Seven Days of Mercy
By Arkin

TITLE: Seven Days of Mercy
AUTHOR: Arkin
DISCLAIMER: Not mine. Don't sue.
SPOILERS: Grad 2 (I believe)
RATING: PG
SUMMARY: Joyce leaves town and Buffy is left in Giles' care. And boy does he care!
FEEDBACK: Yes please!


'Ho great, a school day.'

Buffy had rather enjoyed her weekend. Even if Giles made her study history through out it, the fact that he was there made her feel better than she had in quiet a while. Her mother's trip couldn't have come at a better time. She got to have no mom, patch things up with Giles a little,  and maybe get her history grade up. And then... Monday morning.

"Good morning" Giles said as she got into the kitchen. He was already dressed, and breakfast was ready.

"Giles, do you sleep at all?" She sat down at the island. He smiled and handed her her breakfast.

"Not all of us regard sleep as a hobby. Some of us actually like being awake."

"Yeah, but you also like history and tweed, so you're not really a good example."

He shook his head as he sat across from her. "One of these days you'll learn that tweed was not the worst invention in the history of fashion."

"No, that would be bell bottoms. But that still doesn't mean you shouldn't wear anything else." She thought for a second as she tried her best to swallow. He was a terrible cook. "How about those jeans you wore while you were, you know, on the candy? Where did you get those anyway?"

"Eat your breakfast and get ready for school." He said. She gave him a mean smile.

"Touch a nerve? Don't like to think about that night, ha?"

"Eat."

He cleared his plate and started washing it. She sighed, swallowed the last crumbs, made a face at the taste (had he even heard of salt?) and went upstairs.

Giles knocked on her door a few minutes later. "Ready?"

"Ready as I'll ever be." She got out of the room, a nervous look on her face.

"It won't be so bed. Cheer up."

"Easy for you too say. Your not the one who was invited to see Snyder 'with who's ever watching you when your mother's gone.' This won't be good."

"Next time show up for your classes. If I promise not to ground you, will you manage a smile?"

She smiled at him weakly. "Will you stop my mom from killing me when she gets back?"

He thought for a second. "I'll do my best. Come along."

**

"You seem to have forgotten that class is actually a thing you have to be in. When were you last in one?"

"Friday when... rhetorical question, sorry."

Snyder glared at her, than at Giles. "And why are you watching her?"

"I'm, er, a friend of the family. Her mother..."

"Never mind. She's got detention for the next three weeks.' (Buffy winced) 'Make sure she gets there, and to all her classes. And make sure her mom hears of it."

"Yes, yes of course."

He and Buffy went out. Snyder just glared. "One of these days I'm going to figure out what it is with those two."

**

Buffy didn't even look at Giles, she could feel his glare. "I'm sorry."

"How could you skip so many classes? Of all the things you have ever done, and I AM counting running away and hiding Angel, this is the most irresponsible. There won't be anything any of us can do if you get expelled this time."

"But you're not gonna' ground me, right, 'cause you promised..."

He cut in harshly  "Buffy, why did you skip those classes?"

She looked at him. He wasn't looking at her, but cleaning his glasses. When she didn't answer he turned around. "Well?"

"I just didn't feel like going."

He sighed. "You have too..." The bell rang. "Well, get to class. No point in having you miss another one. We'll finish this at lunch."

She got up and left. He sat down next to the central table and sighed. 'She's going to get herself expelled. Again. Joyce would be furious, at me as well if I don't do something.' He looked at the cage and the weapons cabinet. 'Those haven't been cleaned in quite a while.'

He smiled to himself and got up to his office.

**

'It won't be that bad, you'll see.'

'His head almost exploded.'

'But he promised he won't ground you.'

'That just means he'll do something worse. I wish mom were here. At least that way I'd only get punished once. Now I'll have to deal with both her and a very upset Giles.'

'Well, I think you're over reacting.'

Buffy and Willow entered the library. Giles was at the table, reading something. He looked up at them 'Hello, Willow, Buffy.'

'So, what's up? Am I going to be cleaning the basement 'till I'm in collage?'

