Letting go
By Watchers Slayer

TITLE: Letting go
AUTHOR: Watchers Slayer
EMAIL: watchers_slayer@yahoo.com
RATING: NC17 (eventually)
DISTRIBUTION: If you want it you can have it but please ask first so I know where itís going.
SPOILERS: Season 5 and 6
FEEDBACK: Yes, please. Iím new to this so Iíd love to know what people think.
SUMMARY: Giles returns from England intending just to be near Buffy but she finds out about his true feelings and gets scared.
DISCLAIMER: The characters are the property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, Sandollar Productions, Kuzui Enterprises, 20th Century Fox Television, the WB Television Network, and anyone else with the rights.

Note: Gilesí song- Westlife Ė If I let you go and Buffy and Gilesí song at the end Ė Angel ĖSarah McLachan. Thanks to Sarah and Shilpa for Beta reading for me. You both rock, and Sarah Ė I hope this makes you more B/G friendly!!
DATE: 10/03/02


Giles stared out of the window watching the clouds beneath him and around him. He hated flying, it was all too clinical and restricting for his liking, he never felt he could relax on a plane. He sat back in his seat and shut his eyes trying to get some sleep before arriving. The moment his eyes closed the image of her face filled his view, she smiled at him and then faded. He sighed and felt a mixture of joy and dread at the thought of seeing her again in a matter of hours.

Leaving her had been the hardest thing he had ever done, but the tiny amount of dignity and self-respect he had left had screamed at him to get out. He had always thought he couldnít live if she wasnít there in his life, if he couldnít see her every day. It turned out he could live better without her than stay, and have her treat him as a convenience, a scapegoat for her problems and to perform the tasks she could not bring herself to. He could live with just being her watcher, her friend; he couldnít live with being her mother. But as it happened he had been right the first time and living without her had been too much for him.

"Can I get you anything Sir?"

The air stewardessís voice penetrated his thoughts

"What?"

"Can I get you anything Sir? Tea? Coffee?"

"Uh, sorry y-yes a tea would be lovely thank you."

"How would you like it?"

"White, one sugar, thank you."

He took the plastic cup and nursed it in his hands, finding its warmth oddly comforting. Giles sipped the tea, wrinkling up his face as he tried to convince himself that this was in fact tea. It was going to be a long flight.

****

Giles heard the blare of the airport overhead system and struggled to understand the announcer through his fog of jetlag. He stepped out and winced as the strong California sun pierced his eyes. He found his hire car in the lot and began the short drive to Sunnydale.

****

It was dark when Giles reached the sign that proclaimed

"Welcome to Sunnydale!"

It had always amused him that such a cheerful sign marked the entrance into such a far from cheerful place. This wasnít entirely true though; Giles remembered clearly many happy moments in this small town. Some of the best times of his life had been here; almost all the best moments of his life had involved her.

He shifted the car into gear and drove along the familiar streets of Sunnydale, driving past the houses he had come to know so well, and the people who had no idea how many times they had been saved by him and his slayer over the years.

As he drove past the cemetery he heard a crash and the all to familiar sounds of a fight. Giles pulled up, grabbed a stake from the glove box and ran into the cemetery. He followed the noises and coming round the trees he saw her. She was fighting two vamps, one broad and strong, the other lean and quick.

Subconsciously Giles stopped in his tracks and drank in the awe-inspiring sight of his Slayer. She took his breath away: graceful, powerful and frighteningly beautiful. He leant on the tree and watched as she staked the smaller of the two.

It was then he saw them. Three more vamps crept up behind Buffy and before he could move to stop them one had grabbed her and thrown her over a gravestone. She landed with a thump and Giles ran towards the Vamp, punching him. In his surprise the Vamp did not react and soon found himself staring into Gilesí menacing eyes before a stake plunged into his heart. The vamp exploded into a shower of dust.

Buffy pulled herself up aware that a stranger was fighting the vampire who had just thrown her. Before she could question this, the burly vampire was upon her. He kicked her legs causing her to fall once again to the ground but she flipped herself up and kicked and punched him violently, her anger channeled into her attacks until she staked him and moved on to the second of the newcomers.

Giles fought the other and was steadily gaining the upper hand. The two vamps found themselves back to back as watcher and slayer fought together. Both lunged in with stake raised and staked their prey simultaneously. As the dust cloud cleared, Buffy saw who the stranger was.

"Giles??" She gasped, her voice barely a whisper the surprise in it mingled with hope and relief.

