AUTHOR: Gabriele Schulz
DISTRIBUTION: The New Buffy/Giles Relationshippers, A Watcher's love. Others please ask first.
SPOILERS: up to season III, set in IV (I just can't wait ;-)
FEEDBACK: Just read the title: Yes (and I might add: *Pleeeease!*)
SUMMARY: Giles is about to marry and Buffy tries to figure out why she can't live with that. B/G
DISCLAIMER: The characters are the property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, Sandollar Productions, Kuzui Enterprises, 20th Century Fox Television, the WB Television Network, and whoever else may have a hold on them. I do not mean to infringe upon any copyrights.
Set in a near future, where Buffy has a boyfriend called Michael and Giles is dating a woman called Katherine.
I woke up and turned on the radio to hear "I drove all night". The picture of Dustin Hoffman banging against the glass to stop his loved one from getting married (in "The Graduate") popped up in my mind and inspired this fic. So here it is with not Ben, but Buffy (although there's no glass-banging).
Oh, yeah, and I don't know whether it's legal in California to just get married like this, but I don't really care.
DATE: 6/15/99

9.30. She paced her small room, wishing she had something (or someone) she could beat into a bloody pulp. Guests were arriving at that very moment. Taking seats. "Bride or bridegroom?" Most of them would be bride.

How could he? How could he marry her?

Buffy took another look around her room and realizing there was nothing she could break to pieces, she decided to leave, because she feared if she stayed, she would just grab the next best thing and throw it against the wall or window or whatever was likely to make the most noise.

She walked into the sun that was shining mercilessly beautiful. < Just the perfect wedding weather. > She started walking in any direction, her face grim.

She had disliked Katherine from the beginning. She had no reason to do so and she knew it, but she couldn't help her feelings. She just didn't like her and further more she was disturbed by the fact, that she seemed to be the only one who felt like that. Oz and Xander were okay with Giles dating her and Willow had practically fallen in love with her after Katherine had displayed an interest in her experiments with witchcraft. And Giles of course loved her.

Which had been okay with her. Well, she hadn't liked it of course and couldn't grasp why it had to be Katherine, but he deserved to be as happy as anyone else. She after all had Michael. Michael who was supposed to understand her. But he too had tried to talk her into going to the wedding. The others had tried to be reasonable telling her she had to go to support Giles, to be there in this moment of joy. But Willow had been especially hard. She was angry after neither begging nor threatening had worked.

"Giles will be heart-broken!"

She hadn't answered to that. First of all, Giles seemed not nearly as upset as Willow (actually not at all) and secondly she wanted to scream out "And what about my heart?".

She remembered the day Giles had told them that Katherine had proposed to him and how thrilled Willow was. Oz had congratulated him and Xander had been actually speechless. She couldn't bring herself to talk about her doubts < Now, that's a nice euphemism. > just then, but when the others had left, she had talked to Giles.

"So you really want to marry her?"

"Why wouldn't I?"

"'Why wouldn't I?'?! Giles this is marriage you're talking about. You'll spend the rest of your life with that woman. Marrying her shouldn't be 'Why wouldn't I?'. It has to be *'Yes'*, *'I will'*, *'Of course'*."

"Buffy it's not that easy."

"Why not?"

"Relationships are never that simple for the two of us. We have to consider more than love."

"That's not true. If you *do* love her, this *would* be simple. And the fact that you had to *think* about it, should be reason enough not to do it."

"I think I remember clearly that you hesitated quite a bit before telling Michael."

"That was different."

"*You* said love means having no doubts."

She just stared at him.

"It doesn't mean that."

"Just tell me one reason why you want to marry her!"

"Tell me one why I shouldn't."

She hadn't been able to do that. So he had told Katherine that he agreed to marry her. Which he was about to do in ten minutes in a chapel not far from here. She realized that she had walked in that direction without being aware of it.

Why was she going in that direction? < Because you have to. > But, why? She was angry at him and he knew it. And he wasn't upset with her. He understood her feelings and had accepted that she disagreed with him and that she wouldn't turn up. There was no reason to go there.

< You have to be with him, when he marries. > No, she didn't! She knew it was an important moment in his life and that he would want his friends to share it, but... < No 'but'. If you don't show up, this will always stand between you. >

No, no, no! How could he let this happen. How could he marry her, knowing his Slayer was never going to be okay with it. How could he expect her to give her blessing when it was against everything she felt. How could he let this woman come between them and destroy their bond of trust and love. They had been chosen to be together. Wasn't he the one who had told her time and again that she couldn't fight her destiny. What about his destiny to be her Watcher? He didn't even love that woman! How could he love her and not just scream 'yes' as an answer to her proposal, instead waiting to 'think' and talk about it with his friends.

Wait a minute. Had she just said 'love'? "Bond of trust and love" it had been. What was that about? She loved him of course, but... why would she put that into words just now? And what did it have to do with this wedding?