'I'm not going to punish you, Buffy, that's your mother's job. But I would appreciate it if you'd cleaned the weapons.'

'And how is that not punishing me?'

'You don't have too, I'm merely asking. You could refuse.'

'And let you have your guilt power? I'd rather clean your weapons.'

'They're your weapons, not mine. Willow, what are you doing?'

Willow was sitting on one of the chairs, chanting to herself. A pencil went up in the air, and floated around her. Giles grabbed it angrily. 'Willow, someone could have walked in here, you know better than to do magic in a public place.'

'Amy turned herself into a rat in front of half the town and nobody noticed. You think they'll notice a little pencil?'

Giles just glared at her until she apologized and promised not to do it again. Xander came in, smiling as usual. 'Hey, Giles, Buffy, Will. What's up?'

'Nothing much. I think. There's nothing up, right Giles?'

'Not as far as I can see, no.'

'Ho,' Xander looked disappointed. Giles looked at him, amused.

'If you feel the need to fight something you could always reopen the hell mouth.'

'Na, that's okay.'

'Xander is something wrong?'

'No, I'm fine Will. What's up with you girls?'

'Giles is doing his best to play mommy. His best isn't much. You should have tasted breakfast today.'

Giles looked at her, a look of genuine surprise on his face. 'You didn't like breakfast?'

'You mean you did?'

Xander interrupted 'Moving on to a far more interesting issue: what are we going to do tonight?'

'Oz and I are going out.'

'And I'll go patrolling. Ain't my life a blast?'

'So, once again I am alone. No matter, I can deal.' He looked around him for a second. 'So, Giles, what are you doing tonight?'

'I'm going home to do some research.' He turned to Buffy 'I'll pick you up at midnight at the cemetery.'

'Cool.'

The bell rang, and Buffy and Willow got up. 'And Buffy?'

'Yes Giles?'

'Don't forget you have, um, detention.'

Buffy rolled her eyes and followed Willow and Xander outside.

**

Giles glared at his book. That's demonology for you. A whole book about already dead demons. Why was he even reading it?

Because he couldn't keep his mind on track long enough to read something important is why. God, as if it weren't bad enough to see Buffy at school and training, now he got to see her at home. She was even more beautiful first thing in the morning. Damn.

He closed the book with an exasperated sigh and went to the kitchen to make himself some tea. The door opened behind him and Buffy came in.

'No soul without a body, no body without a soul. Boring!'

'Is that your way of saying that the reason you've cut over an hour from your patrol is that there's nothing going on?'

'Yeah.'

'I see. And how can you tell that nothing is going on out there, seeing as you are in here?'

Buffy pouted. 'Come on, Giles, it's as boring as... as the opposite of hell out there. I'll spend another minute there and my head might explode. And I am not talking metaphorically. See, I went to English class today.'

'Did the teacher recognize you?'      

'Ha ha. So, can I call it a night?'

'May. And yes. I'll have some tea and then we can go to your home. Would you like some?'

'Hot chocolate.'

He nodded and Buffy went to sit on the couch. 'So, what have you been doing all night?'

'Reading.'

'Figures. Giles, when was the last time you watched T.V? Or a movie?'

'I'll have you know I have many relaxing hubbies.'

'We already had this conversation. And cross referencing is not a hobby.'

Giles handed her her hot chocolate and sat next to her. 'I like myself just the way I am, thank you.'

'I like you too. Doesn't change the fact that you're thirty seconds from an ulcer.'

'Well, maybe if you remembered to call me when you come back from patrolling I...'

'Don't make this about me. You never have any fun. It's time to change that.'

'And what do you suggest I do?'

She looked at him for a second, and kissed him. He backed away. 'Buffy, what are you doing?'

'You need to have some fun.'

'Buffy...'

'Don't you Buffy me. I saw the way you look at me. You want me Giles and you know it. And after the test... I realized something - I'm not afraid to lose you because you're my watcher. I'm afraid to lose you because I feel more for you than Angel could ever hope for.'

