By Crystal Paulk
TITLE: Words Unspoken
AUTHOR: Crystal Paulk firstname.lastname@example.org
SPOILERS: Through "Once More With Feeling"
SUMMARY: Giles is self-destructing and tells Buffy he is going back to England. Buffy wigs and harshness ensues.
DISCLAIMER: BTVS belong to Joss Whedon, the WB, UPN, FOX and Mutant Enemy and 20th Century Fox Film Corporation. Don't sue cause I have nothing.
Salty sweat stung a gash across the blond girl's cheek. Her chest heaved as she gasped for oxygen. Muscles strained and she drew her arm forward to block a kick from her opponent. She ducked another blow from her assailant's quarterstaff, leaping over his head in a tight flip. She landed lightly and jabbed him in the ribs with a swift punch. The man grunted and whirled to face her, but the girl used his momentum against him. Grabbing the staff and pushing back, she wrenched the weapon from his grasp and flung him against the padded wall.
"Are you finished with me?" she asked, throwing the groaning man a towel. "Cause I really don't think you could take another round." Already she could feel the cut mending, her body's enhanced healing ability closing the wound. By morning, even the faint bruise would have disappeared. Physical wounds were never a problem for Buffy Summers, vampire slayer.
Wiping the sweat from her arms and face with her own towel, Buffy offered her sparring partner a hand up. Grimacing, the older man ignored her assistance and eased himself back to his feet. It was moments like this that Rupert Giles felt every one of his forty-six years. Too many battles, too little sleep and too much worry had marked him deeply. Watching his slayer stride across the training room, her body still tense from their workout, he was struck again by the miracle which was Buffy. She was supposed to be dead. She had died. He had held her cooling, broken body and felt his soul wrench in torment. Months of anger and heartache when all he wanted was to lose himself in the solace of the bottle. And now due to the darkest, most elemental of magics she was alive. But at what cost? The bright, shining girl was now a bitter woman. And life, once so precious to her was no more than a burden.
"Earth to Giles, hey Watcher you listening?" Her voice broke him from his musings.
"Hmm, uh what?"
"Just wondering if you needed anything before I went on patrol," she asked.
Giles breathed deeply, mustering courage and steeling his resolve for what he needed to say. Gesturing for her to join him on the worn sofa, he said, "Umm yes Buffy actually I needed to talk to you about something rather important."
She flopped down uncomfortably near his own sweat soaked body and Giles lurched to his feet. Looking into those familiar blue eyes, his heart ached. "Buffy, I'm going to England."
"Oh," she said, not immediately understanding. "When will you be back?"
"I'm ... I'm not coming back. At least not for a while," There the words were spoken. Not so difficult.
Her eyes widened in shock and then that all too familiar mask slipped into place. "You're leaving? I come back from the dead and you're leaving? You can't. You're my Watcher. I'm your responsibility."
Giles looked at his beautiful girl. So petite and delicate on the outside, yet so very strong. But in the weeks since her miraculous resurrection she seemed so haunted. It made sense now that he knew she had been torn out of heaven. Of course she'd gone to heaven. The Powers That Be would never allow her soul to be tortured in some hell dimension.
But during those months of her death he'd wondered. More than wondered, he'd drunk himself into a stupor trying to escape the nightmares. He would wake in the night drenched in sweat screaming her name. Watching her fall a thousand times. The thud as her body broke against the hard concrete.
Now Buffy was back among them and he could hardly bear to touch her. He had to go. If he stayed he might go insane. And she would know the truth. That the man she trusted as her Watcher and friend was nothing more than a weak failure.
"Buffy, listen to me," he tried to explain. "You're not a child anymore. You are an adult. You have responsibilities yourself. Dawn, your sister. She needs you. And well, I've done my duty by you, taught you all that I know. You've lived longer than any other Slayer in history."
"Bullshit," she retorted, rising from the couch to confront him. "I've died twice and would have stayed dead if you hadn't been watching my back. Always looking for that last bit of information to give me the edge."
She was crying now, "Please Giles. I lost my mother. I can't stand to lose you as well. Don't go. I need you."
She was breaking his heart. Surely she must be aware. But he'd made up his mind and perhaps cruelty would work where reason was denied.
"You selfish little bitch,' he spat. "I've given you six years of my live. Put up with your sniveling American whining. 'Giles I want to go shopping. Giles I broke a nail. Giles I can't kill my boyfriend even though he's a homicidal maniac.' Women I've loved, one murdered by your demon lover and the other driven away by this insanity. I used to be more than a walking textbook. I will be again. I'm leaving."
The backhand slap ended his abuse as the sharp crack of flesh striking flesh echoed through the training room. Buffy was nearly to the door, when she turned and drilled him with her gaze.
"If I'm such a bitch then you're the bastard who made me Watcher-mine," she said, the tears drying on her cheeks. "I'm stuck in this sorry existence, then you're stuck right here beside me. Don't worry, it shouldn't be too long. Third time's the charm right? Surely you'll get lucky and I'll stay dead the next time."
He reached to her, "Buffy please, I didn't mean ..." "Yes you did," she said coldly. "You meant every word. I just never knew you hated me so much. You want to go? Fine go. Get the hell out of my life." The door slammed.
