away so that she looked into his eyes their lips not even an inch apart. Her look had changed from desperation to what he recognized as the mirror of his own feelings: The sudden realization, that they had been wrong about what they thought they felt, the surprise that came with that and also desire. The urge to close the small, nearly not existant distance between their lips.
But they hadn't kissed.
Buffy had simply gotten up, wiped away the tears and had vanished through the door leaving him in turmoil about what had just happened.
Many things had fallen into place then. Why he had always felt, that he held back in his relationship with Jenny and why the idea of Buffy sleeping with Angel had disturbed him so much. It also explained the uneasiness he had felt, when he was with Jenny and Buffy was present and why there were certain things (small things like a joke she told him) that he just didn't want to share with Jenny.
He loved Buffy and had probably done so for a while without being aware of it. And Buffy seemed to feel the same. He had wondered more than one time why it was just so hard for her (or rather impossible) to forgive Jenny, but now he realized that it was not (only) because Jenny had been the one who had told her she could never be with Angel, but also because Jenny was with him. He was quite sure, though, that Buffy had been as unaware of that as he himself.
He was with Jenny and he loved Jenny as much as he knew Buffy still loved Angel. Buffy's relationship with Angel had been a constant source of pain (not only, but it was always there) for over half a year. And now that he left, Giles wasn't sure if Buffy was ready for a new relationship. He also realized that if Buffy wasn't he would rather be with Jenny than alone. He didn't want to come home to an empty appartment and an empty bed, but at the same time he knew he would have to because he could never be so unfair to Jenny, to not let her know that he loved her only second to Buffy. And he also knew that as much as Jenny loved him, she wouldn't be able to live with him and that knowledge. It saddened him that he had to hurt Jenny.
It had to be that and the uncertainty, that prevented him from feeling happy about the fact that he and Buffy seemed to love each other. He had waited for that feeling of exhilaration ever since yesterday, but it hadn't come. He only felt sad and when he thought about the future he found himself unable to see himself with Buffy, but only imagined his empty home.
He had been so caught up in his thoughts that he didn't hear Buffy as she entered the library. And when she sat down on a chair next to his he slightly jumped.
Just like he, she didn't seem particularly happy.
"Jenny, me - you." He didn't hesitate to mention her name this time and he saw that she didn't flinch although he didn't look at Buffy, but straight ahead.
"I wish I wouldn't have to hurt her."
"But you do?"
He nodded and looked down at the table.
"It seems that the only thing I cause in the men I love is sadness."
He looked up at her, well aware of what she had just said 'the men I love', which meant not only Angel but *him*.
He took her hand.
"You don't make me sad. It's not your fault, that we love you."
"It may not be my fault, but I'm nevertheless the cause of it."
He looked her straight in the eye.
"I love you. And though it may not seem or feel like it right now, that makes me the happiest man on earth."
"So you admit that you're sad right now."
He leaned forward and kissed her, but although she returned it he felt nothing.
"I guess that's answer enough."
"I love you."
"I love you, too. But what if that still means we can't be happy? Maybe Angel is not the only one of us who is cursed."
She smiled cynically. He reached out his hand and cupped her face.
"We're not cursed."
He drew her face to his and kissed her again and now he did feel it. A warm feeling in his heart and stomach, spreading everywhere. The kiss grew more passionate as she put her arms around him and moved to sit on his lap. They started to taste and explore each other and when they stopped they were both panting.
"Definitely not cursed."
They both laughed. She moved one hand to his face and gazed at him intensely. He knew, she struggled with words to express what she felt right now.
"How could we have been so blind?"
"Seeing is believing. I guess this is nothing we thought possible."
"And yet it is."
"And I'm glad about it."
"You haven't spoken with Jenny."
"No. Not yet."
"I'll try to make it easier for you."
She sat up and back down, straddling him and started to kiss him, at the same time unbottoning his shirt...
He stood in front of the door to his appartment hesitating to go in, knowing Jenny would wait for him. He straigthened his tie for about the hundredth time.
Then he opened the door.
"Jenny? I'm back."
He hung up his coat and went to the sofa where she was sitting tea placed in front of her. He sat down next to her and when she looked up, there was a serious smile on her face. He gulped. They looked at each other for a while, neither of them able to either lie or say what they had to say. Finally it was Jenny who spoke.
"I'll go with Angel, when he leaves."
He was surprised. He had sensed that she felt something was wrong, but he hadn't thought she knew.
"Angel told me two days ago that he'd leave."
He looked at her and comprehension dawned. Two days ago. That meant she had to know why he had behaved so strange yesterday. She knew, what Buffy had told him. And she probably also knew why he hadn't told her about it.
"But you know that already."
There was a pause.
"I hope Buffy and you will be fine."
With that she got up, but he held her back when she wanted to go past him.
"It's okay, Rupert. I've known all along that you love her. More than you knew yourself probably, but I always thought that maybe you could love me more. I guess I was wrong."
"I love you."
"I know. And I love you, too. But that doesn't change the facts. I'll try to help Angel making up for what he did to my people. It's easier for him, when he's not with Buffy. And I guess it's easier for her too. Especially now that..."
She smiled at him.
"I wish you only the best. Both of you."
She smiled once again and then left him alone. When he went to the bedroom he saw that every trace of her was gone. No clothes, no books. The same in the bathroom. He went back down to the living-room, sitting down on the couch. He should be relieved but he wasn't. She had made it easy for him and he felt grateful, but that didn't diminish his guilt in any way. He tried to turn his thoughts in a different direction - to Buffy.
Their making love had been like nothing he had ever experienced or even thought possible. They had both cried, not able to express their feelings in a different way. Love lost and found and a prospect of pure happiness, both of them had stopped hoping for a while ago. Suddenly he felt his heart fill with warmth again.
He loved Buffy and Buffy loved him. And though that had caused pain in people they loved, they knew that together they would overcome the guilt and the sadness of that. Life had after all never been easy for them. Their situation, their calling had always threatened to hurt or even break them. Physically and emotionally. But knowing that they weren't alone would make things easier. Or at least better.