Sing to Me?
By Lis

Title: Sing to Me?
Authour: Lis
Contact: lissamae@pacbell.net
Date: 4/2/01
Spoilers: Up to "The Body"
Summary: After the funeral
Rating: PG-13 (just to be on the safe side)
Pairing: Buffy/Giles (who else?)
Distribution: Not sure who'd want it but go ahead and ask!
Feedback: Please! It's my first attempt so I'd like to know if I'm any good or if I should go take up underwater basketweaving instead.
Disclaimer: Buffy and Giles and Company belong to Joss. "You'll Be In My Heart" belongs to Phil Collins and Disney, I believe.


"NO! GILES, NOOOOO!!!"

Rupert Giles sat bolt upright at his Slayer's cry. Unfolding himself from the couch, he ran up the stairs, desperate to get to Buffy's side. Bursting into the loft, he found Buffy sitting up in his bed, the covers tangled around her. Her eyes were wide and unseeing, still in the grip of the nightmare that had caused the screams.

He rushed to her side and gathered her in his arms, rocking back and forth and crooning gently to her, "Shh, it's all right, Buffy. I'm here, see? I'm not going anywhere. You're all right now."

"Giles?" The voice was small and frightened.

"Yes, luv. I'm here, it's all right, " he replied in a soothing voice.

Buffy pulled back slightly from his embrace and her eyes slowly focused on his with dawning awareness. She threw her arms around his waist and buried her face against his shoulder as her body began to shake with sobs. "Oh God, Giles! You were gone! I needed you and you weren't there and I can't, I can't - "

Giles closed his eyes as he heard the anguish in her voice. She had lost so much already. First, her childhood and innocence had been taken from her because of her Calling. Soon after, her father had left them. Angel, Riley, even in a sense, her sister when they found out Dawn was not really theirs. And now, her mother was gone.

***EARLIER THAT DAY***

The day of the funeral had started off cloudy, as if mirroring the mood of the sad occasion. Buffy and Dawn were gathered around the gravesite along with everyone else who had come to pay their last respects to Joyce Summers. The Gang was there, of course. Xander had his arm around Anya, whispering in her ear and explaining to her the purpose of funerals. Willow and Tara stood holding hands, tears rolling down their faces. Giles himself stood behind Buffy, backing her up as he always did. Hank Summers was there, having managed to take time out of his busy schedule to actually be there for his daughters. Joyce's friends and colleagues from the gallery, doctors and nurses from the hospital, even some of Buffy's classmates from high school, they were all there to support Buffy and Dawn. However, even in the midst of all these people, it seemed like Buffy was alone. Hank stood between her and Dawn, with one arm around his younger daughter. He had tried to do the same to Buffy but she had gently, but firmly pulled away from him. She kept her eyes on her mother's coffin; her jaw tight and her eyes dry as if no tears would ever fall from them again.

As the minister concluded the final blessing, the coffin slowly began its final descent. Dawn started to sob as she watched her mother be lowered into the ground, but Buffy's expression never changed. At that moment, the clouds parted and a ray of sunlight shone down to illuminate the coffin as if the Powers Above had bestowed a final blessing of their own upon the woman who had touched these people's lives. Buffy gave a small smile at this heavenly recognition and as a lone tear finally made its way down her cheek, she whispered her final farewell to her mother.

"Goodbye, Mom. Don't worry, I'll watch out for her, just like I promised. I love you, Mommy," her voice so soft that only Giles heard her. He placed a hand upon her shoulder and felt her slowly relax under his touch. She turned to look up at him and gave him a sad smile of thanks.

After the funeral, the girls and Hank had gone back to the house. Hank was staying with them while he was in town for the funeral. Dawn, with the resiliency of youth, seemed to accept her father’s presence right away, talking to him about school and other stuff. Buffy on the other hand remained remote and distant, not ready to forgive Hank all those times he should have been there and wasn’t. After listening to Dawn and Hank chatter back and forth like a normal family, she couldn’t take it anymore and started to go upstairs.

"Buffy, where are you going?"

Buffy turned to face Hank and pasted a patently false smile on her face. "I’m feeling kinda tired so I thought I’d turn in."