'Buffy, you don't know what you're talking about.'

'Quit treating me like a little child, Giles. I'm a big girl and I know what I want. And I'm eighteen, which makes it perfectly legal. You just ran out of excuses.'

'Actually I have a all bag full.'

'Giles, I love you. I want to do this with you. Consider it my birthday present.'

'I already got you a birthday present. And maybe we should have this conversation when your head's not a minute away from exploding.'

'Giles...'

'Buffy, I love you. I'm in love with you. It doesn't change the fact that I'm as old as your father.'

'You're two hundred years younger than my last boyfriend. You're not my watcher anymore, no one in school has to know and I WANT TO DO THIS. Try and beat that!'

'Your mother would kill me.'

'Don't worry, you've got the slayer on your side.'

He pretty much ran out of ideas and didn't pull away when she kissed him again, more gently this time. Her eyes opened wide when his tongue parted her lips. They came up for air a few moments later.

'God, you're a good kisser.'

'You're not to bad yourself. For an eighteen year old.'

He kissed her again, this time allowing one of his hands to go under her blouse and rest just under one of her breasts. She reached a hand and started working on his shirt...

**

Buffy's last coherent thought was that Giles' bed was nice. That was, surprisingly, also her first thought as she opened her eyes.

She was lying with her back to Giles' chest, something she's been dreaming about for quite a while now. His arms were around her and she could feel his soft breath on her hair. She turned around, buried her head in his chest, and went back to sleep.

**

It took Giles a while to remember why Buffy was lying naked in his arms. Not that he minded, but still...

A smile went across his face as the memories came floating back. It disappeared at the sound of the phone ringing. He never bothered to get a phone in his bedroom, on the basis that anyone waking him up didn't deserve to talk to him, and Buffy knew about that so she just kept trying until he got up. But now, if he were to get the phone, he would have to get up and leave her there.

'The hell with them.'

'With who?'

'Who's ever on the phone.' Buffy didn't answer. He wasn't sure she was really awake. He rested his chin on her head and went back to sleep. It was hard work keeping up with a slayer.

**

The next time Buffy woke up she was alone. She took one of Giles' button up shirts and went downstairs.

He was sitting by his desk talking on the phone. 'Yes, we're fine.'

He looked up and saw Buffy. 'Here she is, would you like to talk to her?'

'My mom?'

He nodded. Buffy took the phone, sitting on his lap with her back to his chest. She rocked her pelvis a little and grinned when he breathed in sharply. 'Hey mom.'

Giles pulled her shirt back a little to reveal her shoulders and started tracing them with kisses. Buffy's next thrust was rewarded with a sharp bite as he lost his ability to follow the conversation.

He was still kissing her, his hands moving all over her body, when she hung up. 'Mom says to tell you I'm grounded.'

'That's all right. I'm sure we can find something to do with our time.' His hands cupped her breasts under the shirt while his mouth ran along the back of her neck. She thrust again and he hissed.

'You're not playing fair. I still have boxers on.'

She moved her hand and tore at them with slayer strength. 'Guess you won't be wearing those...'

She gasped as he pushed her up than down, impaling her on him. Using the table for support she started moving up and down him.

She was somewhat surprised when a thought made it to her mind. 'Giles, condom...'

'Too late!' An interesting variation on the usual screaming one's partner's name when one reaches his climax. Buffy would have laughed if she weren't too busy trying to breathe.

'You're good at this.'

'Thank you. How long are you grounded for?'

'Until mom comes back. She'll come up with something more creative then.' Giles turned her around.

'Seven days isn't a very long time, you know. The new watcher probably won't have time to make it here.'

Buffy kissed him. 'So it's just you and me than?'

'Traditionally.' She giggled around his kiss.

**

'Giles, do you love me?'

'You know I do.'

'Than you won't be mad if I tell you I'm never again eating anything you cook ever?'

'Am I really such a bad cock?'

'I think it's safe to say that the only things you can do right are washing dishes and hot chocolate.'

'Very well than, what would you like to eat?'

**

'Giles, can you afford this?'