Giles stood in silence, torn between the desire to chase her down and beg forgiveness and the knowledge that no words could ease her sufferings. His shoulders drooped in despair. Without conscience thought he walked to the weapons locker. Reaching behind an ancient battle-ax he withdrew a half-empty bottle of scotch, a reminder of the previous summer's misery when he was forced by necessity to train that mechanical abomination. To hear Buffy's voice and see her face, but know it wasn't real. Just a latex shell of wires and circuitry. Sometimes when he was sparing with the robot the illusion fell away and it was his beautiful girl throwing punches and blocking kicks. But then he would look into those blank blue eyes and the pain of her loss ripped another hole in his heart.
He drank deep from the bottle, welcoming the familiar burn. How much would it take to erase the memory of Buffy's exit? He had to leave. Had to escape from the pain of knowing he could say or do nothing to ease her pain.
"You're a bloody fool Watcher."
Without looking up, Giles knew who belonged to that mocking voice. "Go away Spike."
Ignoring the former librarian, Spike inhaled deeply from his cigarette and then reached into his black leather duster for his own flask. Studying the silver container he whispered under his breath, almost to himself, "She gets under your skin doesn't she. Makes you burn to hold her. Ache to make her all better. And when you break down and beg for a moment she kicks you in the balls."
Growling, Giles turned to face his sometime enemy and ally. "Stay the hell away from her."
"Don't think so mate," the vampire smirked. "With the poof out of the picture and you leaving I figure the door is open for old Spike. Someone's got to stick around to pick up the pieces. The way I see it I'm just the man to put Buffy back together."
"You're not a man. You're a monster," Giles snarled, grabbing the demon by the collar and slamming him against the wall, still keeping hold of his bottle. "Don't you fucking touch her."
Spike laughed "Too late old man. You ought to know by now that Buffy's always needed a little monster in her man. She didn't mind me so much in that alley while you and the Scoobies were wrapping up the big group sing."
The blood drained from Giles' faced, horrified by the vampire's confession. "You lie. She wouldn't touch you to stake you."
Enjoying the Watcher's reaction, Spike continued in a mocking tone, "You're Slayer has the softest tongue. All hot and tight and when she bites, well it's like kissing a vamp without the fangs. She was humping me like a bitch in heat. Bet she didn't learn those tricks from Captain Cardboard..."
Giles' fist slamming into the vampire's jaw cut off Spike's recitation. "No! No! No!," he screamed, accenting each word with another punch. He stood over the bleeding vampire, gasping for air, straining to control his rage.
Spike struggled to his feet. His lip dripped blood and bloody tears left red tracks down his ivory cheeks. "What the fuck do you care old man?" he yelled.
"You're the one who is walking out on her. Just because you can't admit you're in love with the bloody bitch."
Giles didn't even try to deny the accusation. His hands fell to his sides in resignation. "I can't bear to see her like this and not comfort her. But she won't let me touch her. Just take my money and expect me to take care of Dawn and watch her slip away and I won't do it anymore."
"Well why the hell not?" Spike questioned. "If that's what she needs? Give it to her. Give her anything she damn well wants. You're her bleed'n' Watcher for Christ's sake. Self-sacrifice and all that rot."
"Because it's just not enough anymore," Giles sighed before draining the whiskey bottle. "I'm not going to spend the rest of my life trying to survive on the few crumbs of affection Buffy drops in my path. It's unbearable."
"No," the vampire disagreed. "Unbearable would be losing her again." As a supernatural creature his senses were heightened far beyond humans. He could smell despair mixed with whiskey. Could see the Watcher aging before his eyes. This was the man who had defied Angelus? He was barely a shell.
"Don't you see Rupurt," he explained. "It doesn't matter if she loves you back as long as you love her. I learned as much from Dru."
"I don't see how you can compare that raving lunatic to Buffy," Giles snarled. "Drusilla is a monster."
"A glorious monster," Spike affirmed, disregarding the inturruption. "Dru and I were quite the pair in our day. Dancing in the streets covered in the entrails of our victims. We slaughtered a path through Europe that history will never record. There was nothing I wouldn't do for my Princess. Even when she went to Angelus I worshipped her. I regret nothing except killing those two Slayers."
Giles' ears perked. Buffy has told him of her conversation with Spike the previous year. The retelling hadn't mentioned any remorse.
"I lie awake during the day thinking about it," Spike continued. "How if I hadn't bagged those Slayers Buffy might never have been called. All her pain and hurt that's my fault. She'd be a normal girl having bloody pillow fights with her sorority sisters oblivious to the monsters and the demons," his voice trailed off and the vampire studied an unknown spot in the distance.
He continued, his voice now softer, rougher with emotion. "I know that Buffy will never love me. She'll kiss me. Hell," he snorted. "We may even shag, but she'll never look at me the way she looked at the poof ... the way she looks at you."
Giles laughed. "Isn't that the whole problem. She doesn't look at me."
"You're wrong mate," Spike replied. "She looks at you like you're her bloody savior. She always has. Used to piss off Joyce something awful. The way her little girl always looked to you for approval. And I'll tell you something else Rupes, the Slayer needs you." Giles shook his head in denial, "She needs me like a father."
"That may have been true once," Spike said. "But those days are long over. Buffy needs a man. A real flesh and blood man who'll fight the monsters along side her without feeling threatened like military man. But she also needs someone to share the sunlight."
The vampire turned to go, but Giles caught his arm. "Why Spike? Why are you doing this. Self-sacrifice isn't in your nature."