"Buffy, are you alright?" He asked quickly, concern furrowing his handsome face.

Buffy smiled, he was still the same Giles, always thinking of her before anything. She closed the gap between them and pulled him into a bear hug.

"Physically? Yes, mentally? The same old no." she quipped.

Giles chuckled and wrapped his arms around her feeling the ache in his heart he had carried for her since his departure quell slightly as he finally held her in his arms.

"Glad to hear it."

<God this feels wonderful> Giles thought. He had wanted to hold her like this for so long. He knew there was little chance of her ever loving him but he loved Buffy so much it hurt and this was the only comfort he had had in so long.

Buffy felt safe in Gilesí arms, a feeling she hadnít felt in ages. Her mom had died and she had had to be responsible, Willowís problems with magic had left her dependant on Buffy as well and then Giles, the one person she had thought she could count on had up and left her like all the other men in her life.

"What made you come back?" she voiced the question that had been hanging on her lips.

Giles pulled reluctantly out of her embrace and looked her in the eyes "Lets go somewhere and talk."

She nodded and followed him through the cemetery to his car. He walked around and opened her door for her then went around and climbed in the driversí side. He started the ignition and drove off heading towards the centre of town. Buffy watched him as he drove, eyes fixed on the road ahead. She studied his face and thought not for the first time how handsome he really was. His time in England had relaxed the tension in his forehead and he looked much more at ease and content.

Giles tried to concentrate on the road and not on Buffy. He shifted in his seat and ran his fingers through his hair. His mind was in turmoil, having her so close all he wanted to do was to grab her and kiss her. He had dreamed of doing so for a long time but after so long an absence the urge was stronger than ever. He allowed himself a quick glance and saw her staring at him. He quickly looked away wondering what she found so interesting, and cleared his throat.

The noise brought Buffy back down to earth, she had been thinking about all that had happened since Giles had left. She dreaded him finding out about Spike. She had needed something to replace all that she had lost. He had been the only one who offered an escape, not sympathy but complete oblivion from reality, but he had achieved the opposite. Being with him had instead grounded her still more firmly in reality as she sunk lower and lower into despair. Instead of being the strong one she had become the worst of them all and the guilt had wracked her until she had broken and finally slept with Spike.

It had been violent, unforgiving and animal. She had struggled to feel, to be the Buffy she was before but she had felt nothing but a rush of adrenaline and a sense of power. This power had soon transformed itself back into the guilt. The vampireís professions of love were, like him, forceful, stark and brutal. She needed tenderness, craved to be held and comforted. Giles held her that way.

She remembered a conversation she had had with Spike. She had told him that when she had kissed him she had been thinking of Giles.

ĎYou know, I always wondered about you two.í He had said.

At the time she had shrugged it off telling him she had meant she was upset about him leaving and hadnít been thinking straight. But later that night she had thought about what he had said and about Giles. For the first time she had thought about him as man, not as a watcher or a father figure.

After a couple of weeks of this she had started thinking about him a lot, and had finally given up and gone back to Spikeís crypt to ask him about it.

"What did you mean youíd often wondered about Giles and me?"

"Well hello to you too pet."

"Shut up, what did you mean?"

"Exactly that, luv. That I saw potential and wondered about it. No big deal Slayer."

"Potential?"

"Yeah, ya know- vibes, possibilities, tension." He spelled the words out slowly and pointedly.

"I-I donít understand."

"Oh Please! Donít go all prim on me now peaches. Watcher boyís always had the hots for you and-"

"What?!"

"Oh donít tell me you didnít know. You could smell the smoldering a mile off. Many a time I thought heíd set himself on fire. Sadly he didnít cos now that would have been funny."

"G-Giles liked me? He, liked me liked me?"

"Try loved you pet. Poor guy got it rough and all. Not a lot of Slayer-watcher combos Iíve seen who havenít got all lusty. Shame for him he was too noble to pull anything."

Ever since that conversation Buffyís view of Giles had altered completely. She had replayed the last few exchanges she had had with him, and putting the whole Ďhe loves meí slant on it had changed things completely. <God I was such a bitch! She cursed herself. I was all ĎHi Giles! Iím feeling pain so would you mind taking over the hard stuff in my life while I go off and sort myself out? Oh no donít worry I won't thank you or tell you I appreciate you Iíll just ignore you until you get so depressed you have to leave before you become the worlds largest doormat, cos Iím Buffy aka little miss self-centered bitch.í> She slumped back in her seat and turned away from him to avoid the guilt and pain he awoke in her.