Hank walked over to give her a hug and didn’t notice as Buffy stiffened at the contact. "Goodnight, honey. Don’t worry, we’ll get through this. We’re a family, right?"

Buffy looked at him incredulously but he had already turned to go back to Dawn. She shook her head and continued up the stairs to her room. As she contemplated the thought of sleep, she was overwhelmed with memories of all the times her mom had come into this room to soothe her after one of her nightmares and how safe she had felt afterwards. Realizing she was not going to be able to deal with staying here tonight, Buffy threw some clothes and stuff together in a duffel bag and headed out the window. There was only one place she could go where she could feel safe and comfortable tonight.

***PRESENT***

Giles had answered his door to find his Slayer standing on his doorstep with an overnight bag in her hand and a pleading expression on her face. She’d told him that she couldn’t stay at her house, not with having to think about her mom not being there anymore. She had asked if she could stay over with him, already knowing that he would agree. She had offered to take the couch but he had overridden her protests and settled her in his room. She had climbed under the covers and as he turned off the light and prepared to leave the room, he heard her call out softly, "Giles…?"

He’d walked to the side of the bed and she’d taken his hand and pulled him down so that his face was close to hers. In the darkness he heard her whisper, "Thank you, Giles. For everything." Then to his utter shock and delight, she’d pressed a light kiss to his lips before snuggling down into the covers and closing her eyes.

"Goodnight, Buffy. Sleep well," he’d whispered in return and quietly left the room.

She hadn’t of course. Which was why he was now sitting on his bed, holding a distraught Slayer in his arms and trying very hard not to think about how right it felt. As she continued to sob quietly in his arms, he pressed his lips to her hair and murmured, "What is it, luv? What did you dream?"

"Oh, Giles," she started in a trembling voice, "I was in the cemetery looking at my mom’s headstone. I was thinking that she was gone and how unfair it was that I could stop the world from ending time and time again but I couldn’t even save my mom. Then, as I was looking at the headstone, it changed. It wasn’t my mom’s name anymore. It was, it was –" Her voice broke, and her arms tightened around his waist.

Giles continued to stroke her hair gently and waited for her to continue. Taking a shuddering breath, Buffy quietly said, "It was you, Giles. It was your name on the headstone. It was your grave." She looked up at him, her eyes sparkling with tears, and whispered, "You left me. Why did you leave me?"

Giles cupped the side of her face with his hands as green eyes met blue. In a low but intense voice he said, "Buffy, I’m here. I’m here and I’m not leaving you. I’ll never leave you, not so long as you want me. Oh, Buffy, don’t you know that you are my life? I lo-" Giles stopped abruptly as he realized what he was about to admit.

Buffy smiled up at him through her tears. "It’s okay, Giles," she said. "You can say it. You love me. And even though I know you only love me as a daughter there’s something I have to tell you."

Giles started to say something but Buffy stopped him with a finger to his lips. "Shh, don’t say anything. This is something I have to say so please, let me do it." She took a deep breath and continued, never taking her eyes off his, "I love you, Giles. I’m in love with you. I have been for such a very long time. I just haven’t wanted to admit it because I knew you could never feel the same for me. I probably would never have told you but I realized when my mom died that life was too short to waste on ‘what ifs’ and that if you love someone, you should tell them because you never know if you’ll get the chance again. The life we live is too dangerous to count on and I wanted to be able to tell you, at least once, how much I love you. I’ve already lost so many people but I always got through it, just like I’ll get through losing my mom. But I can’t lose you, not you. You said that I’m your life, Giles. Well, you’re my salvation. You always have been and you always will be. Tomorrow we can go back to the way things were and pretend this never happened but for now, for tonight, I love you, Rupert Giles."

Buffy looked at him, hoping he would say something. As Giles did nothing but continue to stare at her with a shocked expression on his face, she dropped her eyes. "I- I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said-" she began to stammer.

Giles cut her off in mid-sentence as he covered her mouth with his.

