Sublime Semblance (My Other Half)
By Megan

DISCLAIMER: Buffy the Vampire Slayer belongs to Joss Whedon, WB, and Fox,not me.
SPOILERS: Nothing really.

RATED: G
NOTES: This would be season five or six.


Giles gazed into the eyes of his fallen Slayer and held her limp body close to his heart. He knew this day would come, yet had hoped that in some way it would not. That he would be able to protect her from anything, he had promised that to her all those years ago, but he could not predict the future and in this weakness he saw how human she was-how human they both were. They were not invincible by any means, nothing lasted forever. In Giles' heart, he knew that since the dawn of time there had not been a deeper love than theirs'. They had had time together, and it had been beautiful to behold. All the plans made, were wasted now. All the hopes that he himself had given this sublime creature, crumbled before him. Like the fall of a great city, the losses were nearly too much to handle.

Giles lay the empty shell of the soul that would never rest down on the hard, cold earth and weeped openly, asking his God, or rather any god at this point to give him his treasure back. Buffy was his treasure, and his day, noon and night. She was the tide of his ocean and the one who made him take in each breath. She was reason he awoke each morning, and the reason he treasured every minute of his day. She was the light that lit his soul and pushed the darkness away. She was his and he was hers, and they were one in the same. They breathed the same breath and took the same bread. Together they were life, apart they were death.

Realizing nothing could be done tonight, Giles picked up the body and cradled it in his arms. He walked home and told no one-they each deserved a last night of rest; a last night of knowing that the world was okay and that everything was at peace for when they heard of Buffy's death, it would all be over. Giles lay in his bed-their bed-with Buffy's limp form beside him. Some would think this strange, but those who knew true love knew that it was necessary after having slept with a warm body beside him for so long.

Giles set his phone back into the receiver and sat on the couch. To call Willow and tell her that Buffy had been killed by a demon, a simple demon at that, caused an interminable sadness in him, so much so that Willow offered to call the rest of Buffy's closest friends for him, including her family. He had kindly accepted with a congenial attitude that wasn't necessary for Willow but vital for him. Showing his true feelings, feelings that caused the most poignant of pain, would nearly kill him. Buffy's struggle for life was over yet his was just beginning. Today would be the day for so many bright new beginnings and at the same time so, so many endings. It was the ending of the only true love that ever was, and the ending of the sorrows of love's most cherished girl. It was the end of the girl who never slept, and of the girl who would never know the true extent of her gifts. The end of the end for Buffy and the beginning of the end for Giles. He could not survive without his other half and knew his time would come and he would again see his lost love, but for now he delt with the burial as one would something they do not want to do yet must. It was a task for him and one that he must rid himself of as soon as possible. For Rupert Giles, it was the end of love.

Blinking back the tears that nearly overcame him, Giles stood up and climbed the stairs to his bed. At once he saw that something was missing: Buffy. "Dear God!" The tears flowed like a life line that should never be called upon.

In a terror filled haze Giles brought himself upon the spot where she used to lie and flung his arms around in a desperate need for his Slayer.

A knock sounded upon the door and Giles did not move; whomever it was could wait for they were not Buffy and Buffy was the one whom he seeked at this moment. No one else had the fire within her that she did, no one had the sublime semblance that she carried high and proud. No one else would do. Never.

Giles swallowed yet left the icy tears that ran down his hot cheeks alone as though they were a sign that he would grieve for though he would never love another, he would always love his other half.

At the funeral he was called upon to make a speech as they found the body under the bed; it had somehow rolled off. This had struck Giles as an almost silly end for such a stoic and sacred girl, his girl. She always did want to go out with a bang, he thought ruefully. Willow had found her after knocking on his door for nearly an hour and looking everywhere as though Buffy were someone's car keys gone astray. It was an obscure ending for an obscure girl. Just the way she would've wanted it.

Giles eased his way up to the simple podium in the little cemetery, the same cemetery he and Buffy had patrolled in for all those years. All those lovely years. Shame she died only a block from this place, it just isn't right for a girl such as she. For a woman such as Buffy Summers.

He gingerly unfolded the small crinkled paper and began the customary mantra that he'd hoped wouldn't be so customary this year.

"I knew Buffy Anne Summers very well in her short life, she was the most beautiful person I have ever known and I am not speaking about her looks though she was very pretty. No, I am talking about the older usage of beautiful that means a joy to talk to, her natural proclivities tended to be congenial and she had a certain eloquence that is not seen very often in this day and time. She reminded me of my home country of England and before she died she had often talked of going there, I returned that she had much time to do such things; I was wrong. Buffy Anne Summers was much, much more than you all think and I believe it is time to tell you the real Buffy. Most of you will walk out no more informed than when you came, but perhaps some of you shall take this to heart and open your minds and perhaps others will simply ask the question of 'can what this silly old man is telling me possibly be true?'

"Buffy was chosen to fight things most of you only dream about in your nightmares. Nightly she battled vampires and the evil that most try to forget exists. Many of you only know her as the person who saved you, as the warrior who was there when nobody else was. She gave up nearly everything to save each and everyone of you, and this time she gave her life.

"Before any of you ask, no I am not insane. I have been tested and the results, surprisingly, came back negative." The crowd before him chuckled softly, wanting to be happy again yet not feeling quite right. Giles knew how they felt.

"Another thing that many of you do not know is that a year before her death, Buffy and I became romantically involved. No, I am not a pervert, and yes it was her choice. You might ask why I am telling you, that is should be my business and only that. I want you, when you walk out of here, to feel that you knew her even if she only said an urgent 'go' and you were gone. I knew her and she was my life for a long time. She always has been and always shall remain so." By now, Giles' eyes were filling with tears despite his tries to keep the mood light.

"I-I." Giles finally just let his tears fall down his cheeks, these people knew his sorrow and perhaps in his tears, he could ease some of his own pain. "I loved Buffy Anne Summers very much. I have written a poem in her honor, and if you all don't mind, I'd like to share it with you." Giles closed his eyes and began to recite the words he had written for her:

"Buffy was my treasure, and my day, noon and night

She was candle who always shined so very bright.

Buffy was the reason I awoke each morning, and the reason I treasured every minute of my day

She was the light that lit my soul and pushed the darkness away.

Buffy was my everything

that made up for all the nothing

that fate threw my way.

So now I say goodbye, say goodbye to the one I love

and I only ask that you remember my Buffy, my Dove."

END