Giles pulled up outside a restaurant. It was a fairly expensive place and as Giles handed her out of the car Buffy felt completely underdressed.

"Giles I canít go in there like this." She indicated her outfit.

"You look lovely, Buffy now come on." He took her arm and guided her into the restaurant.

The waiter seated them in a quiet booth in the corner. They ordered starters and drinks and then slipped into an awkward silence.

"So, how was England?" Buffy asked eventually

"Um, fine t-thank you."

"Good."

They sat, Buffy played with her salad and Giles stared into his water.

"Well this is not at all awkward huh?" She quipped and smiled at him.

He smiled, and removed his glasses. Her smile was enough to give him the confidence he needed. "Iíve missed you" he said simply.

"Me too. I-I mean missed you." She replied grinning. She reached across and put he hand on his. Her face was sincere "Giles I gotta say Iím so sorry for the way I treated you, I was so selfish and cruel and I made you think I didnít appreciate you but I did! I do, I mean and now you must hate me and-"

"Buffy, Buffy shhh, shhh" he soothed "Itís alright, I donít hate you, I could never hate you." Her outburst surprised him and healed him. Hearing her acknowledge his importance was wonderful and what he had needed to hear all along.

****

The conversation from then on flowed naturally Buffy confessed all her problems and told him about Spike. She wasnít sure how he had taken it on the inside but on the outside he was his usual calm self, assuring her that her behavior was understandable and that she had done her best with Dawn and Willow.

Giles felt his heart break with every word she uttered. She had slept with Spike. Hearing that she had been with any man would have made him insanely jealous but he couldnít help feeling that he must be utterly repulsive for her to chose to be with her mortal enemy over him. Deep down he knew that she hadnít deliberately chosen Spike over him that in fact he wasnít even on her list of options but this made him feel worse if anything.

Buffy offered the spare room and he accepted gratefully, it was far too late to find a hotel. He lay in bed staring at the ceiling, wondering how he had managed to come to Sunnydale with a broken heart and within a few hours succeeded in getting it broken again. Sleep eventually claimed him but his dreams of the girl sleeping in the room next to his were not their normal adoring fantasy dreams but images of her tangled with the vampire he hated with such a passion.

Buffyís dreams were also disturbed. She felt his presence in the house and found herself, once again, wishing she was near him. She realized her feelings for him were more complex than before but it was only just dawning on her just how much she felt for him. Eventually she gave up on sleep and pulling on some clothes slipped out of the window to patrol and try to ease the tension building within her.

The cemetery was deserted and she had only Slayed one Vampire all night.

<Stupid Vampires. Where are they when ya need Ďem?> she grumbled.

Either way being out here was better than being near him. She had seen the hurt in his eyes when she told him about Spike. He had hidden it well but she had seen the pain flicker across his face. The fact that he had remained calm worried her more than if he had been angry. She knew him well enough to know that when he was calm he was at his most angry or hurt. It killed her to think that in trying to make things better she had in fact just pained him even more. There was another part of her that was pleased by his reaction and although she knew this was sick she reveled in it. If he was hurt and annoyed he was quite possibly jealous and this meant that maybe he still had feelings for her even after being away for so long.

Buffy allowed this thought to comfort her and turned back toward home as it was close to dawn and she wanted to be home before he woke up. She climbed back in through the window and curled up on top of the bedspread. After a few minutes more of worrying she fell asleep.

****

Giles woke up next morning and stretched out on the bed yawning. He reached over to the nightstand and found his glasses. Putting them on he saw it was 7am. He got up and dressed quickly wanting to see Willow.

It had been late when he and Buffy had got in and she had been asleep. He was anxious to see her and ascertain for himself how she was coping with giving up magic. He understood what she was going through as he had himself given up magic when he decided to turn himself around and join the watchersí council;. He knew all too well the cravings she would be having, the fits of heat, the headaches, nosebleeds, surges of energy and power and most of all the despair of going back to doing things the Ďnormalí way.

He went into the kitchen and found her reading the newspaper with a cup of coffe nestled between her hands.

She looked up and shrieked "GILES!!"

"Hello Willow, how are you?"

"Oh my God youíre here, I mean really. I guess you probably knew that huh?" She grinned sheepishly.

"As a matter of fact I did actually" he smiled back at her and crossed over to embrace her warmly.

