Underlying Truths
By Karen Jephson

Fiction: Underlying Truths
Author: Karen Jephson
Rating: M at most.
Spoiler: Vague reference to S4
Summary: B/G (who else. It's me.)
Disclaimer: Yep. The usual. They all belong to other people. The idea belongs to me.
Feedback: Please
Distribution: My site. Headquarters. Solo. Anya. Otherwise just ask.
Notes: Thanks to GG for her title idea and her beta'ing.
Dedication: Teyve. Still wating for your next installment dear.


"Buffy, wait up!"  An obviously furious slayer halted her fast-paced march down the street. She turned as Willow jogged up to her, panting from the exercise and with a bead of sweat caused by the blazing noon sun beading on her upper lip. Looking at the other girl's sullen expression, Willow once again went into peacemaking mode. "I'm sure Giles didn't mean it like that."

"What? Didn't mean to call me a spoilt selfish brat who only wants him around when it suits her? Who should have grown up a long time ago? And who sees people only in what they can give her, and not what they deserve?" Buffy's voice continued to rise several octaves as she recited the words, until she almost screamed the last in her fury.

Willow blushed. "Yeah, well, he may have meant them," Buffy sighed and started to storm off again, "but that was because he was upset. You know he' ll apologize later."  Buffy stopped, her back still to her friend. "And...and you know, you were kind of mean about Olivia."

"Mean!" She swung around. "Mean?  Just because my watcher, my old watcher is running around half-naked with someone young enough to be h-his."

"Girlfriend?" Buffy stopped her tirade at her friend's quiet censure. "You know how lonely he's been since Jenny. I think it's kinda cool that he's moving on."

"But does he have to move on with her?" Buffy's voice broke a little as her emotions deflated.

"Would you rather it was your Mom?" At Buffy's negative response, Willow tried to make her friend see the truth. "It doesn't matter who it is does it? Buffy, you can't keep Giles as your own personal crutch. He was right about that too. You only call on him when you need him. You were wrong to tell him off just now."

Buffy's mumbled, "I had my reasons," accompanied her mulish sulk.

"Whatever." Sighing, Willow turned back to the apartment. "Look, I think you should come back with me and apologize to him. You don't want this to ruin your friendship. Show him how grown up you really are."

Buffy looked up then, surprising her friend by the pain visible in her water-washed green eyes. "I can't." She ran off, ignoring Willow's calling of her name.

.............................

Bracing herself, Buffy pushed open the door to the dorm-room she shared with Willow. Peering through the darkened room, she sighed in relief when she realized the other bed was empty. Dropping her keys on her bedside table, she got ready for bed, her movements automatic. Climbing into the bed, she pulled the covers over her, her actions jerky.

Plumping the pillow hard, she flopped her head upon it. It still rankled, Willow sticking up for Giles like that? Didn't she know that Buffy was right about this? It wasn't that she was a spoilt brat?  Olivia was just wrong for Giles. And Giles was definitely wrong. Telling her that she'd been against him seeing anybody since they'd met. Hadn't she told Jenny Calendar to make up with him? Admittedly, that was before Jenny died, but that wasn't her fault. She had her reasons for being against Giles seeing anybody. Why couldn't anybody see that? "I have my reasons."

.................................

Responding to the static raps, Giles opened his front door. Despite the shining of the morning sun against his eyes, he recognized his visitor immediately. "May I come in?" At her hesitant query he pushed the door open further, stepping back so she could pass him. "We need to talk."

"You mean the way we talked before?" He didn't try to hide his ire at the memory.

She shook her head. "No, I mean really talk. About why I was upset yesterday." When he didn't respond she took a deep breath. She knew it wouldn't be easy. "Here goes. I was jealous of Olivia. And Jenny, and my Mom. Not because they were taking my 'father figure' away. But because I'm in love with you. No wait." Buffy rushed on before Giles could interrupt. "I know everything you're going to say. I've already said it to myself. This isn't a childish crush. I'm not trying to replace my father with you. And I'm not rebounding off Angel. I just realized that it's been you all along." She wiped the tears from her cheeks. "So there it is. I wanted you to know the truth. I realize there's no chance you can change your feelings?" She couldn't stop the questioning note at the end, or her small kernel of hope.

He looked down, his body still half turned away from her. "No. No chance."

She tried not to break down in front of him. Summoning all of her will power, she forced a half smile on her face. "Well, there you go. I don't expect anything from you. I just wanted you to understand why I behaved the way I did. Well, I better go." She walked toward the door, passing him on the way.

An arm snaked out, wrapping itself around her waist. Pulling her to him until her body was flush against his, he lowered his head to brush her lips with his own.

Held immobile by shock, Buffy couldn't stop responding any more than she could breathing. Opening her mouth to him, she drank of his passion, wanting to store what memories she could of this one moment out of time.

It was Giles who finally broke the kiss, ending it as it had started, by brushing her lips with his own. He looked into her green eyes, now heavy lidded with passion. "How could I change my feelings when I've been in love with you for so very, very long? When I've been using every woman I've met as a replacement for you?"

Surprise and joy filtered across her face, echoed by her whispered "I've been such a fool."

He smiled. "Yes you have." Bending, he reclaimed her once again with a kiss, this one searing and more passionate than the last. As their tongues mated in a dance of passion, they both thanked whatever gods looked down upon them to give them that which they had desired for so long.

..............

Buffy sat up with a start, the sun shining brightly on her sleep-ridden eyes. Looking across at the other bed, she was relieved to see her dream hadn't woken Willow. Looking out of the window, she considered the dream, and what it might mean. Finally coming to a decision, she threw the bedclothes off and rose to dress. She had a visit to make.

Responding to the static raps, Giles opened his front door. Despite the shining of the morning sun against his eyes, he recognized his visitor immediately. "May I come in?" At her hesitant query he pushed the door open further, stepping back so she could pass him. "We need to talk."

END