"I'm in love with her," he answered. "I want to hear her laugh again. Slayers live on borrowed time and I want hers to be as happy as possible. I'd only make her feel dirty. I don't want that."
Standing in the window, Spike called out one last warning, "And Watcher if you leave and she dies, chip or not, I'll kill you." And the vampire slipped into the dark, leaving his rival with tormented thoughts and a small light of hope.
Buffy wiped the dust from her hands on her black sweatpants. The third vamp of the night and she was still trying to recover from her argument with Giles. She wandered the darkened streets of Sunnydale, always surprised by the night activity. In a town that seemed stalked by death you'd think people would just stay indoors. It just never seemed to end. The fighting and the dying and the leaving.
"Let's not forget the leaving," she muttered to her self. "Can't ever forget that."
Giles' announcement just seemed to come from nowhere. One minute they're training as usual and then he's calling her a spoiled brat and she's calling him a bastard and ordering him to go.
"By now I ought to be used to men turning on me," she reflected. First her father. Then Angel losing his soul and becoming Angelus after giving him her virginity. The worst three months of her life until her mom got sick last year. And then when he was cured he left again in body. Couldn't deal with her life. Scott in high school. And that one stupid night with Parker Abrahms. Like reliving that morning after with Angel again. Feeling inadequate and useless. Dirty. And Riley. Big, blond Riley, another man who just didn't get that slaying wasn't a part-time gig between raising babies and getting her toenails polished. Now Giles. The one guy she thought understood about duty and destiny he was gonna leave her too.
Buffy wanted to blame his words on shock that she was alive, but truthfully their relationship had never really recovered since the debacle of her freshman year when jealousy had driven her to abandon him in favor of the Initiative. Jealousy? For a moment Buffy's focused on that moment in Giles' apartment when she had seen that bitch Olivia standing in her Watcher's kitchen wearing her Watcher's shirt glowing from her Watcher's ...... No. No. No. Can't think these thoughts. Not about Giles. Never about Giles. Sure things had improved once she asked him to resume his duties as Watcher. And he had been a rock of support after her mother's death. That moment in the dessert when she thought he might die after being impaled by a spear. It was worse than driving a sword into Angel's gut. But she could never forget their fight at the Magic Box just hours before the ill-fated attempt to rescue Dawn from Glory.
Blood. Dawn's blood would open the gateway between dimensions. When the blood stopped flowing the gate would close. And Giles said he would kill Dawn before allowing Glory to open the gate. In all their years together, in all her defiance, it was the first time she had ever threatened to kill him.
But what had been her choice? Her father confused and hurt by her erratic and violent behavior, had long ago abandoned his first family in favor of a string increasingly younger secretaries. Her mother was dead. Dawn was all she had. Even if her sister was created from mystical energy, and existed for mere months of real time, Buffy remembered more. Remembered how the house smelled of talcum powder and Gerber food after her baby sister came home from the hospital.
Remembered Dawn breaking her collarbone trying the ride Buffy's two-wheeler instead of her own tri-cycle. Remembered how that first night she returned home after killing Angel and running away to L.A. she awoke to find Dawn snuggled against her. Green energy or flesh, it didn't matter. Dawn was all that remained of her family. No one would take her. Not Giles. Not even to save the world.
And now Giles gone. Giles leaving her. It didn't seem possible. There must be some explanation. Perhaps the Watcher's Council. Were they behind this abandonment? Maybe they had threatened him. They hated Buffy. Had probably danced on her grave. She didn't know if another Slayer had been called. Giles hadn't told her and she hadn't bothered to ask.
In fact, come to think of it he hadn't told her anything since her return. Had they talked about anything other than her money problems? And had they even touched? Buffy stood still. Except for that bone crushing hug in the Magic Box when he returned from England there had been no physical contact except during training.
She stumbled over a curb, barely catching her balance. She glanced around to reorient herself to her surroundings and wasn't surprised to see that lost in though and memories she was outside Angel's old mansion on Crawford Street. Still abandoned after all these years. So many nightmares and heartache in this place.
She entered and immediately sneezed three times. Cobwebs hung like thick curtains from the ceiling and draped the furniture. The heavy iron chains she had used on Angel when he returned from hell were still bolted to the wall. He had been so afraid, so tormented and she'd wanted to help him so much that she hadn't told the others of his presence. And Giles had been so hurt. No wonder Angel ... no Angelus wearing Angel's face had tortured him for hours. Tortured him in this place. If she ventured to the garden patio would Giles' blood still stain the carpet?
She walked to the sofa and lay down. It smelled faintly of soot and she remember lying there with Angel, both exhausted from training in those heady days when she believed love would sustain them through the fires of hell. She sank into the worn couch, exhausted from her argument with Giles and the strain of life's responsibilities. Breathing the familiar scent of decay Buffy slept. She dreamed.
Music pulsed. Cigarette smoke hung low, making her blue eyes burn and her vision blur. Though she moved among the press of dancers caught in an orgy of sweat, lust and life, Buffy felt separated from the surge. She smoothed her dress, reveling in the sensation of silk against her skin.
A cool hand brushed her shoulder, acheingly familiar, Angel. She turned and her heart jerked with memory. He looked just as he had upon their first meeting in the ally of the Bronze.
"I don't need a friend."
"I didn't say I was yours."
