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November 2013

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Stages of Understanding~Chapter Four

Well, here is chapter four...posted mainly for littleotter73 because she wanted it so soon.

Also, I borrowed some dialogue from season six, no infringement intended.



Chapter Four

Giles stood in his kitchen drinking tea as Buffy walked around his apartment gathering up the few items she had brought with her the night before. He watched her pace back and forth shaking his head. He brought the small china cup to his lips and sat his back down on the saucer. The tea was sweet but not bitter. Giles had always preferred to sweeten his tea more so than the others around him. His father drank his tea with no additions while his aunt added creamer. It was his mother who drank her tea with sugar and the elder Giles told his son that was where he had gotten the habit from. Thinking on his mother, Giles had wished, and not for the first time, that he had met his mother.
     
   He shook his head from the morbid thoughts. Instead he just brought the tea back to his lips and continued to watch Buffy. Thinking about her and drinking tea made him realize how similar the two where. Buffy had spice but was sweet like tea once the sugar was added. She was smooth and addictive. It was easy for him to understand why people were so loyal to her. He himself couldn't do a day without a good cup of tea and it months that she was dead, he realized that he couldn't go without her. 


Giles pulled himself from those dark thoughts and began to watch Buffy more intently. The women in question placed one hand on her hip while the other went through her slightly tangled hair. She huffed in impatience obviously not finding the item she had been searching for. Her watcher pushed off the counter and sat his cup of tea down. He went into his living room and looked around, hearing her muttering about the missing shoe. After Giles had showered, they had washed Buffy's clothing from the night before. However, she seemed to have misplaced one of her shoes. Giles was unsure how this occurred but he was not surprised; this was his slayer that lost her shoe.

That and Giles watched as she attempted to slyly put the sweats she wore that morning in her bag without his knowledge. He said nothing but smiled. The idea of her taking those clothes pleased him and if they brought her comfort, she could have all of his sweats if she so pleased.

Giles bent down on all fores and looked under his ancient sofa.  There was nestled a small black flat that he assumed was Buffy's. He had not been paying attention to her foot attire the night before but unless Willow somehow left his apartment one day after cleaning without her shoe, this had to be Buffy's. He stood up and walked over to her. Buffy looked at the shoe and back at her watcher. She took to offending garment out of his hand and mumbled a thank you.  With that the two gathered their few belongings and ended out into the sun.

 It was a sunny early afternoon day but he nothing could be expected less in California. Giles greeted with the rays of sun with open arms. He realized how tired he was of the rain. Buffy thought it was too bright. If she could tone the sun down slightly she would. Her thoughts traveled to heaven again and this caused a ripple of pain to course though her. She leaned in and took Giles's hand. He looked down at her and saw the pain in her eyes. He nodded in understanding and didn't let go of her hand. If he had to be her anchor, he would be so gladly. They walked hand in hand toward toward his rental car. Giles made a mental to talk with Xander about dropping off his rental later in week because his sporty red car was still in its spot. The watcher opened the door and allowed his slayer to climb in. When she was in her seat, he couldn't help himself but lean in and kiss the top of her head. His lips smiled against her hair when he heard her sigh. It was in these moments that Giles allowed himself to greatly thankful that she was alive. He felt selfish that he was happy she was alive again, knowing the pain she was in.


On the drive to her house they were silent. It wasn't uncomfortable or awkward but more of the fact that both parties knew they said all they needed to at the moment. Both were lost in thought, Giles wondering when is aunt would phone him and Buffy was trying to think of the more pleasant things about being back all the while pushing back the thoughts of heaven. When they reached her house, they noticed that Willow's car was parked in the drive.  They shared a knowing look. Giles was going to speak with Willow. Part of him told him to hold off and wait for what the news his aunt might bring. However, the watcher part of his brain told him that Willow could try something in the mean time and he needed to prevent any disaster that could be caused by her magic. The two of them climbed out of the car and headed, hand in hand toward the house. When they entered and walked through the front door, Willow was bouncing down the stairs.

