Shock
By Gibberish

Title: Shock
Author: Gibberish
Disclaimer: Thank you Joss for creating them, now close your eyes while I take them out to play.
Rating: PG-13 to a very mild R, just to be very careful.
Spoilers: Very minor into season 4.
Summary: Giles has a one night stand, Buffy has a conniption. Hmm? What could that mean?
Distribution: CAP, of course. Solo, Jessica, Sai. Anyone else, just ask.
Comments: Challenge at Watching You, Watching Me. Took me quite a while, but I couldn't leave it alone.
Feedback: Happy me. NCC1839@aol.com     Be kind.


           Giles woke up with a hangover, he never learned. His head hurt, his stomach was queasy and he had a terrible feeling of impending doom. He carefully opened his eyes. "Oh God." He groaned at the sight of the small blonde in bed next to him. Who the hell was she?

 

   Buffy, Willow, Oz and Xander made their way to Giles'. He had seemed a bit ... Touchy yesterday and they wanted to see if he was all right. Maybe cheer him up. Buffy knocked on the door. Four mouths dropped open when the door was opened by a pretty blonde that wore nothing but one of Giles' shirts.

  "Where's Giles?" Buffy demanded.

  "Way to go G-man." Xander said in awe.

  Giles heard the voices in horror and came out of the kitchen in his robe.

  Buffy looked at him, her eyes wide with hurt and a sense of betrayal that she didn't understand. "What's going on? Who is she?"

  "This is ..." <Bloody hell!> Giles thought. He couldn't remember the girls name. "Um..."

  "Beth." The girl supplied, mildly irritated.

  "You can't even remember her name." Buffy accused him. She hadn't even heard the woman speak.

  Xander, Willow and Oz watched it all unfold in fascinated silence.

  "How could you?" Buffy asked in disgust.

  "I can explain." Giles told her. "I think." He reached out a hand, but Buffy pulled away and it dropped back to his side.

  "You can explain? I don't want to hear it." Buffy told him. "I don't think I can." She turned and ran.

  "Buffy!" Giles called after her. "Buffy wait." Then, he whispered, "Please."

  Beth's eyes narrowed. "Did you say Buffy?" She asked Giles.

  Giles looked at her, warily confused. "Yes." And found himself slapped. "What was that for?"

  "You cried out her name." Beth said angrily. "Last night, I thought you'd said Bethy. Now I'm sure, it was Buffy." She stomped upstairs to get her clothes.

  Xander, Willow and Oz slowly processed what they had just witnessed. Giles had two beautiful, petite, green eyed, blondes angry at him. Xander summed it up, "Holy shit."

  Giles closed his eyes in pain and mortification. He would have to wait at least twelve hours to find a vampire to kill him.

  Beth stomped back down the stairs in her own clothes and out the door. "Uh ... Giles?" Willow said hesitantly.

  Giles opened his eyes and looked at her. She looked quite concerned. "Yes, Willow."

  "You okay?" She asked.

  Giles almost smiled, at least there was one female not angry with him. "No Willow, I am very much afraid that I'm not."

  "Anything we can do?" Willow asked next.

  "Do you know where Buffy would go?" Giles asked cautiously.

  Willow bit her lip. "Home?" It was the only place that she could think of. "But, I don't think you should ..."

  "Perhaps not." Giles agreed. "She and I will have to talk though."

  "Yeah." Xander said. "But, you don't want her to have access to any weapons when you do. Why was she so upset anyway?" He asked. "She didn't even hear the part about you calling out her name when you ..." He gestured with his hands, he wasn't going to say it. "You know."

  Willow and Oz looked at each other and just shook their heads. Giles looked at Xander blankly. He didn't know.

  "I'll talk to her." Willow told them. She loked at Giles in what could only be called sympathetic humor. "Maybe you should think about why she was so upset." She said pointedly. She understood Xander, he never saw what was right in front of him. Especially if he didn't want to. Giles, however, was usually more perceptive. She shook her head and looked at Oz. "Take me to Buffy's?" Oz simply nodded, bemused, and they turned and left.

  Xander and Giles stood there confused. "Um, Giles?" Xander said hesitantly.

  "Yes, Xander." Giles responded.

  "Aren't you going to even try and convince me that we misunderstood what we saw and heard?" Xander asked.

  "What would be the point?" Giles asked n return.

  They were both silent for a minute. "I understand, you know." Xander finally commented, awkwardly. "About Buffy, I mean. It must be hard ... difficult." Xander corrected himself quickly. "For you. Buffy's so ..." He gestured inadequately. "And she's always there. Being Buffy." He shrugged. "How could you not love her?"