Despite her usual cheeriness Giles could see the bags under her eyes Ė telltale signs of her restless nights and the strain she was under.

They talked aimlessly for about half an hour, catching up on news and talking about how Willow was coping.

Willow felt she could tell Giles the truth. Not that she couldnít tell Buffy but she had always glossed over the bad parts when talking to her best friend because as far as she could see the Slayer was under more than enough pressure without the extra worry.

"I still find it hard at night" she confessed, "I canít sleep and I get these aches all over and the this feeling like Iím invincible. Then all this power flows through me and it brings the pain back with extra tag along bits of pain that werenít there before, and I know that all I have to do to make it go away is one spell, just one. I-I could open the curtains, or change the colour of my shirt and poof no more pain."

"And do you? Do the spell I mean."

"Once I did. But then I felt so bad about Buffy and Dawn and Tara, so I didnít again. I figured the more I didnít do it the easier it would get but turns out magic cravings are like chocolate cravings. They donít go away after a week or a month till one day, Bam, you find youíve just eaten your weight in caramel chewies."

Giles smiled and took her hand "Youíre doing marvelously well, and I promise you that youíll reach a turning point soon and after that it will get a little easier each day until youíre free of it."

She grinned " Promise?"

"Promise."

"Okay but if youíre wrong you owe me a me sized block of chocolate."

He laughed "Deal."

"Soooo" Willow said, a glint in her eye "You gonna tell me your problems or do I hafta get Ďem out of ya with my resolve face?"

"I donít know what you mean Willow" he answered, trying his best to look convincing.

"Look Giles, I know okay?" She looked guilty " I learned this mind reading spell a while back just before thanksgiving and I wanted to know what you all wanted so I could get the most perfect gifts for everyone. Turns out what you want most isnít a lifetime subscription to watchers weekly."

Giles turned red and removed his glasses cleaning them franticly "I-I didnít intent anyone to ever know. I-I assume youíre referring to-"

"Buffy"

"Yes." He sighed and said "Well as you must know, though you damn well shouldnít." he shot her a scowling glance "Is that I left because I love her. Always have. I couldnít cope with being her, her-"

"Maid?"

"Well urm I was going more for scapegoat but in a way yes. So I went back to England but found that Iíd rather be her maid than be without her."

Willow saw the love in his eyes and felt really bad for him. It was clear that he had been hurt so much but had willingly come back for more. "She cares for you too you know."

"Yes as her watcher, her mentor, her helper."

"No! Donít you know how much you mean to her? Sheís been hopeless since you left and I know its because she missed you so much. Just talk to her. Iím not promising anything but youíre the only one who can get through to her."

He nodded "Iíll try. I need to talk with her anyway but thank you for your help."

He got up and went upstairs to see if Buffy was awake yet. Willows talk had given him confidence and he knew that if he were ever going to talk with her the way he needed to heíd have to do it now before he backed out.

****

He knocked softly on Buffyís bedroom door and when he received no answer he opened the door and peered in.

She lay asleep, fully dressed on top of the covers. He smiled to himself and gazed at he sleeping form. She looked adorable.

He crossed over the room and sat down beside her on the bed. He reached out a tentative hand to stroke her hair. He loved her silken curls, perfect and golden. She murmured in her sleep and rolled over so that her head was in his lap.

<Oh God help me.> He stared down at her, and couldnít resist tracing the outline of her lips with his finger.

"Mmmmmmmmm, Giles" She murmured

<What did she say? Did she just? No canít have been.>

Buffy giggled and whispered, "Stop it Giles itís not fair...Hey! Címere and kiss me."

He groaned and shifted on the bed trying desperately to get out of there without waking her. Her words were affecting him too much for him to remain with her.

He nudged her off his lap and ran out of the room.

Buffy woke up suddenly and sat up rubbing her eyes. Then the dream came back to her. She had dreamt about Giles. More specifically about kissing Giles.

<Oh God Oh God Oh God Oh God Oh God> She stood up and paced around her room. Her eye was caught by a photo of Giles and her on her wall with all her other Scooby photos. His eyes burned into her and brought the memories flooding back. She shivered with pleasure and hugged herself.

<Whoa Buff, could you be in any deeper?> it was then she finally admitted to herself that she had feelings for her watcher. Snuggly-type feelings. If she was going all out on the honesty she had been having them for a while. It was a strange feeling, not like Angel or Riley. The passion of Angel was there and the security and dependability of Riley was there but there were many more feelings involved. Fear, need, tenderness, and connection. She headed for the bathroom for a much needed shower.