At first Buffy didn’t respond, frozen with shock. Then her brain registered that Giles was kissing her. Giles was kissing her! She began to return his kiss, her arms stealing up around his neck as he pulled her closer to him. The kiss deepened with passion but also with tenderness, reaffirming the bond that had always held these two together.

As the kiss ended, Buffy pulled away to look up at Giles once more. With a mischievous smile on her face, she asked, "So, does this mean you DON’T love me like a daughter?"

Giles chuckled softly as he pulled her to him and rested his chin on her head. "Lord, no. Do you really think I’d kiss my daughter like that?"

"I should hope not!"

Giles continued in a softer tone, "I can’t believe this is happening. I’ve dreamt about this for so long…"

Buffy reached up to stroke his cheek, a tingle of pleasure shooting through her as he turned his head to place a kiss on her palm. "I know what you mean. I never thought that this- that we- I’m almost scared to believe it. But it’s true. I love you, Giles."

"And I you, my darling Buffy."

They continued to hold each other in silence, relishing the feel of each other and the pleasure of being together. Finally, Giles lifted his head and said, "It’s late, my dear. I know you haven’t been sleeping well and you need your rest. We can talk more in the morning."

Giles drew back and made to stand up but Buffy took his hand and asked, "Stay with me, tonight? " As he began to protest she continued, "I’d just like to feel your arms around me, that’s all. Please?"

"All right, move over, wench." Buffy giggled as Giles climbed into bed next to her and gathered her in his arms. She rested her head on his chest and sighed softly. They were both so worn out from the events of the past week that it was enough just to be together like this. Giles was stroking Buffy’s hair with one hand and his Slayer had grown so quiet he was sure she was asleep. Then, in a soft voice she asked, "Giles? Will you do one more thing for me?"

"Anything, Buffy."

"Sing to me?"

Giles closed his eyes in thought and then smiled as the perfect song came to him. The first time he’d heard this song, he’d thought of his Buffy and now, he finally had an opportunity to share it with her.

Come stop your crying it will be all right.
Just take my hand, hold it tight.
I will protect you from all around you,
I will be here don’t you cry.

For one so small, you seem so strong.
My arms will hold you, keep you safe and warm.
This bond between us, can’t be broken.
I will be here, don’t you cry.

Buffy smiled as she recognized the song. From the very first time she’d heard it, she had thought it described the way Giles made her feel perfectly. Closing her eyes, she relaxed in the arms of the man she loved and let his rich voice flow over her.

‘Cause you’ll be in my heart.
Yes, you’ll be in my heart.
From this day on, now and forever more.

You’ll be in my heart,
No matter what they say.
You’ll be here in my heart, always.

Why can’t they understand the way we feel?
They just don’t trust what they can’t explain.
I know we’re different, but deep inside us
We’re not that different at all.

Giles thought about how the others would react to his and Buffy’s new relationship. He knew that there were those who would have a hard time with it, seeing only a dirty old man taking advantage of a distraught young woman. He worried about how Buffy would deal with that and then realized that it didn’t matter. All that mattered was how they felt for each other.

And you’ll be in my heart.
Yes, you’ll be in my heart.
From this day on, now and forever more.

Don’t listen to them ‘cause what do they know?
We need each other to have, to hold.
They’ll see in time… I know.

When Destiny calls you, you must be strong.
I may not be with you, but you’ve got to hold on.
They’ll see in time… I know.
We’ll show them together

‘Cause you’ll be in my heart.
Yes, you’ll be in my heart.
From this day on, now and forever more.

Oh, you’ll be in my heart
No matter what they say.
You’ll be here in my heart, always.
Always…

Buffy knew that there would be tough times ahead of them. There was Glory still to deal with and Dawn to take care of. She knew her friends were going to be a little freaked about her and Giles but she had faith that they’d eventually be happy for her. Just like the song said, "They’ll see in time…" But all that could wait until tomorrow. Tonight, there was only Buffy and Giles. She closed her eyes and let herself slip into sleep, the words of Giles’ song carrying her to her dreams like a promise…

I’ll be there for you always
Always and always…
Just look over your shoulder.
Just look over your shoulder.
Just look over your shoulder…
I’ll be there, always…

 
THE END