 

   Willow walked in to Buffy's room. Buffy stood at the window, her arms folded across her stomach and her hands clenched into fists. "Can I come in?" Willow asked from the door.

  Buffy looked at her. "Sure Will." She said softly.

  "You okay?" Willow asked as she joined her by the window.

  "Feel like an idiot." Buffy muttered.

  "Giles feels terrible that you were so upset." She looked at her shrewdly. "Why were you so upset?"

  "I don't know Will." Buffy said. "I'm just so angry."

  "At Giles?" Willow asked.

  "How could he do that?" Buffy asked in return.

  "I'll grant you, it wasn't the smartest thing." Willow said. "But, maybe he needed someone. Maybe, he's lonely. Maybe ..." She debated. "Maybe, she reminded him of someone."

  Buffy looked confused. "She didn't look like Ms. Calendar."

  Willow sighed. "No. She didn't."

  "Do you really think Giles is lonely?" Buffy asked in a small voice. "I don't want him  to be lonely."

  "Didn't she remind you of anyone?" Willow asked.

  Buffy looked at her funny. "Should she? Why would he pick up some bimbo? Why not just ask the woman he wants to be with?"

  "Maybe he's afraid." Willow got an idea. "Maybe we could help him."

  Buffy didn't look happy about that. "How?"

  "Well, if we figure out who she reminds him of, we could find out if she feels the same." Willow said. <Come on Buffy. Help me.> "Then, Giles would be happy."

  Buffy's shoulders slumped. She wanted Giles to be happy. "How do we figure it out?" She asked unenthused.

  "Start with what we know." Willow said as she hid a smile. "Appearance."

  Buffy's hands clenched back into fists. "She was blonde." She said flatly.

  "Her eyes were green." Willow pointed out helpfully. "What else?"

  Buffy sighed and repeated to herself  "She wasn't very tall." She added.

  Willow almost rolled her eyes. "So, we have a petite, green eyed, blonde. Who does Giles know that looks like that?" She asked Buffy.

  "Nobody." Buffy said. "Just ..."

  Willow saw the light dawn. "Just ...?" Willow asked gently.

  Buffy looked at Willow, her eyes wide. "Me?" Her voice squeaked.

  <Finally.> Willow thought.

 

   Giles came back downstairs after a very hot shower. He dressed casual, a sweater and slacks. He went in to the kitchen and found Xander making tea and toast.

  Xander looked at him in sympathy. "Thought it might help."

  Giles sat wearily at the counter. "Thank you Xander." He said as Xander placed the tea and toast on the counter, in front of him.

  "You okay?" Xander asked as he hovered nervously.

  "Better anyway." Giles told him. "This is why I gave up drinking."

  "Can I ask?" Xander asked. "What pushed you to it last night?"

  "Nothing in particular really." Giles answered. "Just the build up over time, I suppose."

  Xander nodded in understanding. "I thought, maybe, it was the little outfit she decided to train in yesterday."

  "Yes," Giles concurred. "There was that as well."

  "I've been thinking about why Buffy got so mad." Xander commented.

  "And what did you come up with?" Giles asked.

  "Jealousy." Xander stated.

  Giles gagged on his tea. "What?!" He asked in disbelief.

  "Jealousy." Xander said again. "Trust me, I know the signs."

  "She couldn't possibly ..." Giles' words trailed off.

  "Why couldn't she?" Xander asked. "Look, I realized a while ago that Buffy needed more than a regular guy. Let's face it, how *does* a guy compete with a two hundred and forty something year old vampire? But, you're not a regular guy. You're a Watcher, Council or no Council. And, you're older. I think Buffy may need that."

  "You think that Buffy needs an old man?" Giles as drily.

  "A mature man." Xander corrected. "Buffy needs stability. An anchor. A man that can deal with who she is. As beautiful and wonderful as Buffy is, you're still the only man that can honestly say that she's the most important thing in your life. As much as I love her, even I can't say that. We all know Angel couldn't." He took in Giles' surprised expression and shrugged. "She needs you."

 

   Buffy looked at Willow. "You knew?" Willow nodded. "Why didn't you say anything?"

  Willow shrugged. "I tried, more than once, you didn't want to hear it."

  "I ..." Buffy looked away.

  "You two are the only ones that don't see it." Willow commented. "I think even Xander must it see now."

  "What am I going to do Will?" Buffy asked.

  "Buffy?" Willow asked gently. "What are you so afraid of?"

  "What if you're wrong?" Buffy asked. "What if it's just a coincidence?"

  "Buffy ..." Willow sighed. She decided to be blunt. "It's not a coincidence. When Giles called after you, she hit him."

  Buffy's eyes blazed. "What?"