Dressed in a white shirt, dark pants and a velvet coat that begged to be touched. A Heathcliff to her Catherine. Dark, mysterious and so handsome he made her chest hurt. Eagerly she moved into his embrace, welcomed his chilled lips on her own. Tongues dueled as he held her gently, as though she might break from too much contact. They remained clasped together and the teen-ager Buffy had once been rejoiced in the arms of her dark prince.
"This isn't a fairy tale. When I kiss you, you don't wake up from a deep sleep."
"No. When you kiss me I want to die."
"You were great. A real pro," the harsh words echoing in her mind and ears even as she sensed his face morphing into vampiric ridges. No longer her teen-age love, but her darkest nightmare, Angelus.
"No," she gasped, trying to push away in horror. His fangs sliced into her lips, filling her mouth with copper blood. He pulled back and nausea struck as his face twisted into a mocking smirk, his tongue lapping at traces of her blood dripping from his lips.
Angelus lunged and Buffy braced for his attack, too stunned to defend herself, but instead of cold hands, she felt warmth. And these lips suckling her neck were feverishly hot. She pressed her face into Riley's broad chest and inhaled. He smelled of wheat, wind and sanity. Picnics in the sunshine rather than Hellmouths and the cloying stench of vamp dust.
"Loving you is the scariest thing I've ever done, Buffy," he whispered.
Buffy tried to move closer, but cold fingers bit into her shoulder whirling her into the hard, narrow planes of Spike's body. The blond vampire crushed his lips against her own. Harsh and cold, unrelenting in his desire. Spike pulled her into his darkness, promised eternity without warmth, pleasure and pain, passion but never tenderness.
"Slayers dance with death," he reminded her, his chilled hands bruising her in his intensity. "I can feel it, Slayer, you know you want to dance."
And then they were all surrounding her. These lovers of her past and future. Three pairs of undead hands and two sets of human, for Parker had joined Riley. They clutched and grabbed, gentle and harsh. Pulling her in all directions. Snatching at the pieces of her broken heart and soul. She moved with and against them, offering her body if only then would make her feel alive.
Her vision swirled and beyond Angelus' dark shoulder, she spied Giles. But not her Giles. Younger, harder and menacing. Dark jeans, black turtleneck, work boots and leather jacket. A cigarette dangling from his lips. Green eyes glittering with lust and rage. Dimly, Buffy realized that her other partners had vanished and she stood alone on the dance floor. Giles, "No Ripper," her mind corrected strode toward her with the controlled grace of a panther. And it was Ripper. Not the cocky hooligan released by the band candy, this was a man who controlled the darkest of magics. He plunged a sword into the mayor's chest and withstood hours of Angelus' tortures. Arrogant, dangerous, he stood behind her now, his large hands skimming over her bare arms. He pulled her flush against his body and Buffy felt his hard cock press into her ass.
His warm breath brushed across her cheek and she shivered. "That feel good luv?" he whispered, wriggling his hips and grinding his erection closer. One of his hands splayed against her taut belly, the other possessively caressing her hair, her cheek, the side of her breast. She arched into him, eager for his insistent touch. His fingers delved beneath the silk of her dress until it was hiked around her waist, the only thing separating them was her panties and his jeans. Moving in a sensual dance, he rubbed his knuckles into her crotch. Buffy moaned and he responded with a rumbling growl of his own. With a hard twist of his wrist he ripped the flimsy scrap of silk from her thighs and sunk two finger in her dripping core. The Slayer's cry of surprise became a purr of urgency as her partner brushed a callused thumb across her clit. Buffy rocked with the bruising rhythm and her eyes opened wide with her mind shattering release.
But as she came, her eyes focussed on her Giles standing just feet away, looking at her with raw anguish and dismay. Her heart clenched, even as her body quivered from the persistent touch of his alter ego.
"Buffy," his lips mouthed her name and she reached for her Watcher as she jerked awake.
"Oh Giles," she sobbed. "What have I done?" Huddled on the filthy sofa, Buffy cried for the first time since she'd been thrust back into her world. The first rays of sunlight fell across the stone floor as the Slayer wept. "I'm not going to let him go," she resolved. "Not this time. Not him."
Buffy's fingers traced the gothic carvings of the door to Giles' condo. Her face was swollen from crying and dirt smudged her cheekbone. She'd faced the Master at 16-year-old with less trepidation that she felt it this moment. Why was she so terrified of her stalwart mentor, her most trusted friend?
"Because you've hurt him," an insistent voice whispered. "You just keep hurting him and this time he might not forgive you."
Mustering her resolve, Buffy pushed open the door, once again mentally chiding her Watcher for leaving it unlocked.
"Gil," she barely called his name, so stunned by the condition of his apartment. Demonology books lay haphazardly on the couch. Ashtrays overflowed and empty Scotch bottles littered the floor.
Understanding lanced her gut as Buffy recognized the mess wasn't the result of an overnight bender. It had been accumulating for weeks. Absently, the slayer picked up a leather journal, flipping to the last entries. She skimmed the passages, her mind catching on random sentences.
We buried Buffy today. Angel came at night. Stood by her grave like a brooding statue. Mourning her. Balls. He loved her so much, where the fuck was he when she was falling from the sky. Wanted to kill him. Drive a stake in his heart. But no. Can't do that. Buffy loves .... Loved him.
