Will You Remember Me?
By Renee

PLOT - Buffy has very little time to confess her feelings for Giles before he leaves for England.
TITLE - Will You Remember Me?
AUTHOR - Renee
SPOILERS - Set at the end of Tabula Rasa
DISCLAIMER - Joss that ingenious but cruel bastard owns it all. Sarah McLachlan has dibbs on the song.
FEEDBACK - Don't make me hunt you down like a dog :)

"I know you don't want to talk to me right now and I don't blame you in the least but I thought you might want to know something."
"Will, I love you but I need to be alone right now, please understand."
"I do and after I say this I'm gone, I'll be dissapearo girl I swear."
"Giles has one last performance at the expresso pump tonight before he gets on a plane to England."
"So? So you love him!"
Buffy spun on Willow wide eyed, "what? I didn't...I mean I don't... how'd you guess?" She sighed, lying took so much energy none of which she had right now.

"Buffy it's so obvious everyone bar Giles knows and that's only cuz he's as blind as you are."
"Thanks Will, you've passed on your news, can I have some peace now?"
"No, you can't and you won't ever again if you don't get off your pouting arse and go tell him how you feel. If you let him walk out of your life you'll never forgive yourself."
"I'm not letting him do anything, he's a grown man or haven't you noticed? Course not, the only things you see are opportunities to wreak havoc with magic."

Willow took a deep breath to calm herself, she knew that she deserved Buffy's anger right now, she deserved all of their anger. She had promised to not do magic of any kind for a week and she hadn't even lasted a day. Worse than that though was the side affect of her spell. She'd only meant to make life easier for Buffy, help her forget that she'd been ripped from heaven and returned back to this hell called Sunnydale. Instead, the spell had gotten out of control inflicting the entire gang with amnesia, they could have been killed. Amnesia was dangerous for anyone but for people that had to deal with a hellmouth on a daily basis it could be disastrous.

"Buffy I know you're mad and hurt and Ok yeah you have a right to be but right now you need to be grown up about this. You love Giles I know you do and he loves you." Buffy snorted derisively.
"Funny way of showing it."
Willow slapped Buffy across the cheek, she may not have slayer strength but Buffy was taken aback nonetheless. She craddled her face and stared at her best friend through new eyes.
"Buffy he's leaving! You may never see him again, where's the harm in telling him how you feel?" Willow's voice had softened, she was sorry for the slap but sometimes violence was the only thing Buffy understood.

"The harm is I'll die if I open myself up to him like that and he doesn't feel the same, I couldn't stand that Will." A sob escaped Buffy and she curled up in Willow's lap. Willow gently stroked a hand through the blonde locks and looked at the clock. They only had an hour until Giles' set was done and he'd be on his way to the airport.
"I know this is scary but isn't knowing better than always wondering?"
Buffy sniffled and looked up at her best friend, "You're right ......... grab my black dress, I have to fix my mascara."
Willow squealed in delight and began her forage through Buffy's jam-packed closet for just the right outfit.

Twenty minutes later they walked through the front door of the Expresso Pump. It was packed, a sign out front advertised the fact that this was Giles' final performance. Buffy was astounded by the number of Giles groupies in the audience, she knew that's what they were by the doe-eyed expressions they were sending her watcher. Willow grabbed Buffy's arm and pulled her into the throng. Buffy 'accidentally' knocked a drink into one particularly insistant fan. All the seats were taken so they found a comfortable place to stand and began to pay attention to the stage for the first time since they'd arrived.

Willow had heard Giles sing before but his voice still wove a spell on her. Buffy however was a newbie to this side of her stiff upper lipped tweed man. His voice was amazing, if they could bottle whatever it was that he was exuding they could rid the world of any affliction, cept maybe love. She closed her eyes and blocked everything else out. The room was no longer filled with desperate woman all vying for his attention, there was just a man, a woman and a song. A smile snuck up on her as she lost herself in his sound, if she hadn't been madly in love with him before this moment now she had no hope. Willow peeked at Buffy sideways and was filled with warmth to see her friend so happy for a change, maybe things would finally work out for them.

They listened to Giles sing song after song each more hauntingly beautiful when it came from his lips. Finally he announced this would be his final number, the crowd erupted into boo's and cries for more. He smiled but it was filled with sadness, he would truely miss this place but more accurately he would miss Buffy. Her return to them all had been the most precious gift and he would never give up the last few months they'd been able to spend together. It was time to leave however, it was too.....hard to be around her any longer. To be so close and not be able to touch her, to kiss her, to possess her, it was agony. His poor old heart had taken such a beating over the years it was no longer able to handle the constant ache. He tried to delude himself that things would be easier when she wasn't in his sight day in day out but he knew it was a joke, she'd always be there in his dreams and fantasies.

"This final song is from a newer generation than those I usually like to sing. A friend played it for me once and it's haunted me ever since. I dedicate this song to her, my dearest sweet Buffy."
Pouts broke out throughout the room, most were horrified by the thought that Giles could be in love. Buffy gasped aloud and had to grab hold of Willow to steady herself, Willow just smiled saving the 'I told you so's' for later. Giles began strumming the guitar and ears everywhere strained to recognise the tune.

