Waiting to feel...
By Hayley

Title: Waiting to feel...1/1
Author: Hayley
Rating: I think PG13
Summary: Post 'Once more with feeling'. For all the BG shippers who hate it that Giles left leaving Buffy to the likes of Spike.
Spoilers: Need to have seen 'Once more with feeling'. It reads better if you've watched most of the show but it's not necessary.
Disclaimer: Love them don't own them.

The house was bathed in shadows as he entered it, all of them asleep after the emotional outpouring of the last few days, the revelations and guilt of the truth. He threw his coat over the banister rubbing his eyes tiredly as he removed his glasses, it had to be at least two in the morning by now and he felt it in every bone of his body.

As he turned to head towards the sitting room and his bed he caught a glimpse of her in the moonlight cast through the kitchen window. She stood by the sink her back to him as she stared out of the window at the night beyond that cast only her reflection back at her. He moved cautiously his steps leading him to the doorway. Her body made no sign that she knew he was there but her words did. "You're going to leave me aren't you" she whispered not moving. He didn't know what to say, he didn't think that she had been listening and the thought was still so new in his mind that he had no words for her.
"It's okay' she continued, 'I suppose I left you first."
"Buffy I, I'm not helping you, I'm making it worse, I'm letting you hide from life when you should be living it" he tried to explain, pleading to her cold back as he stepped further into the room, with words that sounded so inadequate. "But I didn't ask for this life. I lived my life and I died the death I was meant to, I had peace." Her tone haunted him, her voice sounding empty as if she were talking to him from a great distance that was all the more frightening because he didn't know how to breach it. They were noble reasons but were they just words, was he really leaving her before she could leave him again, through that divide, taking what little was let of his heart with her. "You will have, it again it just takes time" he said trying to reassure her in the role that he had played out of habit and fear for so long.

She turned looking at him with a pain in her eyes that burnt stopping him for a moment from seeing the knife in her hand and the blood dripping from the deep slashes on her wrist. "Buffy!" he gasped rooted to the spot in shock. She followed his gaze to her wrists.
"I want to feel Giles' she said slashing at them, drawing the knife through the flesh agonizingly slowly, 'I just want to feel". He went to her then grabbing for the nearest cloth as he attempted to stem the flow of blood by wrapping it tightly around her arm. She watched him with an air of detachment, dropping the knife as if it were nothing to her like everything else. His hands were shaking, she noticed that, they had never shaken before.

"Buffy you can't do this to us, please love try". She watched as the blood, her blood soaked through the patchwork pattern of the cloth thinking how her mother was never going to be able to get that out before remembering that she was the mother now and it really didn't matter anyway, nothing did. "They don't need me, they were afraid but they would have moved on, you did."
"No, I ran away so they wouldn't see me fall apart. I didn't have the strength to stay here without you."
"Neither do I", she said looking into him with eyes that held no pretense, no secrets. The guards that had protected her from others for so many years stripped away allowing him to see her, see how afraid she was, how much she loved him. "I only feel when I'm with you. I feel the bond in me here,' she said touching her chest, 'I always have and it gave me the strength to do what I had to, when I was on that ledge, when the light came"
"You didn't have to die" he protested unable to look at the rawness of her eyes.
"Yes I did and you knew it, you knew it when we sat in that training room together before the battle, we both did though we didn't dare say." He continued to put pressure on her wound watching as the flow of the blood slowed, no longer blossoming on the pristine white of the cloth. She was right he had known, but not like she thought, not in his head, but his heart had feared it. He wondered when he had become so split, when she had begun to tear at him so, had it been that first time that he had sent her to her possible demise, at the hands of the master, a monster of nightmares? "I wanted to protect you." He whispered. "I was at a crossroads Giles I had to accept the love in me or lose it and I would have lost all of you along with it."