“Hey guys!” Her voice was happy and upbeat. Giles could tell that Willow was walking on cloud nine and that caused him to be even more irritated with her. How could she be so blind to Buffy's pain? It was a question that he continued to ask himself. He knew that they all were happy to have her back and alive, however ignoring the signs of Buffy's depression was not something he would recommend. “How did your evening go?”

“It was nice.” Buffy shrugged and looked around. She could feel the tension coming off of her watcher. She knew that he wanted to speak with the witch in private and Buffy honestly didn't want to hear what he had to say. Frankly, she knew that it concerned her but she wanted nothing to do with it. While she had not forgiven Willow for what she had done, Giles's anger was something she could touch. His forgiveness of the young witch was something he would have to do on his own and Buffy knew that it would have to start with whatever he had to say to Willow. “Where is Dawn?”

“Hm? Oh, she had a school project so Tara took her supply shopping.” Willow stated and Buffy knew that this would be the perfect time for Giles to pull her aside. Buffy shifted slightly and Willow narrowed her eyes slightly at Buffy and Giles hands, that were still linked together. Giles dropped her hand and Buffy said that she needed to change out of her clothes. Buffy made her way up the stairs and Giles watched her go. When he turned back to the red-headed witch, he noticed how here eyes flickered between him and the stair case. However, he was grateful that she didn't ask any questions.

“Willow, may I have a word?” She nodded, still focused on the small attentions that Giles had given Buffy. That wasn't something she could have seen coming. To her, Giles and Buffy's relationship could not be romantic. It was just something she didn't anticipate. She wouldn't judge of course because if it made them happy, then so be it but she just couldn't see it. Giles moved past her and into the kitchen.

The Summer's residence did not own a tea kettle but did have an assortment of tea bags for Giles to choose from. Buffy had done this before she had died, hoping that Giles would feel more at home. He took a small pot and poured some water, after letting the tap run for a few seconds, and placed the pot onto the stove. This made Willow nervous. She had know Giles long enough to know that when he made tea while wanting to have some type of serious conversation or scolding, it was not always pleasant.
       
“Tell me about the spell you performed.” It wasn't a request. It was a demand. His voice was very grave and hallow. However, Willow didn't hear it. They both had been waiting for this moment but for two very different reasons. She was expecting praise and admiration for what she had done. But most of all, she was expecting gratitude. She was so absorbed by what she thought she would get to see what was right in front of her.  

       
“Okay, first of all, it was so scary, like the Blair Witch would have had to watch like this.” Willow raised her hands in font of her face with her fingers split so her eye could peak through. Giles merely watched on with a stone look on his face. Yet, Willow was diving into her story that she didn't see how unimpressed Giles was. “And-and this giant snake came out of my mouth and there was all this energy crackling, and this pack of demons interrupted but I totally kept it together and then the next thing you know,  Buffy.”  Willow finished with a satisfied look on her face. She leaned back waiting for the praise, but it didn't come.

       
“You're a very stupid girl.” His voice was hallow. He knew the basics of what happened but he didn't dare ask Buffy to relive her first few moments back on this earth. The only thing she really said about it was that it was hell. Yet, in order to help her, he needed to know the specifics. What he heard made him sick.

       
“What? Giles-”

      
  “Do you have any idea what you've done? The forces you've harnessed, the lines you've crossed?” He crossed his arms in order to keep from hitting something. He wasn't a violent man by nature but he was rarely as angry as he was in that moment.

      
  “I thought you'd be impressed or-or something.” Willow's voice was weak and timid.

      
  “Oh, don't worry. You've made a very deep impression.” He snapped. “Of everyone here, you were the one I trusted most to respect the forces of nature.” It was true. He knew that Willow abused magic but never to this degree. He trusted her with his flat and he trusted her to keep the others safe. Willow was always the responsible one and the reliable one. Now, he just wasn’t sure where he stood when it came to her. His trust wasn't broken easily but at this point, Willow may have done it.

      
  “Are you saying you don't trust me?” Her voice was in complete disbelief. Giles saw the arrogance written on her face and it only caused his features to harden further. He let his arms fall to the side when the water started to boil. He poured the hot water into his mug, glad that he had something to do. He poured some in another and handed it to Willow. She didn't take it.

       
“Think of what you've done to Buffy.”