 'I still have money on the council expanse account. I think the least they owe you is a nice dinner.'

'Can I have some wine?'

'May. And no.' Buffy made a face at him but didn't argue. They ordered their dinner and Giles got up.

'May I have this dance, Ms. Summers?'

'Certainly, Mr. Giles.' She got up and took his arm. He led her to the dance floor and she held herself as close to him as she could. She never realized how good his after - shave smelled. 

'Bloody hell.'

'What?'

'Snyder.'

Buffy turned around and saw the little troll coming their way. 'I'm gonna' lose my job.'

'Maybe this wasn't such a good idea.'

'What's a troll like him doing in a place like this?'

'Fishing for leftovers?'

Giles surpresed a smile as Snyder came to a stop in front of them. 'Principal Snyder.'

'Mr. Giles. Ms. Summers. What a surprise to see you here. Alone. Dancing.'

'I went to class today. The teacher said what you just said wasn't a sentence.' Buffy tried hard not to wince as Giles pinched her behind.

'You leave the English language to me, young lady.' He turned to Giles.

'You realize this kind of behavior is unacceptable from a school official?'

'We were only dancing.' Buffy grabbed Giles' hand before he could pinch her again.

'Never the less...'

'Get lost, Snyder.'

Buffy and Snyder both looked at Giles like he was turning into a werewolf. 'Buffy is eighteen years old and can dance with whom ever she chooses. Get lost.'

And with that he turned Buffy around and held her as close as he could. They started swaying to the music. Snyder turned around and left.

'How come you can talk to him like that and I get pinched? That hurt, by the way.'

'Because you need to stay in school. You need to learn to watch your mouth while you're talking to him.'

'You realize you're fired, don't you?'

'That's all right. Your mother said there's a job opening in the museum.'

'Where will we train? And what makes you so sure she'll give you the job after she finds out you're sleeping with me?'

'We can train in my basement like we do on the weekends. And your mother doesn't own the museum. She's not in charge of hiring.'

'You're assuming she'll let you live. You're real big on imagining aren't you?'

'Hey, you said I had the slayer on my side. What happened to that?'

'Haven't you heard the enraged parents get super strength?'

'Ho goody.'

**

They went to Buffy's house after their dinner. Giles eventually allowed Buffy to drink some wine, and found she doesn't hold her liqueur very well. Now she was tired and a little cold.

'Giles?'

'Yes sweetheart?'

Buffy smiled at the nick. He never called her anything but Buffy before, except for this one time when he called her by her full name. She had extra training for a month after that.

'You staying here tonight, right? With me?'

'Of course.'

'Good.' He put her on the bed and helped her out of her clothes.

'Maybe I shouldn't have had that wine.'

'It's taking everything I've got not to say 'I told you so.'

'You just did. If I promise not to drink again will you skip the lecture?'

He kissed her gently and helped her slip under the blankets, not making any promises, although she did wait for his permission to drink, so it was also his fault. He was out of his cloths in less than a minute and joined her.

'Night Giles, love you.'

'I love you too, Buffy.' But she was already asleep.
 
**

Buffy refused to open her eyes. She was too comfortable for that, she knew that if she moved, she's never be this comfortable again. Then Giles turned in his sleep and the comfortableness was gone. She sighed and got up to make him breakfast.

She wasn't expecting to find her mother in the kitchen.

*************

'Mom!'

'Hey honey. How was your weekend?'

'Fine. Ha, what are you doing here?'

'The seminar got shorter.'

'A week shorter?'

'Yes. One of the professors died.'

'Ho.'

'So where's Mr. Giles, is he here?'

Buffy wondered if saying "Yeah, he's lying naked in my bed" was a good answer, but decided against it.

'Yeah. He's, um, upstairs. Why don't I make you some breakfast? I was just about to make some for us, before school, you know.'

'All right, honey. Thank you. I'll go change.'

'Okay. No!' She left her door open, intending on dragging Giles out of bed with the smell of food.

'What?'

'I'll, ha... why don't you stay here? You could help me. You know I'm not very good at this cooking thing.'