The water beat down on Buffy and soothed all the tension away. She turned it up so hot, no normal person would be able to stand it, but to her it was perfect. She then got out, dried herself, put on her robe and headed downstairs.

Giles was sitting in the kitchen sipping tea and reading the paper.

"Good morning" She said lightly and sat down beside him

"Oh Good Morning Buffy" he stammered, taking in her appearance. She was still damp from the shower; her hair fell in tousled curls framing her face perfectly. She smelled divine, like strawberries and summer. He cleared his throat and removed his glasses fiddling with them and blurring his view of Buffy just enough to allow him to regain his composure.

She took his tea from him and drank some before returning it to him. "Mmm not bad. Make me one?" She smiled sweetly and pouted slightly.

How could he resist? "Of course" He headed over to the kettle and flicked the switch.

"Be right back" She said and headed upstairs to get dressed.

Now that she knew she was attracted to him she felt awkward around him and found she didnít know how to act. She needed to know for sure what his feelings for her were. Until then she was happy just to have him back. Having him near to talk to and listen to was enough to make all her troubles go away.

She pulled on her leather trousers and a pink halter neck then, combing her hair into a pony tail she went back downstairs. She went into the kitchen and took her tea off Giles.

"So, you know all thatís been happening here since you went bi-continental but how about you? Whatís the scoop with you?" She smiled at him and settled down opposite him at the breakfast bar.

Giles considered telling her a lie. That heíd met up with friends, had a wild time and generally been happy; but he couldnít lie to her. Not if his life depended on it.

"Well nothing to be honest. There is no scoop. I lived a solitary life and far too sensible even for a man of my age." He grinned at her and added, "Which I suppose is better than me having a personal life. That would be old and gross."

Buffy reddened at his reference to her words. She could hardly believe she had said them. " Eurghhhh are you ever gonna let that one go Giles? Iím so sorry I said that I was stupid and jealous and-"

"Jealous?" Giles interrupted hardly believing what she had said. "Why-Why would you be jealous?"

Buffy decided she couldnít bluff her way out of this one. She went for half honesty.

"Because- you chose her over me. She was on my territory and I didnít like it."

Giles was to say the least shocked. How could she think that he would choose anyone over her? She was all that mattered to him in the world.

"Buffy I-"

"I know I know, she was an old friend and youíre entitled to a life too and youíre not mine to keep for me alone."

"I am yours." He said simply

"Huh?"

"Buffy, I am yours, I always have been and I always will be. I would never knowingly do anything to upset you in the slightest."

She looked up and met his gaze, piercing and in his eyes she saw all the love and passion he held for her. It overwhelmed her, how could she not have seen it before? He loved her. He actually loved her. She suddenly felt so loved and wanted that it scared her. She felt inadequate to receive such affection from a man like him. At the same time she felt trapped. It was all so overpowering. She had to get out and think.

"Giles I gotta go patrol." She said quickly "See Ya later" She rushed out of the door.

Giles looked out of the window to see that it was nowhere near dark.

"Idiot!" He chided himself <youíve scared her.> He buried his head in his hands and cursed himself under his breath.

****

Buffy ran and ran through the streets. She didnít know why sheíd freaked, all she knew was that that one look had changed everything. She knew that to him this was the real deal, serious, life changing, everlasting love. Not the Soft sugary teenage love but the bittersweet passionate love. Committed and final.

She needed to feel free, in control, powerful.

Buffy ran to Spike's Crypt. She hadnít seen him since the incident in the abandoned house. She knew if anyone could make her forget it was him.

Spike looked his usual handsome and disheveled self.

"Slayer" He smirked, curling his lip over his teeth suggestively

"Shut up" She said and pushed him down on the sarcophagus. He looked startled.

"What the?" She interrupted him kissing him violently muttering

"Need- to- feel-dangerous." Between kisses

"Now thereís something Iím bloody good at pet" he snarled, flipping them over and tearing off her shirt.

She knew what she was doing with Spike was wrong, but she needed to lose herself.

Deep down she also knew she loved Giles but that scared her so much. She was too young, she needed someone dangerous, young, and agile: not her watcher. He was twice her age, sensible, refined, and intelligent and what was she? Immature, reckless and not capable of talking about any of the stuff that interested him.