That Goddamn robot. I know Willow meant well, and that the demons fear it, as they did the slayer. But to be forced to train it as I did my Buffy. I bleed when it looks at me.
Have to go. Have to get out of Sunnydale. The children don't need me and I'm barely holding it together. Back to England. It's not home. Home is in the grave.
Alive. Dear Lord. She's alive. My God Willow what have you done?
"I'd appreciate it if you'd refrain from prying into my private things Buffy."
The harsh words startled the Slayer as she guiltily slammed the journal, she looked to her Watcher on the stairs and felt the blood drain from her face.
"Oh my God, Giles?" she gasped, unable to tear her eyes away from his bare chest. Scars stripped his torso. Thin white lines and puckered welts. Hardly a square inch of flesh was unmarked and she shuddered to realize the marks likely were not just contained on his upper body. A jagged line cut through his navel and continued below the waistband of his trousers. "A little present from Angel," he confirmed. "Or Angelus if you'd prefer not to remember what your boyfriend did to me."
Tears streaking her face, Buffy stammered, "God Giles, I didn't know. I ... I ..."
"You didn't ask," he said. "You never asked. You just left and when you came back you didn't give a fuck." Giles cringed at his angry words as he tugged a T-shirt over his head. He hadn't intended to lose his temper again, he just hadn't expected to find her in his apartment, surrounded by the proof of his failure. And that little spark of hope Spike had kindled had slipped away when he saw Buffy's reaction to his body. He wasn't ashamed of his scars. Mostly he felt they were badges of survival and sometimes he even forgot about them. But for the woman you've fantasized about for years to look at you with horror that was a hard pill to swallow. He didn't consider that Buffy was more horrified that she hadn't known exactly what Angel had done to her Watcher in those hours before his rescue.
"Join me for a round luv?" he asked gesturing to the bottle.
Buffy was half-tempted to accept his offer. Anything to make the next few moments easier. At least he was wearing a shirt, though the her inner voice kept reminding her that despite the scars her Watcher's chest had been broad, solid and sexy. Sexy?
She shook her head to clear it of unwanted Watcher thoughts, "No. No drink. Still recovering from tequila night with Spike," she said, noticing how Giles' eyes darkened at her mention of the blond vampire.
He clutched the bottle tightly as he emptied it in his glass. The image of Spike's undead hands touching his Slayer imprinted in his mind. Not the result of one of Willow's botched spells, but of Buffy's own will. Giles drained the glass, slamming the bottle on a nearby table.
"What do you want," he growled.
Buffy perched on the arm of his couch and faced her Watcher. "Giles, please I didn't come here to fight. And I'm sorry that I left after Angel. I'm sorry that I don't make you feel wanted. Hell I'm sorry that I made you listen to my music during training."
"It's not music, its just noise," he said without thinking.
Buffy grinned. "Gotcha." Her face fell when he refused to acknowledge her joke.
"Okay," she continued, "The point is that you just can't go back to England."
Giles was silent, but his eyes softened. This was his slayer, his Buffy. Heartbreakingly beautiful despite her dirty face and eyes reddened from crying. "I'm not leaving," he whispered.
Buffy's carefully planned arguments died in her throat. "You. You're not?"
"No Buffy I'm not leaving Sunnydale," he said. "You were right before. I'm your Watcher. It's my duty to stay by your side."
Still stunned, Buffy lashed out. "That's it? Your duty. That's what I am to you?"
Giles hurled his glass against the wall where it shattered in glittering shards on the carpet. He grabbed his slayer's arm, wrenching it as he pulled her close.
"What do you want from me?" he rasped. His breath hot in her face. "I'm staying in this nightmare because of you. I've given you my life."
Their bodies were pressed tight and he could feel her breasts heaving against his chest. Drowning in the blue pools of her eyes he made his final confession. "Don't you know I'm in love with you." Then crushed his lips into hers in a bruising kiss.
Somewhere in his alcoholic fog Giles realized he was kissing his slayer and rather than pull away in disgust, Buffy was definitely kissing him back. Her mouth was warm honey and spice drank as a man dying, tasting her lips with his teeth and tongue. He felt her strong fingers slide under his shirt to explore the taut muscles of his back, but a chill rushed through him knowing she would eventually find tactile evidence of his time with Angel. He pressed her into the wall, pinning both arms over her head and wedged his knee into her crotch. Caught in a frenzy he abandoned her lips, scraping his teeth across her neck. He released her hands and nearly ripped the tank over her head. He buried his face between her breasts as she clutched his hair wildly.
In his fantasies Giles had imagined tender kisses and light caresses culminating in gentle lovemaking. Instead their joining was raw and screaming. Buffy's fingernails bit into his back and shoulders, the thin cotton of his T-shirt offering little protection from her passion. Giles tugged her sweat pants from her hips, releasing her long enough to remove her sneakers and remaining clothing. His slayer stood before him in glorious beauty, golden skin flushed, hair tangled wildly. She was the image of his deepest desires.
Giles could smell her woman's heat and her panties were soaked. He moved forward, his lips sucking fluid from her panties and his tongue tracing rough patterns through the lace. With a swift jerk he ripped the offending material from her body and renewed his assault, this time with no barriers between her flesh and his hungry mouth. Her fingers twined helplessly in his hair, tugging him closer to her hot core. He bit her clit and felt her spasm against his face. He eased a long finger in her dripping passage, searching for the trigger. He pulled her to the floor with his finger still buried in her cunt.