"I will remember you
Will you remember me
Don't let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories"

Buffy recalled the moment she'd played this song in Giles' presense. She'd made a mix tape for her workouts, most of it was the 'noise' that Giles loved to tease her about. There was some room at the end so she'd thrown some Sarah McLachlan stuff on the end to cool down to.

"Remember the good times that we had
We let them slip from us when things got bad
Cleary I first saw you smiling in the sun
Wanna feel your warmth upon me I wanna be the one"

She had thought just for a moment she'd seen Giles tear up when this part had played months before in the training room but convinced herself it was a trick of light. Her heart filled with joy, she hadn't imagined the affect it'd had on him. She listened to the words carefully for possibly the first time. Obviously this song related to them somehow if Giles would go out of his way to dedicate it to her.

"I will remember you
Will you remember me
Don't let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories"

She loved him so completely, it filled her until there was room for nothing else. Tears began to fall but she barely noticed, her attention was focused entirely on the man before her. He looked so desireable in a pair of faded jeans and a sea blue shirt with the top buttons undone. She'd rarely been given the gift of seeing him so laid back, it would be a perfect picture if not for the sadness she saw in his eyes.

"I'm so tired that I can't sleep
Standing on the edge of something much too deep
It's funny how I feel so much but cannot say a word
We are screaming inside but can't be heard"

She heard him now, was it for the first time? She'd spent too much time dwelling on the past and her insecurities, well no longer. She'd make sure that before this night was through he would hear exactly what her heart was screaming.

"I will remember you
Will you remember me
Don't let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories

So afraid to love you but more afraid to lose
Clinging to a past that doesn't let me choose
Once there was a darkness
A deep and endless night
You gave me everything you had oh you gave me life"

'I gave him everything?' She was astounded he could think such a thing. She'd taken and taken throughout their entire history and given very little in return. He was the reason she was still alive, the reason she was able to love, no small feat in these dark times. Her life had been a series of loss and gain, mostly the former. Giles had been there for most of it and she'd always pulled through with his support, she knew she couldn't lose him, he was her all.

"I will remember you
Will you remember me
Don't let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories
I will remember you
Will you remember me
Don't let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories"

Giles was unable to heed the final line of the song. Buffy watched as he choked up and hurredly left the stage. Her heart pounded, it was now or never and never was something she was unwilling to submit to. She rushed to the side she'd seen him head towards, she had intended to sweep him into her arms but watching his sobbing form she was filled with fear. His shoulders were hunched and his ribcage shook with emotion. Saddness and pain radiated from him and drowned her.

She walked slowly, willing her feet to keep going. Her hand came to rest gently on his back as she whispered his name. He spun to face her and was filled with shame, he'd never meant for her to see him like this.
"B...b...buffy, how much d.....d..did you ah...... hear?" he wiped he face with a sleeve and attempted to pull himself together.

"Do you trust me?" Her voice was unaturally calm, there was no turning back.
He looked as though he wanted to question her but decided to simply nod when he caught her determined expression.
"You know I would never do anything to intentionally hurt you, that I wouldn't ..... fake ..... certain feelings to make you stay right?"
He sniffed, "You would never be so cruel, I know that Buffy."

He prepared himself for the rejection that he was sure was coming, he sucked in a deep breath and closed his eyes. His heart throbbed painfully as he tried to steady himself for the blow. Nothing came, no words just the sound of her breathing so achingly near.

There would be time for words later, they'd never been her strong suit anyway. She wished she was like Giles, he could say things that would make her toes curl, he always knew exactly what to say and when to say it. She however was notorious for saying the wrong thing no matter how well intentioned she'd been. 'Words are way overrated anyway.' She closed the distance between them and stretched up on her tip-toes. Her hand snaked behind his head as her lips lightly grazed his.

He was startled at the rush of feelings that sped through him. Lust, fear, doubt but mostly confusion. Surely his slayer couldn't return the love he had felt all these years? It simply wasn't possible. And yet he felt her lips on his mouth and her hand in his hair, she was kissing him and he was standing around like an damned statue. She smiled into the kiss as she felt him react, it all happened in the blink of an eye. His arms flew around her waist and lifted her, pulling her body flush against his own. She giggled and wrapped her legs around his hips, he moaned at the sensation but refused to relinquish the hold her mouth had on his.

"I love you Giles."
"And I love you my dearest."
Her eyes sparkled with affection as she traced a tear down his cheek. He arched into her touch and sighed, he was unaware until now that happiness like this existed.

"Giles ...... be mine? My air, my love, my ...... husband, my everything?"
"I couldn't be anything but yours Buffy, I've always been yours you just never knew it."
"Oh Giles .... we've both been so blind and stupid. I've always been yours too, don't you know that you own me?"
A growl came from deep in his throat as he pulled her to him again and savaged her lips with his kisses. Their passion threatened to overwhelm them both until they realised they were a little more public than they would like. Every woman in the club shot daggers at Buffy as she left on Giles' arm, she didn't blame them now, his name was tatooed on her soul, he had staked his claim.