'I don't want to cook in my suit. I'll come in a couple of minutes.'

Buffy was at a loss. Insisting would make her mother suspicious. All she could do now was hope that her mother wouldn't peek in her room to see if it was still in it's place and...

'Ho my God!'

Damn. Buffy ran upstairs. Relived to see that Giles actually had boxers on. Not that it helped her case in any way, but...

'Mr. Giles, what is going on here?'

'Mom, there's something we need to tell you.'

'It would seem so.'

Giles put his pants on, and was now working on his shirt. 'Mrs. Summers, this isn't what you think.'

'Actually it's exactly what you think, mom. Giles and I are... well...' Buffy blushed. If she hadn't she would have gone pale from the site of the rage in her mother's eyes.

'Mr. Giles... How dare you? Taking advantage of her like that...'

'Mom, Giles wasn't taking advantage of anybody. I wanted this.'

'You stay out of this, young lady. Go to your room. And you, get out of her room.'

'Mom!'

'Mrs. Summers...'

'Don't. Both of you just shut up. I don't want to hear it. I told you to do something Buffy.'

'Mom, you can't just...'

'Yes I can. You're my daughter. And when I tell you to do something I expect you to do it.' She turned to Giles. 'When the new watcher gets here, do us all a favor and leave.'

'You have no right to talk to him like that!'

'Buffy...'

'I have every right. A man you're father's age...'

'Angel has two hundred years on him and you never kicked him out!'

'Buffy!'

'No, mom. You're not going to stop me.'

'It's me or him, Buffy.'

They looked at Joyce in amazement. Giles was not expecting this. He also wasn't expecting Buffy to dash down the stairs and slam the door behind her.

Joyce turned to Giles. He put his shoes on and left without a word.

**

Buffy was lying on his bed, crying. He laid down behind her and wrapped his arms around her. A sob shook her body, and Giles moved her hair aside so he could kiss the back of her knack.

'I'm so sorry, Buffy. I never meant for it to go this way.'

Buffy sobbed again, and Giles kissed her again. 'It's all right. She'll calm down. She was just upset, that's all. She didn't mean it.'

Buffy sniffed and continued crying. Eventually she calmed down, and soon afterwards fell asleep.

**

Giles could see Joyce standing at his front door as he came back with the take out.

'Mrs. Summers.'

She looked at him as he climbed the stairs, looking a little unsure of herself. 'Mr. Giles. Um, hello.'

Giles opened his door and followed her in. 'Take out?'

'Yes. It's hard work satisfying someone who ate your food for 18 years. Or maybe it's British cooking she can't handle.'

'Is she here or at school?'

'She's upstairs. She cried herself to sleep.' He knew it wasn't fair to throw that in her face, but at the moment he didn't care about fair.

'I... I didn't mean to make her cry. I didn't mean what I said.'

'No, you never do. But you still manage to hurt her. Every time.'

Joyce looked away, and saw Buffy standing at the edge of the stairs, clad in one of Giles' shirts.

Giles knew that's not what she wore when she fell asleep. She put it on deliberately, rubbing her mother's nose in it. He felt a strong desire to lecture her until she squirmed, but now wasn't the time.

'Buffy.'

'Mom. What are you doing here?'

'I came to apologize...'

'Yeah, well, I'm not interested.'

'Buffy!'

'Don't Buffy me, Giles. You can't apologize for what you did, mom. I'm not talking about kicking him out of my room. Your house, your rules. But making me chose... how could you do that and still pretend you love me?'

'I do love you...'

'If you loved me you wouldn't make me chose.'

'That's why I'm here. I realize it wasn't fair. I want you to come home, please.'

'And Giles?'

'We can talk about that later.'

'No. You want me back, it's a package deal.'

'Buffy, why don't you give your mother some time to adjust to the situation?'

'Fine. She can have all the time she wants. She knows where I am.'

Buffy walked over to Giles, took the food bags from him and went to the kitchen. They both watched her for a while, until finally Joyce turned around, and mumbling a goodbye, left.

