Yourself or Someone Like You
By Gabriele Schulz
TITLE: Yourself or someone like you
AUTHOR: Gabriele Schulz
DISTRIBUTION: Everyone who has my general permission. Others please ask first.
SPOILERS: Up to Who are you
FEEDBACK: Go right ahead and don't regret ;-)
SUMMARY: Buffy talks about why she's sticking with Riley. 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.
NOTE: Title 'borrowed' from the album by matchbox20, which has nothing to do with this story.
"What is wrong, Buffy?"
She gave him a short smile and opened the door to leave.
"I'm sure Riley loves you."
She turned to him.
"It's not about Riley. It's about you."
She looked at him, then closed the door and came closer.
"Why didn't you recognize me? Even when I told you it was me. Why couldn't you just see?"
"Buffy, I... it was Faith and I think with her I'm especially careful and suspicious. I couldn't have... I'm sorry. I wish I could have 'just seen'. Maybe if you would have looked really annoyed..."
He had said it as a joke to lighten things up.
"God Giles, I just said that..."
"Because of what?"
"What should I have said? That I'd recognize your eyes anywhere? Those beautiful green with that strange amber... God, I sound like a lovesick teenager. Now, do you know why I had to say something? You were embarrassed enough for both of us."
"Buffy, it doesn't sound at all like a lovesick teenager. It sounds quite lovely, actually, and I would never assume anything as ridiculous as the fact that you could be in love with me."
"I, or someone my age?"
"No, no. You I suppose. I mean Willow, eh, she... she told me that she had a crush on me."
"She did?!! What did you say?"
"She was already over it by then. I told her that I was flattered. And... I love her very dearly but..."
"Not in that way."
She sighed relieved.
"Boy, she never told me that she told you. It's... wow. I remember that when she first told me that she... I was totally..."
"No! No, not at all. Not even then. It was... weird. In a vaguely interesting way."
"Ah." He frowned.
"Weird is good. I mean we are all kind of weird, aren't we? I think we need weirdness to survive. Normal is okay, but... just look at Riley. He's like 100% the guy I would have had a crush on when I was 14. But that's okay. It's what I need right now."
"Until the right one comes along."
"Come on. Don't tell me, you believe Riley and I will be together forever."
"But still you shouldn't settle for second best."
"There is no first best!"
"But this is unfair to you *and* to Riley."
"Giles, I like Riley a lot, I might even love him in some way, sort of like a cute little puppy. He adores me and we both give each other what we need. That's better than Angel. Angel was only wanting and never getting. And it was always life or death - literally. Riley is nice and the problems are... acceptable."
He just looked at her.
"Giles, I don't like to be alone. And I never know how much time I have left."
"Exactly! One reason more not to waste it with something that you don't really want!"
"What do you want me to do? Wait till I'm not any longer too young for someone like you?"
He stared at her.
"Giles, I said 'someone like you' not 'you'."
"I-I am quite aware of that. If you had said 'me' I would have..."
"This is a personal conversation!"
"I... I would have been shocked."
"Oh-dear-good-this-is-disgusting-shocked or this-is-wonderful-beyond-belief-shocked?"
"You don't expect me to answer that, do you?"
"Buffy, I can't!"
"I can't tell you."
"Because that would... I just can't."
"Because that would answer the question? How would that-? What? You... You're in love with me?!"
"I didn't say that."
"*Are* *you* in *love* with me?"
"Buffy, I can-"
"What if I had said 'you' and not 'someone like you'?"
"I can't wait not to be too young for you."
He just looked at her perplexed.
"I don't think I can wait any longer."
With that, she put one hand behind his neck and drew his face down to hers. It took him quite a few seconds to compose himself enough to respond, but when he did, it was very much to Buffy's satisfaction.
When they finally parted, she sighed happily.
"Never again second best."
"What about Riley?"
She grinned and kissed him again.