Spike was an easy option. It was just sex; no worries, no commitment, no fear of hurting him; he could take care of himself. There was no risk, she could take what she wanted and leave and if he had a problem with that well she had a stake with the answer to that.

Spike groaned her name and she turned to look at him. Staring down at her she saw not his icy blue eyes but beautiful warm green ones. She did not see the face of the vampire but the watcher. The eyes were sad and bore a look of betrayal. She closed her eyes to block out his face and kissed Spike hard as he came.

After a couple of minutes she shoved him off her and quickly pulled on her clothes.

"Oi Slayer where are you going?" Spike growled, " Havenít finished with you yet, luv"

"Yes you have Spike" She spat, the guilt and shame fuelling her anger " Youíre finished with me for good. If you ever come near me again, I swear you wonít see yourself for dust." With that she turned on her heel and ran out of the crypt.

Giles saw her storming across the cemetery and was sufficiently convinced by her appearance and the way her buttons were done up wrong of what had happened inside Spike's crypt. Heíd really blown it this time.

****

Buffy ran up the stairs and threw herself on her bed. How could she have been so stupid? Sheíd done it again; let her feelings carry her off and acted on instinct without thinking. Now she felt terrible.

In a weird way she felt guilty, like sheíd cheated on Giles. She knew this was ridiculous, as you canít cheat on someone you arenít even with but that didnít make it any easier. If she hadnít known how she felt about Giles before she sure as hell did now.

She let down the last of her self made barriers and admitted to herself how much she loved him.

Now all she had to do was master up the courage to tell him that.

****

Giles pulled the suitcase onto the bed and started neatly packing away his clothes. He had finally had enough. He knew that Buffy must have guessed his feelings for her, and judging by the way she had reacted there was no point in him staying to be hurt even more than he already had been.

He was going back to England where, although there was no hope of happiness, there was hope of not having the pieces of his heart trodden into the dust again.

****

Buffy knocked timidly on Gilesí door, waiting for an answer. She gave up after a while and just opened the door. It was empty, all his stuff was gone and there was a note on the bed.

She picked it up and turned over the envelope, tearing it open.

Dear Buffy,

I hope you wont think any less of me when I tell you that by the time you read this I will have left. It is clear to me that my feelings for you have been betrayed. I realize from your reaction and from your actions with Spike this afternoon that you have no such feelings for me. I expected as much and can only apologize for not managing to keep a check on my own feelings and be to you what you needed me to be. I felt it best for both of us if I returned to England.

Take care of yourself and remember I am only a phone call away should you ever need me.

As this is the only chance I will ever have to tell you this I would like to say how very much I love you. You mean more to me than anything. You are the centre of my world, my raison díetre. Remember that I love you, and will always love you.

Goodbye,

Giles

Buffy fought back the tears as she read the final words again. She knew she had to stop him. How did he know about Spike?

She felt the dread of losing him well up in her and ran into her bedroom. She grabbed her hold-all and stuffed a weeks worth of clothes in along with some money, her passport and diary and address book. She grabbed her coat and ran downstairs. Before she left she scribbled a quick note for Dawn and Willow

Giles left. Gone after him. Take care. Will call when I know more. No tattoos, Dawn!

Buffy xx

She then called a cab and double-checked she had everything she needed while she waited for it to come.

She realized in the taxi how hopeless this was, she had no idea what flight he was on, or whether it had left or not. She knew that she had to get to him wherever he was and tell him he was wrong. This wasnít goodbye. It couldnít be.

She reached the airport and rushed into the main terminal.

The assistant looked up and smiled

"Can I help you?"

"Yes, Iím looking for a friend. I donít know if he left already or not but he was flying to England."

The assistant frowned and said "Iíll just check for you but I think the last flight left for Heathrow about an hour ago."

Buffy gripped her purse tightly watching the clock behind the desk.

"Yes Iím sorry youíve missed it." The assistant said sympathetically "Is there anything else I can do for you?"

"I need to get to England. Is there another flight?"

"Not until 11 tonight Iím afraid."

Buffy looked again at the clock. It was only 7:30. "Iíll take it."

****

Buffy settled herself down in a corner near the payphone and rooting around found some change.

She dialed her home number and listened to it ring out. Eventually she heard Willowís voice.

"Hello?"

"Hey Will itís me."

"Buffy! Where are you? I got your note but-"

"Iím at the airport. Look I donít know how to tell you this but Giles loves me and I found out and freaked and now heís left and I have to go after him cos-"

"You love him too!!"

"Well yeah kinda."