Giles joined Buffy in the kitchen. 'That wasn't fair. She was trying to make things right.'

'She can't have me without you. That's the new rule. If she says she can live with you and me as a couple, or at least pretend that she can, I'll go back. Unless I decide I like it here too much, in which case I'll only be over there for dinner.'

Giles shook his head at her. 'I want you to talk to her tonight.'

Buffy opened her mouth to argue and he put a finger to her lips, shushing her. 'Tonight. You can't drop something like this on her and than leave her to deal with it by herself. Talk to her.'

That last part was in his 'no nonsense' tone, which Buffy knew all to well and had learned not to argue with.

'Alright. I'll talk to her. But it's both of us or none of us.'

'Neither. Fine.'

She kissed him and opened the bags 'Now, let's see what you brought.'

**

Giles sat on his sofa, reading a book. Buffy sat next to him and leaned her head on the crook of his shoulder, murmuring with content when he put his arm around her. 'Have you talked to your mother?'

The sound she made was not content. 'Not yet. Later, when I'm ready.'

'Tonight.'

'Alright.'

He kissed her, than went back to his book. She yanked it from his hands and tossed it aside. 'Would you please pay attention to me?'

He chuckled, kissed her again and started running his hands along her side, tickling her. 'What kind of attention? And to which part of you?'

She giggled and kissed him. 'Any part. And you know what kind.'

He turned her around and kissed her, both his hands finding their way to her breasts.

**

'Mom...' Buffy snuck a look at the still sleeping Giles, wondering if he would be able to move after sleeping on the tiny sofa. She suddenly realized neither of them went to school that day. As if they weren't in enough trouble already. But now was not the time.

'I know you're sorry. I'm sorry too. But Giles... I love him. And he loves me and cares about me. I want to be with him. And I want you to except it... I know. Why don't you come to dinner? Talk to him?... Alright. By the way, you're cooking... Okay, bye. I love you.'

**

'Dinner went well.'

'Well is a strong word.'

'Mom didn't kill you.'

'Alright, maybe well is as good a word as any.'

They were lying on Giles' bed, snuggled against each other. Buffy tried to think about the last time she felt so nice and safe, but couldn't. Giles made her feel better than she had since before she was the slayer.

She looked at him. He was already half asleep. Food had that affect on him, and her mother was a good cook. He looked calm. Calmer than she'd ever seen him, in fact. And it made her happy, knowing that it was because she was there.

She couldn't help thinking that this was probably the first time she made him calm. She angered him when she wouldn't listen to him, disappointed him when he found out about Angel and worried him when she ran away.

And, try as she might, she couldn't help feeling responsible for Jenny's death and his torture. Whenever she tried talking to him about it he'd tell her it wasn't her fault, she had no way of knowing what would happen. But she could see in his eyes that he wished she would have had a little more self-control. Waited a little. Or indefinitely. In his eyes she could sometimes imagine the words "Couldn't you wait until your wedding day?". She thought she had disappointed him then too, despite his insistence that she hadn't. And she blamed herself for his heart breaking.

But he loved her. He didn't turn his back on her, even after Jenny died. After she ran. After she hid Angel. He was still in love with her, still cared about her and loved her and wanted to be with her.

Suddenly she thought about Christmas. She had asked him to help Angel. She knew Angel hadn't even bothered to apologize for what happened. She wondered if Giles was angry with her for that. At the time she thought he needed to make the distinction between Angel and Angelus. But what right did she have to demand that of him, when Angel himself saw both beings as the same one?

None. But she came to him and asked him to help the man that left Jenny in his bed. And tortured him. And he did. And she felt terrible thinking about that. How it must have hurt him to help her old lover, save his life, after what he'd done to him. And she didn't think about that. She had spent Christmas day with Angel, not even seeing Giles 'till the day after, when she finally brought him his gift.

At this point she was feeling like she deserved to be killed, not loved. She noticed she had tears on her cheeks. She had hurt him so much over the years, especially that last year. She couldn't stand herself.

Her tears touched his skin and woke him up. 'What is it love?'