< You love him and you have to be with him when he marries. > No, she didn't. Have to go that is. Loving him didn't change that. He was not her father. She knew that if her father were to marry the woman he had introduced to her the last time she had visited, she would have to come, no matter how little she liked her. But her feelings for her were not the same as for Katherine. But that was because her feelings for her father were different from her feelings for Giles. She didn't love Giles as a father. How *did* she love Giles?

She tried to think about it but could only see how she didn't love him. She didn't love him like her father. She didn't love him like Willow and Xander. Although that was part of her feelings for him there was more. And she felt that it was exactly that other part of it that made it impossible for her to give him her blessing.

She had increased her speed, every part of her driving her towards the chapel with an almost painful desperation that was beginning to make her eyes water. One part was driving her to be there and give him her blessing, because she couldn't live with anything standing between them and the other part drove her there to...

She kept thinking about how she loved him, considering every person she did love and quickly concluding that it was nothing like what she felt for Giles.

She was running now, knowing that no matter what reason she had to be there, if she wanted to be there in time she had to run.

Then she suddenly stopped short.

Michael. She loved Michael. And thinking about what she felt for Giles all became clear. No, she didn't love him like Michael. She loved Michael like a college love. What she felt for Giles was the love for the man of her life. The man she wanted to wake up with every morning. The man who was about to marry another woman.

She started running as fast as she could.

When she entered she saw Katherine talking to her father in the foreroom. The bride smiled at her but the smile faded as she saw Buffy's determined look.

Buffy ignored her and without hesitation opened the door to the room full of people.

Everyone just stared at her.

She walked past them to Giles who was waiting at the altar and just watched her.

When she reached him the best man asked worried: "Okay, what demon can't even wait until the wedding is over?"

"It's nothing Xander. I just have to talk to Giles for a second."

Giles motioned that it would only take a second and they walked a few steps so that the others wouldn't hear them. Giles was aware that everyone was watching them, wondering what it could possibly be that this upset young girl had to tell him and of course wondering who she was in the first place.

"What is it Buffy?"

He didn't seem angry.

"I... you remember when we talked about this marriage and I asked you for one reason to marry her and you said 'Tell me one not to'?"

"Yes, I remember."

"Well, I have one now. I don't know if it will matter, but I have to at least tell you."

She took one deep breath.

"I love you."

Then she burst out in tears and put her arms around him burying her face in his tuxedo. Then she felt his arms around her and when the sobbing quieted down a little she dared to ask, without looking at him though:

"Is that a reason?"

He pushed her a little away and put one hand under her chin, lifting her face up to his. Her vision was blurred from the tears and maybe from hallucination, because she thought that he was smiling. Then he bent down and kissed her.

Her arms flew up around his neck in an effort to draw him even closer. Their tongues met and she felt her knees beginning to weaken. It was only then that she heard the voices in the crowd.

A finger tipped on her shoulder.

"It's not that I want to disturb anything, but wasn't this supposed to be your wedding to Katherine and not a great smoochorama with Buffy."

They stopped kissing and looked at each other smiling.

Then the voices suddenly stopped.

They turned around to face Katherine, who was approaching them.

When she stood before Giles she looked at him a long moment, before slapping him in the face and leaving.

Xander, who was still standing next to them watched her and then turned back to them.

"Well, guess it's time to let the people know there won't be a wedding."

Buffy glared at him, but Giles smiled.

"Wait a second."

He went to the flower decoration, that was closest to them, took out a bunch and then got down on his knees in front of Buffy. He handed her the flowers and ceremoniously said: "Will you marry me?"

The smile on her face would have lit up half of the country.


She pulled him up to his feet and kissed him again.

Xander informed the crowd of the "little change in the cast of this wedding". The people got up and out until only those were left, that came here to see Giles get married, which weren't many. A handful of colleagues and of course the Slayerettes: Willow, who looked sad, but smiled her approval to let Buffy know that she was okay with it, Oz who smiled and Cordelia, who had come all the way from L.A. She was grinning and winking at Buffy. And in the last row there was another figure, sitting alone waiting for Buffy to see him.

Michael. When their gazes met he smiled and nodded. Buffy just lifted her hand and waved him good-bye before he left. Then Xander dragged her out and when she entered again the music started playing. She walked with Xander passed the empty benches. The ceremony went a little chaotic and Buffy needed help once in a while. She didn't need help with one phrase though.

"I will."

It was clear and vibrated through the whole room.

Then they were pronounced husband and wife and kissed again.

They walked back the aisle arm in arm into the foreroom.

The others went out to see what was left outside or if the photographer and the limousine were all gone.

Buffy and Giles waited a moment longer. They had their arms around each other and now Buffy smiled up at him.

"Since when do you know you love me?"

He thought about it a second.

"Since your 18th birthday? Since you ran away? Since you died in the Master's lair? Since I first met you? I don't know. I just know that I do and that it feels like I did forever."

They kissed again and Buffy enjoyed this last moment, before she stepped out the door into a new life. A life that she would share with the man she loved.