     
   “I brought her back.”

       
“At incredible risk!”

      
  “Risk? Of what? Making her deader?” She snapped back. He could tell that the witch was getting angry. While warning bells were going off in the back of his head, Giles couldn’t stop. He was just to angry and while he knew making a witch angry at him was a grave mistake, his impulses couldn’t help himself.

       
“Of killing us all. Unleashing hell on earth. I mean, shall I go on?” Willow took a step toward him and narrowed her eyes.

       
“No. Giles, I did what I had to do. I did what nobody else could do.” There it was. The ego. Giles realized that Willow that she was invincible and could be touched. He was in her shoes at one point and learned the lesson the hard way.

       
“Oh, there are others in this world who can do what you did. You just don't want to meet them.”

      
  “No, probably not. But, well...they're the bad guys. I'm not a bad guy. I brought Buffy back into this world, and maybe the word you should be looking for is 'congratulations'.”

       
“Having Buffy back in the world makes me feel indescribably wonderful.” It was true, Willow had given him a gift that he could never repay but that didn't leave out the anger he still felt. “But I wouldn't congratulate you if you jumped off a cliff and happened to survive.”

      
  “That's not what I did, Giles.”

       
“You were lucky!” This he shouted. He didn't want to raise his voice but temper was getting the better of him. He was glad that there was the kitchen island in-between the two of them because it took everything he had not to smack some sense into her.

       
“I wasn't lucky! I was amazing.” She scowled at him. “And how would you know? You weren't even there.”

       
“If I had been, I'd have bloody well stopped you.” At this the kitchen door opened and in came Dawn and Tara. They could hear the yelling from outside and were worried. However, neither Giles nor Willow notice them enter. They were to focused on each other and their argument to notice anyone else. “The magicks you channeled are more ferocious and primal than anything you can hope to understand and you are lucky to be alive, you rank arrogant amateur!”  Both Tara and Dawn's eyes widened while Willow looked as though she had been slapped.

    
 “You're right. The magicks I used are very powerful. I'm very powerful and maybe it's not such a good idea for you to piss me off.” Her voice was deadly calm and it sent a chill down Giles's spine. He could feel the magic radiating off of her. “Come on Giles. I—I don't want to fight. Let's not okay? I'll think about what you said and you try to be happy Buffy's back.” She wore that sweet Willow smile and it made Giles's heart melt. It was like seeing his daughter be ashamed of getting into the cookie jar, yet this wasn't as easy to forgive.

       
“You still don't know where she was....or what happened to her-”

       
“Giles.” Buffy was standing there, in the archway with a worried look on her face. His features softened and nodded. He knew he was just about to spill the beans on everything Buffy had told him the night before. He looked ashamed but she smiled at him. That reassured him that he didn't say anything more than she wanted them to know. They all were silent and Tara felt as though she should thaw the ice.

       
“Mr. Giles, Buffy? Dawn has a school project due later in the week and was wondering if the two of you would help her.” Tara stuttered slightly and Dawn rolled her eyes. She hit the Wicca slightly and laughed. There was still tension in the kitchen but it was dissolving slowly. Once Giles and Buffy went into the living room with Dawn, things calmed more.

       
The three of them sat on the living room floor, which Giles thought, and helped Dawn work on her project. It was on the black plaque. She had pulled out all her notes, which Giles read over happily and commented where he thought she needed work while Buffy and Dawn did the more creative work on the bulletin board. Giles would sit back and watch. To him it felt like a real family. The family he let himself dream about. Now it seemed almost reality, except he wasn't sure where he and Buffy stood. It also was obvious that Dawn was trying to make them have as much time together as possible. Buffy would shoot annoyed glances at the younger girl, who would just smile.

       
Willow came in soon after, followed by Tara. The first was obviously upset and Tara seemed a bit on edge. It was obvious the two discussed in great length the argument between Willow and Giles. The Englishmen felt guilty for making Willow so upset, that was never his intention, but he had just been so angry. He turned from Willow and focused onto the two girls sitting on the floor with him but he was aware that the two witches went and sat of the sofa. He pointed out something Dawn had put on the poster board when he heard a phone ring. Giles jumped and pulled out his phone but was disappointed when he noticed that it wasn't his phone. Instead he saw Willow press her small phone to her ear.