The concern in his voice made her cry harder, and she buried her face in his chest. 'I'm sorry, I'm so sorry. I didn't want to hurt you, I just wasn't thinking. I'm sorry. Please...'

'It's all right, Buffy. What ever it is you think you've done, I forgive you. And I love you. Please, stop crying.'

She couldn't.

**

'Calmed down a little, have we?'

Buffy nodded quietly and took the cup from Giles. It was almost time for her to go to school, and Willow did say that Snyder was looking for both of them yesterday. She'd have to pull herself together. She had nothing to be upset about. She managed to tell Giles why she was crying last night, and he kissed her so gently the tears stopped almost immediately.

'If you really feel this is something we need to talk about, then we'll do it after school. But, Buffy, I love you, and nothing that's happened did or will be able to change that. Do you believe me when I say I don't care about things that were?'

'Yes.'

'Then the only thing you have to worry about is the possibility you've been expelled. Missing two days was not the smartest thing I've let you do.'

'Mom says she'll talk to Snyder before I get to school and tell him we had a family crisis. She's sort of not even lying.'

She got up, put her tea on the nightstand, and looked at Giles, still sitting on the bed. 'Thank you.'

He smiled at her. She bent down to kiss him, and went to the bathroom.

Giles watched her go. Trust Buffy to think he's mad at her half an hour after they've made love, and allow it to bother her all night long, even after he'd told her he doesn't think about those things.

Most of the time. But he didn't want to tell her that. Angel stayed out of his way before and since Christmas. He was the thing she seemed to be the most worried about. But Angel and Buffy hadn't merely had sex. They made love. He knew that, which is why he couldn't blame her for Angelus.

But he did blame Angel. He should have known better. Should have checked out that curse of his way before he got to Sunnydale.

And Jenny... He tried to tell himself that she had no way of knowing one night of passion would lead to that... But if she had told them about the happiness clause, Buffy and Angel could have played connect the dots. They weren't stupid. But she didn't, and they innocently followed their love to the near destruction of the world.

No. He didn't blame Buffy for the whole Angelus mess. He didn't even blame her so much for running away. What happened was too much for her, he could see that. He was a little mad it took her three months to let them know she was alive, but he knew what it was like not to want to be near anyone, out of fear of hurting them. He forgave her for his staying up for three months eating himself with worry.

It was hiding Angel he had a problem with. He nearly brought her to tears that day, he knew that. Later, at the hospital getting his head bandaged (yet again), he felt sorry for that. But then and there he thought he managed to contain his anger rather well.

And he still had a little problem dealing with what he considered her betrayal. He didn't want to tell her that. Now more than ever he didn't think she'd take it very well. If she pressed the issue, he'd tell her everything. If not... well, time will heal old wounds.

Right now he just had to hope Buffy still had a school to go to. He certainly no longer had a job.

**

'How was your day?'

'Snyder bought mom's story, or at least he didn't make much of knowing it was a lie. He said he wants you to come and pick up all the library books that don't actually belong in the library.' Buffy flopped down on the sofa next to Giles and placed her head in his lap. He played with her hair, not taking his eyes off his book.

'Is there a new librarian?'

'Yeah. Some old lady that got spooked when she saw your books. She put all your stuff in boxes, but she was real careful so I guess she's at least nice, right?'

'It would seem so. I got a call from the museum today. I have an interview next week.'

'I know, mom told me. We had a late lunch. She wanted me to spend the night at home.'

'Maybe you should. She wants you around.'

'Maybe.' She was quiet for a while. 'I told Willow. About us.'

'How did she take it?'

'I think her mouth is probably still open.'

Giles smiled. 'That's better than your mother took it. What did the rest of them have to say?'

'Cordealia said 'Eww.' Xander said 'Anything's better than dead boy. At least you can sleep with him without the world ending.' Cordelia said 'Eww' again. Oz just kind of smiled. Which is a lot from him.'

'Sounds like them. You know you haven't been on patrol since Monday night?'

'What are you implying?'