  "She slapped him." Willow reiterated. She grabbed Buffy's arm as she started to walk past. Probably to return the favor to the girl. Buffy looked at her. "Don't you want o know why?" She waited for Buffy to ask, but she didn't. Willow sighed again. "Because it was your name that he called out." Buffy looked at her blankly.  "During sex."

  Buffy's eyes widened and she dropped on to the bed as the implication of that sank in.

 

    Xander cleaned up after Giles' breakfast. He gave Giles a skittish look. "Giles?" Giles looked at him. Xander met his eyes. "Promise me you won't drink like that anymore."

  Giles looked at the boy ... Young man before him, his eyes begged. Giles knew about his parents, they were both drinkers and occasionally abusive. "I promise." Giles told him seriously.

  Xander gave him a relieved smile. "Thanks."

  "I should have known better." Giles commented. "I have notoriously bad judgment when drinking. And I have no desire to repeat this disaster."

  "She'll forgive you." Xander  told him confidently.

  "I hope so."

 

   Willow stood and pulled Buffy along with her. "You and Giles need to talk."

  "Oh, Will ..." Buffy said. "I don't think I can."

  "You can." Willow told her firmly. "You will. You have to."

 

   After Xander left, Giles couldn't help but think about what he had said. Could Buffy be jealous? Would it matter after this? She had been disgusted. There was a timid knock at the door. His heart leapt as he rose to answer. He looked out, took a deep breath and opened the door. Buffy came through as if pushed and a hand grabbed the outside door handle and pulled the door closed.

  The pair stood there and stared at each other awkwardly. Buffy's eyes would meet his and skitter away. Giles gestured her to the couch. "Please Buffy, sit down." His voice was low and cautious. She sat on the couch and he on the chair adjacent

 

  "One night stands are dangerous." Buffy told him without looking at him. "Please tell me you were careful."

  "Apparently we were." Giles said with his eyes on his tightly clenched hands.

  Buffy looked at him then. "Apparently?"

  "I ... I don't remember." Giles told her, his face red and his knuckles white.

  "Then, how do you know?" Buffy asked.

  "I  I  I found ...  evidence." Giles finally admitted.

  "Evidence?" Then, her eyes widened. "Oh." She looked down. "You were drunk." She said flatly. "You promised that you wouldn't do that again." Buffy reminded him.

  "I'm sorry." Giles said with a short laugh. "My tolerance isn't what it once was."

  "Why Giles?" Buffy asked in a shaky whisper. "Why did you do it?"

  "The drinking?" Giles asked in return. "Or the woman?"

  "Both."

  He was quiet so long that Buffy thought that he wasn't going to answer. "I suppose, because she reminded me of you."

  "Willow said she hit you." Buffy commented.

  Giles rubbed his face with his hands. "Did she tell you why?" Buffy nodded. "I am sorry Buffy."

  "Sorry that you want me? Sorry that you used someone? Or, are you sorry you got caught?" Buffy asked bluntly. "Or are you just sorry that it wasn't me?" Her voice for the last question barely audible.

  Giles eyes shot to hers. "I would never presume ..."

  "Why not?" Buffy interrupted. "You never know unless you ask, but you didn't. Why do people keep making my decisions by not asking me?"

  Giles stared at her mutely. Even if he did know what to say, he didn't think he could have spoken.

  "Everybody decides what's best for me, but nobody asks me what I want." Buffy continued softly. "Do you really think so little of me?"

  "Buffy, I ... I think the world of you." Giles said nervously. "Surely, you must know that."

  "I know you care about me." Buffy responded. "But ... Why didn't you ever tell me how you really felt? You went out and slept with a stranger rather than even ask. You ... You didn't even try Giles."

  "Buffy, ..." Giles sighed. "You're only eighteen." He pointed out hesitantly.

  Buffy met his eyes sadly. "How old was she?" She asked with a sigh. "I know that I've made some bad decisions. I'll probably make more. But, believe it or not, I have learned from them. I learned that I could make it on my own, but I didn't like it. I've learned that by trying to protect someone that you can hurt them even more. And I've learned that love can be painful." She took his hand. "But, I've also learned that it doesn't have to be. You've shown me that everyday."

  Giles stared at her speechless. "I don't know what to say."

  Buffy met his eyes. "I'll tell you what I told Willow when we first met. Seize the day. Tomorrow, we might be dead."

  Giles looked at her for a long time. He wasn't certain, exactly, what he was looking for, but he found it in her eyes. He gently tugged her hand, pulled her in to his lap and held her to him. He never thought that he would be able to hold her like this. "I love you so very much Buffy." He said softly into her hair. "Will you let me show you?" He felt her nod. Giles tilted her face up and gently pressed his lips to hers.

END