"Buffy thatís great. Iím so happy for you. Also I kinda knew. Giles told me."

"What? Never mind but save your happiness for when I find him and convince him I love him."

"You will. I know it."

"How?"

"Call it best friends intuition."

"Okay Will. Is Dawn Ok?"

"Yeah Sheís fine. Weíre gonna go catch a movie later."

"Great, thanks Will. Iím sorry to do his but I have to Ya know."

"I know. This is way more important."

"Thanks. Anyway I gotta go ok? Iíll call you from England."

"Ok. Be careful ok?"

"You bet. Bye."

"Bye."

Buffy hung up and went back to her stuff. She only had half an hour before boarding. She looked out of the window and watched the planes take off.

****

Buffy heard the flight announced and quickly got up. She ran towards the gate and checked herself in.

Sitting in her seat she felt so nervous she thought she might throw up. It wasnít that she was afraid of flying. More of what would happen when she got to England.

She ordered a coffee and settled back to watch the in-flight movie. It was a romantic comedy, but Buffy wasnít in the mood for it. She just felt jealous of how easily the couples fell in love and irritated at how quickly they fell out of it again. She knew that it wouldnít be like that for her and Giles... as long as she reached him.

****

Buffy arrived on the platform at Heathrow and walked across to the main terminal building. The weather was just as Giles had described. Grey and drizzly: wet but still in a way pleasant.

She collected her baggage without much trouble, Slayer strength helping with pulling her small bag out from under a huge suitcase, and made her way over to the information desk to ask how she could get to Bath. She was exhausted from lack of sleep and jetlag, but determined to reach Giles today.

The woman behind the desk had been helpful but snooty, looking at Buffy as if she wasnít quite sure what to make of her. Either way Buffy now found herself on a train with directions to the address Giles had given her form a friendly train guard who knew the town well.

The English countryside was beautiful, so green and wet. She could see why Giles loved it so much. She wished she had thought about the climate difference, she was wearing practically everything she had with her in an effort to keep warm. An old man sitting across from her asked her where she was going and she was soon chatting away to him, glad to have something to take her mind off the journey and to pass the time.

He told her his daughter lived in Bath and that he would be happy to let her share his taxi. She smiled gratefully and told him that would be wonderful.

****

<So Buff here you are> she thought standing in front of Gilesí front door. She decided that if she wanted to warm up at all and see him sheíd have to actually knock the door. Buffy walked up to the old oak door and knocked firmly. No answer. She tried again, a little louder. Again no answer. Eventually she banged on the door so hard she thought she might go through it.

The window on the neighboring house opened and an old lady peered out. "You wont find him there, not tonight dear. Heíll be down at the White Swan Pub singing." Why donít you go there?"

"Thank you." Buffy said and then thought, "How do I get there?"

"Just down the road and turn left, dear. Canít miss it."

Buffy turned and headed down the street, turning left at the end. She saw the building and hurried towards it, going in through the large swing doors.

The room was crowded and she could just make out a stage at one end. She pushed her way through the crowd until she saw him. He sat on a stool with his guitar talking to the bartender. Before she could run over he got up and climbed up on the stage and sat down.

"Iíd like to sing you a song now that means a great deal to me. And Iíd like to dedicate it to a young woman who I wish greatly could be here and who I love with all my heart."

He began to play and soon she heard the all to familiar, all too gorgeous sound of his voice singing. Singing to her. She took a seat and listened to the words he sang.

Day after day, time pass away
And I just canít get you off my mind.
Nobody knows, I hide it inside.
I keep on searching, but I just cant find
The courage to show, to letting you know
Iíve never felt so much love before
And once again Iím thinking about
Taking the easy way out

But if I let you go I will never know
What my life would be holding you close to me
Will I ever see you smiling back at me
Oh yeah
How will I know if
I let you go

Night after night, I hear myself say
Why cant this feeling just fade away
Thereís no one like you
You speak to my heart
Itís such a shame
Weíre worlds apart
Iím too shy to ask, Iím too proud to lose
But sooner or later Iíve got to choose
And once again Iím thinking about
Taking the easy way out
But if I let you go I will never know
What my life would be holding you close to me
Will I ever see you smiling back at me
Oh yeah
How will I know if
I let you go
Oh yeah, how will I know
If I let you go.

Giles finished the song and smiled at the applause he received. He looked up and his eyes met with those of the girl he had just been singing about.

"Buffy?"