Giles straddled his slayer, still fully clothed. He longed to feel his bare skin against hers, but feared the sight of his body would send her fleeing. His fingers brushed her G-spot and her muscles clamped on his hand.
"Buffy," he said. "Look at me."
Her eyes flew open. Blue scorching green. He could drown in their depths.
"Buffy, I'm not Angel, or Riley or that prat Parker. When you cum I want you to know who is with you."
The naked desire in her Watcher's eyes forced Buffy to her senses. This wasn't a nameless boy at the Bronze she could just tease and then abandon to cold showers and wet dreams. It was Giles. Giles, whose body was warm and weathered instead of the smooth chill she associated with Angel. Giles who made her burn in a way Riley's macho fumbling never could.
She met his gaze and replied, "I know who you are."
He smirked down at her, "No you don't. But before you leave me, you will." His words, as much as the rough friction against her clit, sent the Slayer over the edge. Her orgasm ripped a scream from her lips that Giles swallowed with his kiss. Waves of pleasure wracked her body.
"Fuck me Giles," she pleaded. "I need you inside me."
Reaching between their bodies, Giles pushed his trousers and boxers to his knees. Fisting his hard length with one hand, he nudged the tip of his cock into her heat. She was writhing and humping against him, trying desperately to pull him closer. He wanted to wait. To draw out the moment and make her forget every other man who's ever dared touch her. The damp heat sucking at his cock and her animal plea stole his control. Giles sank into her depths, feeling his cock stretching her tight passage until he felt his balls resting against her ass. Buffy was so tight and wet he could cum at that moment, but the sensations were too exquisite. He fucked her with long deep strokes. Slowly pulling out and then ramming back into her clutching cunt. He ground his pelvis into her hips, scraping the length of his cock against the pebbly skin of her G-spot. Buffy wrapped her legs around his waist, pulling him even deeper.
Looking down at her, Giles growled, "Always. Wanted. To. Fuck. You." Each word punctuated with a hard thrust.
She was close. He could feel it in the way her passage clamped on his cock. Giles tugged on her clit, pushing her over edge, even as his own orgasm boiled in his balls and then erupted through his cock in gushing spurts.
Giles collapsed, pulling her on top of him, with his softening cock still embedded inside her pussy. He held her tightly. Fearing her rejection. Knowing that by fucking his slayer he would be forever bound by her, that even if she left him he could never leave her.
Buffy pressed closer into her Watcher. Giles' arms felt so good around her and her body still quivered from her orgasms. As she snuggled her cheek into his chest she realized for the first time that while she was very naked, he was nearly fully clothed.
"Giles," she said. "Why are you still dressed. Want to feel your skin against me." She felt him stiffen beneath her and that moment of closeness they briefly shared vanished. His hand that had been softly stroking her hair froze.
"What's wrong," she asked.
Not looking at her, Giles forced himself not to flee from the room. "Buffy, I'm not blind. I saw how you looked at me earlier. My body. I am not a young man. My skin doesn't regenerate when it is cut. I can't bear for you to look at me with disgust."
Buffy flipped over so that she was facing him. "God, Giles I just can't stop hurting you. You, your body. made me feel alive. No one. Not Angel. Not Riley. Has ever made me feel like this."
"Don't lie to me Buffy, I know exactly how you feel about me. Very, very old and gross, I believe were your words," he said harshly.
"Stop it. Stop it. Stop it," she cried, now sobbing. "Are you going to throw that in my face for the rest of my life? I was jealous Okay. Horribly, terribly jealous. There was a woman in your home and in your bed and in your life and you told me to leave. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry."
"Oh, Buffy," he said cradling her in his arms. "My dear, darling girl. Don't cry. I don't want you to ever cry. I'd take all your tears away if it was possible. I love you so very much and for ever such a long time. I just don't want your memory of us together to be sullied by the past."
"Memory?" she questioned. "What memory? Is this it? Just the once and send me off alone again to fight the darkness. I have to tell you Giles, if this is your version of pillow talk it leaves a hell of a lot to be desired."
Giles breathed deeply, inhaling the sweet fragrance of her hair, "What do you want from me, Buffy?"
"I want you to stay in Sunnydale. Not because I asked you and not because of what just happened, but because you want to be here. I can't promise that I'll change overnight or that I'll never be selfish or mean. But I will promise to try keep you and Dawn and the others from worrying so much.
"And if you decide to stay I want you to move in with Dawn and I. We'll figure out what to do about Tara and Willow or we'll buy another house, though I think Dawn needs some stability. I want you to teach me how to balance my checkbook and not get taken to the cleaners by the plumber. I want you to hold me in the night when the nightmares come. I want you to make love to me and eat strawberries in bed. But mostly right at this moment I want you to take off your clothes and let me see you."
Her Watcher's silence after her heartfelt speech was a bit unnerving until he started to chuckle.
"Strawberries in bed huh?"
"Yep," she grinned at him. "With chocolate sauce. You want?"
"Oh Dear Lord Yes I want," he said, squeezing her tight.
"Good. Then Watcher-mine strip."
"Are you sure?" he asked.
"Giles," she said, cupping his cheek. "You think I don't have my own scars? I do. The one on my neck where . where Angel drank from me and then Dracula. Does that disgust you?"