He didn't know what to say to her, her words ringing with a truth that he knew. He had felt that same bond tugging at his chest ripping from him slowly since her death, taking him with it. "It's not my strength that lets me win its my heart, we've always known that. Ever since they brought me back I feel it like a weight, dying in my chest, and if I lose you its finished", she said, crying now, the tears tracking silently down her cheeks. He reached with his hand to wipe them away and as he touched her her eyes rose to his. "Buffy I...." He began breaking off at the lump in his own throat.
"Tell me' she pleaded desperately, 'I need to hear it". He looked at her studying the simple beauty in her features the rawness of her countenance as she balanced on the edge, neither in nor out of life, and he was torn. Too many years he held his feelings in check, locked his love for her behind a door that had too long been sealed, its hinges rusted away to nothing. If he opened that door now he could never close it again, but if he walked away from her without opening his heart he knew he would lose her forever.

He raised his eyes to hers, seeing the moisture sparkling in their depths looking all the more blue, she was in there, beneath it all, he could see her struggling with the flood, begging him for a life line and he found that as always he couldn't refuse her, even if it meant suffering her rejection. His voice grew stronger as he murmured the words the kitchen disappearing from around him, as he was lost in her eyes, a lost where he would happily never be found. "I love you, I always have," he said his voice hoarse as he waited for a reaction, a rejection. She raised her uninjured hand touching his tired face as if for the first time, her fingers drifting to his quivering lips, tracing the softness of them. "I love you so much,' she said pausing to trace their delicate outline with the barest touch, 'make me feel Giles, please" she murmured raising her lips to his, never breaking eye contact as they touched tentatively, the electricity sparking between them lighting her features as they hadn't been for so long, drawing him deeper into her embrace as he opened his mouth for her granting her access to his too long forgotten heart.

Dawn watched the couple from her crouched position on the stair, a lone tear running down her own cheek at the emotion of the moment. As the kiss broke, and Giles swept Buffy into his arms in a hug so fierce she was sure it would have broken a normal girl, she felt the light step of another behind her. Turning she saw Willow looking at her questioningly as she crept down the steps, her hair mused from sleep, her expression turning to one of concern as she saw the tear on the younger girls cheek. "What is it Dawnie?" she asked softly reaching for the younger Summers who she had begun to think of as her own little sister. Dawn raised her hand to her lips grinning widely as she pulled Willow down beside her, pointing to the couple who were once more kissing in the kitchen. Willow smiled at the display pleased but not at all surprised that they had finally seen in each other what everyone else had picked up on years ago, maybe now things would be better for both of them, they deserve happiness more than anyone she knew. As the kissing grew more heated and Buffy groaned beneath the ministrations of her favorite watcher Willow tried to ushered Dawn back up the stairs. "Come on Dawnie let's get you back to bed before you're scarred for life" Dawn rolled her eyes at Willow and was cut off before she could retort by the witches quicker tongue. "I know, I know, you know about the sex, but there's the sex and then there's your sister having the sex." Dawn grimaced giving the couple one more look before allowing Willow to lead her up the stairs, everything would be alright now, she knew it.

Giles broke from his exploration of his slayers wonderful mouth giving in to her need to breath. He gazed lovingly down at her before shifting his position slightly to check on her cut, as he lifted the blanket she winced to his delight, and he saw that the sides of the cut has already meshed on their way to healing. He drew her arm to his lips kissing her injury with a soft touch winning himself a long missed Buffy smile, the kind that lit up the darkness of a cemetery. "You look so beautiful when you smile love" he said. She looked at him devilishly wiggling in his arms to get closer to him, her breath warming his skin. "Say it again." He frowned,
"That you're beautiful? I'll say it forever if it makes you smile." She shook her head kissing his jaw in the most delicious and distracting way. "No, love. You called me love" he chuckled before growing suddenly serious as he brushed a tousled strand of hair from her brow, "You know I've dreamed of being able to say that to you for so long."
"I'm sorry I couldn't see it Giles, couldn't see you?" she whispered tucking her head under his chin. "You were young" he began but she cut him off.
"No, I was afraid"
"And now?" he asked his hands drawing her face up so that he could once more see the depths of her eyes. She bit he lip as she considered him, answering from a deeper place in herself, a place she had been afraid to open to anyone for so long. "I want to live, I want to love you, put right all the hurts" he went to protest but she silenced him with a soft hand on his mouth forbidding any more words. "Hey' she said with a smile punctuating each following word with a kiss first to his eye lids and the his cheeks, 'I'm, the, slayer, and, you're, the, watcher. So, watch." And she proceeded to devour him as they sank to the floor in a tumble of arms and legs.