Giles ran down the steps of the stage and over to where she was sitting. Her eyes were full of tears. "Buffy, what are you doing here? I-"

"Giles I had to come, Iím so sorry about Spike, about everything I was stupid and blind and I couldnít cope. I just freaked. I was too much and then by them time I realized that it didnít matter that it was serious because I love you too so much that I couldnít be with anybody else youíd gone and I didnít know what to do so I went and got on a plane and-"

Giles finally registered what she had just said and stopped her "You-You love me?"

Buffy grinned at the look of amazement on his face. But then took his hand and looked at him seriously.

"More than anything."

Gilesí heart stopped beating for a second and then made up for it by pounding at light speed in his chest.

"So, urm are Ya gonna kiss me or?"

He needed no second invitation. Giles took her face in his hands and kissed her hard and passionately. She returned his kiss no less passionately, both demanding the contact, tongues dueling and hand clasping onto each other for dear life.

After a minute they broke apart.

"Oh Buffy, I love you so much I-"

"Shhhhhhhhhh, Giles." She said putting her fingers on his lips. "Tell me later, show me now."

****

Somehow they had ended up in his bedroom. He had no idea how they had got there. He marveled at her now, naked from the waist up kissing his neck and undoing his shirt slowly. He felt his heart swell and pulled her head up to his for a tender kiss, telling her his love for her better than any words could have done. Buffyís hands moved down to his crotch causing him to groan and pull her against him. She urged his head down to her breasts, moaning herself as he took her nipple in his mouth, playing with the other with his right hand.

She undid his trousers, pushing them down. Giles stepped out of them as she wrapped her legs around his waist.

He moved to kiss her neck, tracing the feint scar left by a vampire's fangs with his tongue. He nipped her there gently, claiming her for his own. He lowered her onto the bed and kissed her stomach as he unbuttoned her jeans, pulling them off, slipping his fingers under the waistband of her panties and pulling them down slowly, marveling at finally seeing his slayer as he had dreamed. She was flushed, her lips swollen, golden curls splayed around her hear and her eyes were heavy with desire.

"Giles, please" Buffy begged, tugging on his boxers. He grinned and pulled them off, moving over her. Giles positioned himself between her legs and kissed her hard. Her hand came down and encircled him, guiding him home. He thrust into her slowly, anxious not to hurt her. Buffy raised her hips and both groaned in pleasure as they became one.

Giles had dreamed of this moment for so long but nothing could have prepared him for the ecstasy of her.

They began to move together, in this as in everything perfectly matched and in harmony.

Gilesí words of love and Buffyís moans of encouragement became more and more incoherent. Giles felt himself near, and shifted, changing the angle, determined for her to come with him.

Buffy felt herself tighten, the pleasurable pressure building deep within her, as Giles shifted, deepening his penetration, she moaned and threw her head back, feeling the orgasm rip through her. She screamed out his name as he growled hers and came within her.

Both lay back and held each other. Giles grip on Buffy was almost painful, like a drowning man desperately clinging to his last remaining hope of salvation. He knew this was no dream but decided that if it were, he would rather remain in this blissful sleep than be brought back to the torment of his life without her. Buffy felt contented, and truly at ease for the first time since her resurrection. She was safe and protected and loved. All the things she ever wanted were here in this bed with this man: her man. She rolled over and looked into his beautiful eyes and whispered. "Come home?"

He smiled and kissed her " Just you try and stop me, love."

****

Spend all your time waiting
For that second chance
For a break that will make it OK
Thereís always some reason
To feel not good enough
And itís hard at the end of the day
I need some distraction
Oh beautiful release
Memory seeps from my veins
Let me be empty and weightless and maybe
Iíll find some peace tonight
In the arms of the angel,
Fly away from here
From this dark cold hotel room
And the endlessness that you fear
You are pulled form the wreckage
Of your silent reverie
Youíre in the arms of the angel
May you find some comfort here
So tired of the straight line
And everywhere you turn
Thereís vultures and thieves at your back
And the storm keeps on twisting
You keep on building the lies
That you make up for all that you lack
It donít make no difference
Escaping one last time
Itís easier to believe
In this sweet madness
All this glorious sadness
That brings me to my knees
In the arms of the angel
Fly away from here
From this dark cold Hotel room
And the endlessness that you fear
You are pulled form the wreckage
Of your silent reverie
Youíre in the arms of the angel
May you find some comfort here
Youíre in the arms of the angel
May you find some comfort here...