"Of course not, but .."
"But nothing," she interrupted. "How could you think me so shallow that I would be disgusted by scars you received defending me . because of me. Please Giles. Trust me. Trust me to love you.
"Alright," he agreed, smiling at his slayer. "You win. You always win."
"You know you'd save us both a lot of trouble if you would just remember that," she laughed, rolling off of her lover.
Giles slid his pants off and stood to remove his T-shirt. He looked at Buffy steadily, feet slightly apart, waiting for the worst. She rose as well, raking his body with her eyes. His was the body of a street fighter, rather than the sculpted form from a gym. The mark of Eyghon was stark against the pale skin of his arm and Buffy wondered why he hadn't had his removed as she had. Most of the scaring across his chest was covered in chest hair and she longed to feel the crinkling hair against her cheek. The scars varied in age, but she knew most had been received from her vampire lover. Her fingers gently brushed the puckered line that dissected his belly and disappeared into his graying pubic hair.
"Tell me," she said.
Giles hesitated for a moment, but knew that if he was ever to have a future with Buffy, that they must face the past. "At first he just toyed with me. The whipping was just decoration. He said he liked the patterns. He was angry. Angry at you for making him feel human. But he was also very jealous. And because Angel knew that I cared for you the demon very much wanted to hurt me. Opening Alcatha was just an excuse. I think he intended to castrate me, but for some reason stopped. I'll never know why. He dressed me. Broke my fingers. Spike stopped him before he could get the chainsaw."
Buffy looked up, tears streaming down her face. "I can't believe you held out as long as you did. I wondered what he did to make you tell."
Giles softly stroked her hair, remembering how the ropes dug into his broken fingers. Feeling the blood seep into his boxers. "It wasn't the pain that got to me Buffy. I know you all thought I was a bumbling fool, but I was made of much stronger stuff than you ever gave me credit for in those days. Angel wasn't the one who broke me, it was Drusilla."
At her questioning look, he continued. "She made me see Jenny. Though I knew in my head she was dead, she was before me, touching me, kissing me. My heart wanted so desperately to believe so I told her. I told her and I kissed her. When the veil lifted and I realized what I had done, I wanted to die. Angel was ready to kill me, but once more Spike intervened. But I welcomed death. I betrayed us all. I failed you."
"No," she said, holding him close. "Never. You survived. I was the one who failed you by running away."
Giles rested a finger under her chin, forcing Buffy to meet his eyes. "I won't lie and say those months you were gone weren't horrible. Willow was certain that her spell had worked. She suggested you and Angel had run away together. The thought that you had left with the man who'd tortured me. Well I was almost relieved when your mother told me about your fight. I searched for you. I felt certain that whatever bond existed between Watcher and Slayer would help me find you, but it never did. To think you were just a few hours away in L.A. and I still couldn't find you."
"You came to the diner where I worked," she said, surprising him. "You talked to my boss and left a picture of me. I told him you were my stepfather and I didn't want to see you. You looked so sad. I just couldn't face you. I wasn't ready. I'm sorry."
"I know you are," he said moving them both to the coach and pulling a blanket of their bodies. "And I'm not without blame either. You were barely a child expected to do a terrible thing. I'm afraid I wasn't always very understanding of how difficult it must have been to kill Angel. Strange really, because I had to do the very same thing to Randall."
"You and Randall," she said hesitatingly. "Were you lovers?"
"Would it disturb you if I said yes?" he asked.
"No. well maybe a little," she answered honestly. "But mainly because it's very hard to think of you like you must have been then."
"Yes, it must be," he said softly. "I was just a little older than you, Xander and Willow when I met Ethan and the others. Randall was really too kind and gentle to have been with us. But he and Peter had been friends throughout their lives and Randall worshiped him. No Randall and I were never lovers. It was Ethan and I."
Buffy looked at him in surprise, "Is that why you hate him? Did you love him?"
"You can't love someone like Ethan, Buffy," he said. "You can fuck them and feel passion for them. You can feel pleasure in their arms and find release in their bodies, but you can never love them. Obsession, yes, but never the tender forgiveness which is love. Ethan and I used each other because we were both alone. I am very sorry he turned out as he has and perhaps I feel some responsibility for that."
"Sort of like me and Spike," she said without thinking and then cringed.
Giles felt that familiar wave of revulsion wash though him and then suddenly it was gone. Buffy was in his arms now and in some small way he owed the blond vampire thanks. "Yes, very much like you and Spike. He told me about kissing you," he said, waiting for her reaction.
"Oh Giles. God I'm sorry. I was just so confused and he was standing there. The rest of you were together and I felt outside of it all like him and it just sort of happened."
"Did you want it to happen?" he asked, forcing himself to stay calm. Knowing that like his confession about Drusilla, Buffy needed to make her own peace.
"No," she said. "And yes. It felt wrong, but at least it felt like something. I'd been so numb ever since they brought me back and Spike wasn't afraid of that numbness. I know he's evil, but at least he didn't keep pushing me to forget. Everyone else just wanted a big thank you and for life to go on like nothing happened.. Even you. Spike knew where I had been. That I was in heaven."
Giles held her closer, "Why did you tell Spike?"
Buffy answered simply, "He asked."
"Well there is that."
"Are you angry with me about Spike."
