Never Let Go
By Gabriele Schulz
TITLE: Never let go
AUTHOR: Gabriele Schulz
DISTRIBUTION: Dria14, and everyone else who has my general permission. Others please ask first.
SPOILERS: set mid to end season 4, I guess, but nothing specific
FEEDBACK: Love it. Especially if you like the story ;-)
SUMMARY: After another disappointment from Buffy, Giles can't take it anymore and decides to leave, but Buffy won't let him. 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.
NOTES: So I finally came around and answered Dria14's challenge from her site The Good Couple (http://www.homestead.com/thegoodcouple/):
Giles can't stand the way Buffy's been treating him anymore. He asks Buffy to go out to dinner with him so he can talk to her about it. He goes only to wait for a while for a non showing Buffy. He goes to find her (now furious) and finds her with Riley. Lots of screaming on both parts should be done.
He hadn't expected her to be on time. Even though this meeting
was important, was necessary to turn their relationship back into
anything that deserved that title, she was still Buffy. After
half an hour, he thought that her usual limit was over. After an
hour, he wondered what could have kept her away. After two hours,
he was ready to yell at her when she came. After three hours, his
care for her won over and he went looking for her, afraid
something might have happened.
He didn't see her in the first two cemeteries. He was beginning to get really worried, when on his way to the third he passed a small cafe and saw her sitting at a table.
He rushed inside, relieved that she was fine until he saw Riley. He stopped in his tracks. Then he saw her laughing and all his worry and relief transformed into anger.
He came closer, and when Buffy saw him she gulped, but then put on a smile.
"Hey Giles, what are you doing here?"
He stared at her, fully aware that he would regret it if he spoke now.
"Is something wrong?" She stood up, worried now. "Is everyone okay?"
"You were supposed to meet me."
She bit her lip. "Oops."
His hand flew through the air before he even realized what he was doing. He didn't hit her hard, it was just a slap on the face, but still she couldn't believe it. Neither could he.
They stared at each other for a few seconds, then he turned around without another word and left.
He didn't stop or even slow down.
She followed him, and when Riley stood up to go with her she told him to stay or go home, before running after Giles.
When she got to him, she grabbed his arm and turned him around to her.
"Leave me alone."
"Giles, I'm sorry."
"Maybe that would be worth something if I could believe you."
She was taken aback by that statement. He turned around and began walking away.
"Stop! You can't just throw that in my face and walk away pretending nothing happened."
He turned to her again.
"I'm not pretending. I'm leaving."
"You heard me. I can't stay any longer. There's only so much I can take."
"But you promised me you'd never leave me."
"Because you needed me. 'I can't do this alone.' That's what you said, but you aren't alone. Willow can do the research and the spells. The Initiative is your back-up. Go back to your soldier boy. I doubt you'll even notice that I'm gone."
"That is not true! I do need you. Willow doesn't know everything."
"Give Wesley a call or Angel. They'll be able to help you."
"And what if they can't. What if something happens to me because you weren't there?"
He stared at her. "How dare you?"
"How dare you throw that in my face? You know that I dedicated my life to protecting you. I've been there for you night and day for the last three years, expecting nothing, not even a thank you. You lie to me, you don't trust me, you ignore me and you insult me. I want my life back, and you say I can't have it because maybe someday you'll wake up and remember that I'm alive? Well, I can't. I'm tired of this. Tired of waiting. I am a Watcher. I need something to watch over."
"Watch over me!"
"How, when you're never ever there?"
"I *am* there. We see each other every week."
"Oh yes, you drop by standing at the door and the look on your face plainly says 'when can I leave again'. Buffy... this is not your fault. I am a fool. I... wait and hope for what I know will never be. And although you probably think otherwise, I'm not old enough to give up my life."
"Who says you need to give up your life? Can't you have a life here?"
"I'm afraid not."
"Because I will never find happiness if I stay."
"Giles, I don't understand this. What about Olivia? Or Jenny. You had Jenny. Why can't you stay with me and still find happiness?"
"You don't understand."
"Exactly. I don't! Tell me!"
"Dammit Giles, you want to leave me forever and can't even tell me why?! You owe me an answer!"
"I don't owe you anything. And the reason doesn't matter."
"If it doesn't matter then why can't you tell me?"
He looked at her. "You're right. When I'm gone it won't matter."
He took her head in his hands and bent down to kiss her almost violently. He held her tightly, then let her go and walked away.
She stood still for a few seconds then followed him. She once again turned him around to her.
"If you love me, you can't leave me."
"I have to leave *because* I love you." He wanted to go, but she still held his arm.
"Buffy let me go."
"You have to stay."
"Giles, I can't let you go."
He freed himself from her grip and when she wanted to grab him again he pushed her away. She was so surprised that she fell backwards to the ground. The looked at each other for a second then he turned for a last time and went away.
He was still packing when he heard the banging on his door.
He opened it. "Buffy I won't change my mind."
"Maybe you won't, but you'll listen to me!"
He was a little surprised by the anger in her voice.
"This is your own damn fault, you idiot!"
"No! Don't open your mouth till I'm finished. You're in love me. You're suffering because I don't come here and because you think I don't need you. Well, guess *why* I don't come here anymore. Is it because I don't care? Is it because I don't need you any longer? Or could it possibly be, because being with you is so painful for me I can't stand it? Ever since this summer I've been fighting my feelings. I thought that I couldn't be in love with you. It was crazy. It was wrong. But it was true. I was desperate, because I didn't know what to do, because the hope that you love me too always came back. And then I walk in on you and Olivia. Bye-bye hope, hello reality. I thought I was an idiot for ever believing you could see me as anything but a daughter. I was just a responsibility that you obviously rather wanted to get rid off."
He wanted to say something, but she stopped him by lifting her hand.
"I know. You apologized, but that didn't change things. Every time I came to you I was afraid that if I stayed too long, you wanted to get rid off me again, so I ran myself. I got out before you could even get the chance to feel troubled by me. I stayed out of your way and I tried to find someone else, because I knew that I would never have you the way I wanted to. The way Olivia had you."
She looked at him for a long moment before going on.
"Everything I did, I did because I was afraid to lose you in the little way I had you. And now you want to leave just *because* of that. I should laugh about it, but I only feel like crying."
He looked at her then stepped towards her.
"I'll never leave you."
Then he kissed her and she responded eagerly letting out all the pain of the last months into this sweet release.
"I love you, Giles."
Her whisper was hardly audible, but it filled his broken heart with life.
"I love you, too, Buffy. I love you so much."
They kissed again.
Soon he would carry her upstairs and they would finally discover their bodies and make love as they both dreamed unknown to the other for such a long time, but right now they just held on to each other desperate to be close and to feel each other.
They had come so close to losing each other forever. And now they would never let go again...