Title: The Talk
Disclaimer: They belong to Joss, Mutant Enemy and the WB.
Rating: PG B/G
Spoilers: Through the season 4
Summary: They never talked about what Spike said to Giles. I think it's time they did, don't you? Not as ominous as it sounds.
Distribution: Solo, Jessica, Sai, Cassandra, Sal, WYWM, The LIST and After Image. Anyone else, please ask.
Feedback: Be kind
Notes: <Thoughts> *Emphasis*
What with the
reconciliation, the spell, the fighting and then the dreams
involving the first Slayer; Giles, Buffy, Willow and Xander had
been together for the majority of the previous two days and then
some. So, when Buffy showed up, unannounced, at his flat, Giles
was surprised. "What are you doing here?" He asked,
then when she raised her brows, he realized how it sounded.
"I mean, I thought you were seeing Riley today."
"Did." Buffy told him. "Wanted to make sure he was okay after his 'debriefing.' But I wanted to talk to you."
"You've had many chances to do so over the last couple of days." Giles commented. "Tea?" She nodded and he went into the kitchen. "Is something wrong?"
"You tell me." Buffy said as she leaned against the counter and watched him in the kitchen. Giles looked at her, confused. "Did you think I wouldn't notice? "
"Notice what?" Giles asked, warily, in return.
"What with Willow and Xander both screaming at me about what a lousy friend I am, all at Spike's urging, did you think I wouldn't notice that you never mentioned what he said to you?"
Giles turned away as he set the kettle on to boil. "I rather hoped."
"Nope." Buffy told him. "We just never had a chance to talk without the others around and I had the distinct impression that there really shouldn't be an audience."
"I'd rather not talk about it at all." Giles said without turning around.
"Do you really think that's an option?" Buffy asked softly. "I know Spike. He used their worries against them, but what he told them were lies. Nothing against Will or Xander, but I don't see you falling for a bunch of Spike lies. I figure that whatever he told you was a little more reality based, if twisted."
There was silence as they waited for the water to boil, then Giles prepared the tray and they went to the living area. Giles sipped at his tea. "That's the trouble, with me he didn't really have to twist anything."
Buffy set her own tea down and gave him her full attention. "I'm listening, though I reserve the right to argue."
Giles smiled a little, "I never realized that *you* had to reserve that right." He sighed. "We've grown apart, Buffy. While that's perfectly natural, given the circumstances, it's still difficult to accept. You haven't wished to train or ..."
"You said I had to do it on my own." Buffy reminded him. "I was trying to show you that I could. I guess I didn't do such a great job. I have missed you, Giles. I guess that I just got caught up in myself and didn't realize that it was me that was bothering you. I know that you've been at loose ends, but I thought that was because you didn't have a job." She considered him.
"Why is that anyway? Surely, somewhere in this town there's a job for Super Librarian." She said with a grin.
Giles returned her smile. "I have done some free lance work for the Museum. The one here and in LA, but nothing much recently."
"And there's the Expresso Pump." Buffy said. "When are you performing again, anyway? Willow says I have to see it."
"Yes, well, I'll let you know." Giles told her.
Buffy grinned. "No, you won't." Her smile faded. "We were so close last year. What happened, Giles?"
Giles sighed. "We've both changed so much over the years, Buffy. The truth is, I don't think you actually need a Watcher anymore."
Buffy froze. "Are you going to leave?" She asked in a small voice.
"Hadn't planned to." Giles assured her. "I like to think that I've been more than just a Watcher." It was more of a question.
"Oh, Giles. Words can't describe what you've been to me." Buffy told him seriously. "Do you remember when you saved me from Amy's Mom?"
Giles looked at her a moment, then nodded with a slight smile. "I believe you called me a god."
"I felt guiltier lying to you than my Mom." Buffy told him. "I couldn't describe our relationship if my life depended on it. Wesley was a Watcher.
You're ... Giles." She finished with a grin. "I don't know how else to describe you. Protector, confidant, advisor, teacher, friend. Those are just the ones I can put a name to"
Giles looked at his hands. "Thank you. I think I really needed to hear that."
"That's what Spike used, isn't it?" Buffy asked. "Made you think that I didn't care."
"Spike does have a way of knowing our emotional vulnerabilities." Giles commented. "It must be all those years with Druscilla."
"He was wrong, Giles." Buffy told him. "Whatever he told you, he was wrong." She looked away, then back to Giles. "Things have been so different in college. I've been kind of overwhelmed, in case you didn't notice. I guess I can't really do it all."
"Yes, you can." Giles told her.
"But I screwed up with all of you." Buffy said.
"You were distracted by other things." Giles contradicted. "So were Willow and Xander. And, I suppose, myself. Our roles have all changed this year. With nothing to do I suppose that I've noticed your absence more, felt more useless that I might have under different circumstances."
"I'm not completely oblivious, you know?" Buffy asked. "And I'm not generally Miss Share her feelings, but I meant what I said in the elevator shaft. I love you guys, I need you guys. I love *you*, Giles, and I probably need you most of all. Not because you're knowledge guy, or that your apartment is convenient, but because you're Giles. Just knowing that you're here gives me strength. You're like my foundation, you know, if I were a building."
Giles smiled at her."You're definitely not a building."
"That's good to know." Buffy smiled back. "I'll try to do better, Giles, I promise."
"I'll try to do better as well." Giles told her.
"You realize that you still haven't told me what he said to you?" Buffy asked.
"It doesn't matter." Giles told her and smiled. "He was wrong."
"Are we good, then?" Buffy asked.
"We are good." Giles told her.
"Good." Buffy said with a smile. She stood and headed for the door.
"Buffy?" Giles said just as she opened the door.
Buffy turned back to him. "Yeah, Giles."
"I love you, too." Giles told her.
Buffy smiled, walked back over to him and gave him a hug. "You wanna train tomorrow?" She asked when she pulled back.
"Absolutely." Giles told her and saw her wave and leave. He smiled to himself. "I wonder if she'll remember tomorrow."