The Watcher considered his response. "I was jealous. Truth be told I'm still jealous. I'll always be jealous of the men who have touched you before me. I wish you had felt as if you could come to me. But I've discovered. quite recently in fact that Spike is not without insight. He can be extremely perceptive. He's the one who told me to stay with you."
"Really?" she questioned. "That's very unlike him."
"I thought so as well," Giles said. "But it seems we've all underestimated him."
"Not Dawn," Buffy reflected. "Dawn adores him. She likes him much better than Angel."
"And he's devoted to her," Giles confirmed. "Likely because she's never seen him at his worst, only as her protector. He barely let her out of his sight all summer unless he was patrolling or . mourning you. But then we all did our share of brooding during that time."
"And here I thought Angel held that title," she said, half-joking.
Giles' reply was serious. "When I saw you strike that pavement, I couldn't believe it was you. I thought it was the robot, an illusion. And then I touched your body and you were warm. Bleeding, broken, but warm. Xander was giving you CPR and Willow was ready to find an ambulance. It was Spike who stopped her. Got us all moving before the police came to ask their unanswerable questions. He helped Xander get Anya, Tara and Dawn to the hospital. Told me to take you somewhere safe. 'No one can know Buffy's dead,' he said. 'The demons will take over this town and their father will come for Dawn.'
"I was just standing there with your blood sticky on my fingers. My side was killing me. I'd torn some of the stitches. Spike hit me. Hit me hard and made himself scream because of the chip. It got me moving though. I picked you up and stumbled away. Ended up at the Magic Box, in the training room actually. It didn't seem possible that a few hours earlier you'd threatened to kill me."
Buffy interrupted, "I'm sorry about that. I meant it. But I am sorry."
"I know you did. It was an impossible situation," he said, remembering how Spike broke down the door to find him cradling Buffy in his arms begging her to breathe.
"Spike found me. I was crying. Screaming at you wake up. Xander and Willow were downstairs and it was nearly sunrise. Anya was still in the hospital and Tara stayed with Dawn at your house."
Giles couldn't look at her, instead focussing on a piece of broken glass. "We had to dispose of the body. Spike had obtained a coffin. I don't know how. Xander borrowed a truck from his construction site and some tools. Willow knew of a place in the woods. Quiet. No one would know. The sun was up and Spike stayed in the truck, huddled under a blanket while Xander, Willow and I dug the grave. It seemed appropriate that it was us three. It took all day, we wanted it deep."
"I remember," Buffy said unconsciencely examining her fingers for phantom traces of dirt and gore from when she'd broken through her coffin and through the soil.
"Yes," Giles said, covering her hands with his own. "Of course you would. Willow told me how they found you."
"You buried me," she said prompting him to finish his story.
"That was pretty much it. Xander carved your headstone. Willow and Tara cast a spell to keep it hidden from those who might mean you harm. Willow drove to L.A. to tell Angel, Cordelia and Wesley the news. I saw him, Angel there one night. Neither of us said anything. We certainly couldn't offer each other comfort. He blamed me for letting you die. I blamed him for his absence."
"I didn't tell him," she said. "When he came for Mom's funeral I didn't tell him about Glory or Dawn being the key. None of it. It wasn't his fight anymore. After Willow brought me back and I saw him again he was angry that I hadn't confided in him. It wouldn't have mattered. By the time everything went down he and Wes had already jumped dimensions to rescue Cordelia." Giles nodded. "Wesley told me a bit about that. I suggested trying to adjust the portal they used to find you, but he pointed out that we knew the location of your body. It wasn't the same. You were dead. Not missing."
"When did you decide to leave me?" she asked.
"I didn't leave you Buffy. You were dead," he said more harshly than he'd intended. His voice softened.
"It was that infernal robot. It basically pointed out that with you gone so was my purpose. There just didn't seem to be a point in my continued presence. At least in England I could drink without looking at Xander the following day. The others didn't know. Spike could have cared less. But, Xander. The boy knew the signs from his own parents I guess. We had a terrible row when I discovered him pouring my Scotch down the sink."
"So you left."
"Yes. And I hadn't unpacked when Willow called. I had no idea they had been planning to bring you back."
"They didn't tell Spike either," she said.
"Yes, because he would have stopped her."
"I heard what you said to Willow that night," Buffy said. "You were angry. I thought it was because you didn't want me."
Giles shook his head. "No. Having you back is a miracle. But what Willow did was incredibly stupid. It could have gone horribly wrong. Your body might not have healed completely or your soul might have been stuck between this world and the next. And even without those things happening, her spell has not been without repercussions. Specifically that your very hard earned and well deserved peace was stolen from you by a person you love. She committed a serious crime against nature and you. I worry that the price she must eventually pay will be too high. The dark magics do not share their acolytes easily. Willow's forays into magic are already placing a huge strain on her relationship with Tara."
"What you do think will happen?" she asked.
"Only time will tell," he said. "Willow has a strong heart. She loves without question, without guile. Those are good qualities for someone who wields immense power."
"And us. What do we do?" wriggling in his lap. Giles smiled. "Right now I'm going to carry my slayer to my bed and convince her that life is very much worth living. We'll solve our friends' problems at a later time."
Buffy wrapped her arms around his neck, planting a gentle kiss on his lips. "I'd like that very much." As they mounted the stairs Buffy whispered into her lover's ear, "So this means you're staying."
"I'm not going anywhere," he promised.