'I'm not implying anything. Find Faith and get going.'

'You are such a party pooper.' But she got up, kissed him goodbye and left.

**

Faith took the news better than anyone, in her usual 'way to go, B' manner. Buffy tried her best not to blush at the remarks Faith kept throwing her way, but eventually gave up and decided to split the patrol.

And ran into Angel.

**

He heard them. She should have known. Just like him to follow them around and listen to their conversation. And now he knew.

'I can't believe he'd do that.'

'What?'

'Use you like that?'

'He's not using me, we both want this. He loves me. I love him.'

'He's your watcher, and he's as old as your father!'

Buffy raised her eyebrows at him. 'Okay, maybe that was the wrong argument. But... this isn't right Buffy and you know it.'

'No, I don't know it. If you can be happy for us Angel than fine. If you can't, I'd appreciate it if you'd keep your nose out of it. Goodnight.'

Angel just stood there, watching her go.

**

She made another round before going home, calming herself down. She couldn't believe Angel, "He's as old as your father!" God, how big a hypocrite can someone be? Angel was older than Giles and her father put together. Three times as old as that, actually. God.

It was past midnight when she got back to Giles' place, and he was already asleep. But she wasn't in the mood for sleeping. At least not in the conventional sense of the word. She slid one hand under the blanket, pleased to see he wasn't wearing anything.

He woke up with a start when her hand reached her destination. 'What are you doing?'

'Nothing.'

'Buffy, you have school in the morning...'

'Watcher, lover, MOTHER. Come on, Giles. Just a quick one.' Her hand fastened around him and he hissed.

'You certainly know how to change a man's mind.'

**

Last school day of the week. That lightened Buffy's mood. She hopped down the stairs into the kitchen. 'Good morning lover.'

'Good morning.' Giles' morning kiss was light, gentle, and still full of passion. 'Did you sleep well?'

'Yes. You?'

'Just fine. When you let me.'

Buffy grinned at him. 'And how was being kept awake?'

He grinned back and kissed her again. 'Better.'

'Glad to hear that. Want to have another go?'

'You need to go to school.'

Buffy pouted at him, and received a pointed glare in return. She hated the way he could get her to obey him just by looking at her. 'Fine, I'll go. But I'm not staying for detention.

He kissed her. 'Detention or cleaning weapons through the weekend. Your choice.'

She grunted. 'You're my lover, you're not supposed to be disciplining me.'

'I'm also your watcher. Which is it?'

'Detention.' She sighed. 'We going to have to talk about this. You can't be both, that's not fair.'

'Just think about what we can do every time I ground you.'

Buffy smiled. 'Ho yeah.'

**

The weekend was peaceful. Buffy didn't have to clean any weapons, and all their training sessions ended in bed, or on the mattress.

Sunday night found Giles sitting in his armchair next to the fireplace. Buffy came over and slid into his lap. 'What are you thinking about?'

He wrapped his arms around her, kissing her temple gently. 'I got a phone call today. The council. The new watcher will be here tomorrow.'

Buffy grunted and buried her head in his shoulder. To him it looked like she was trying to hide herself in him, seeking protection from the watcher.

'I don't want another watcher.'

'There's nothing we can do about it, you need the council's resources. I'll keep an eye on him, don't worry.'

She relaxed a little, but still didn't seem very happy about it. 'I... you won't leave, now that he's here would you?'

Giles seemed hurt at her question. 'I didn't leave when I was only a friend. You think I would leave you now, that we are what we are to each other?'

'I'm sorry.'

Giles sighed, held her tighter and stroke her hair. She moved around until her back was to him, leaning her head on his shoulder, and they watched the fire together. In a way she was glad the new watcher was there, he could take some of the pressure off Giles, which would leave him with more free time.

'I love you.'

'I love you too. Don't worry.'

**

Their seven days of complete peace were over. The new watcher interfered with their life, disrupted the perfect life that was theirs when they were alone. But it didn't really matter. They were together. They made it through Wesley, through Faith, the ascension and everything else that happened on the hell mouth, guided by the memory of that week.

END