       
“Yeah, we're all here.” Silence. “I'm sure but what about the shop? Will you be able to pull Anya away?” Xander. “She is willingly leaving the shop on a day that it is to be open? What is-” Silence. “Xander what is going on?” Silence. “Don't worry? You're telling me-” Silence. “Oh. Um, let me ask.” Willow pulled the phone from her mouth and covered the speaker with her hand. “Hey guys, Xander and Anya are going to bring take-out over for dinner in about an hour, they want to know what you guys would like.” At this Dawn's head snapped up.

       
“Oh, can he get that buffalo chicken pizza, we had last month. I have been so hungry for that!” Dawn stated and Willow repeated Dawn's request. She asked if that was fine with everyone else and no one had a disagreement except Giles. He claimed that his heartburn would be terrible if he ate such a thing. Willow, who was still irritated with the Englishmen pursed her lips and but nodded. She told Xander and then hung up the phone.

       
“Xander is going to get a couple different kinds of pizza, even that white pizza you love so much.” Willow stated in Giles's direction with a hint of an attitude. Giles didn't say anything but nodded in thanks. However, he looked at Buffy who was glaring in Willow's direction. Dawn placed a hand on her sister's forearm, as if to calm her. Willow was oblivious to Buffy's reaction and Tara was to busy whispering something to Willow to notice either. Dawn chanced a look at Giles, hoping he would do something about it but by the pursed lips, the younger girl knew that it was futile.

       
“I thank you Willow.” Was all that Giles was able to say on the matter. He had made things far worse in the kitchen than they needed to be. He didn't want Willow to be angry with him, as he didn't want to be angry with her. “Did Xander say what he wanted?”

       
“Nope. Just that he and Anya are coming for dinner and...well, bringing it.” Willow scrunched up her face in confusion. Normally when Xander and Anya came for dinner, they ate the food that was already here. They never intentionally brought the food themselves. In-fact, Anya never did anything that involved spending her money outside what she absolutely needed.  Cordelia liked to spend money while Anya saved it. Spending money on food that will not be eaten at her and Xander's condo seemed very out of the normal for the ex-demon. “I think their up to something.”

       
“I agree.” Giles stated in a gentle voice. For the first time since their argument, their eyes made contact. Giles made a small nod of his head, as those seeking a truce. His concern was for Buffy and her well being. A feud with the slayers best friend may not bode well for Buffy's mental health. That, and it would be a distraction from his main goal. Willow saw the movement and made a small decision and inclined her head. While she was hurt, she didn't want to fight with Giles. Plus, she was never one to hold a grudge. The tension in the room eased slightly, something Dawn was more than happy to take advantage of.

      
  “Buffy, I love you but you're handwriting is no better than mine. Giles? You're handwriting is really nice. Do you think you can write the titles of the categories and what goes underneath? Buffy and I can add the pictures on after?” Dawn battered her eyes at him and Giles smiled at her. He nodded but narrowed his eyes slightly.

       
“How do you know what my script looks like?” His voice was light. He honestly had no memory of Dawn ever really seeing his script. Although she could have seen it at any time, he knew.

       
“I've read some of your notes in one of your watcher's journals.” Her voice was light but Giles's head snapped toward her and his eyes narrowed. He knew Dawn matured after her experience with Glory but he never let his notes or journals out were she would be able read them. He had always been very careful. Buffy wanted to shield Dawn from the more dangerous things about her life and Giles had always agreed on the decision.

       
“What? When?”

       
“Last year when me and Spike-”

       
“Spike and I.” He corrected.  

       
“Whatever. When Spike and I broke into the Magic Box.” Dawn said nothing more than that. It was obvious that everyone was thinking about what happened after the break in and learning about Glory. However, Dawn did not seemed upset at all. She stood up suddenly with a wide smile on her face. “I'm thirsty. Anybody want anything? No. Great! Giles can you start in this corner with transmissions? The glue is still drying from putting on the border, so don't move it to much! Thanks.” Dawn pointed to the upper left hand corner, the corner that was closets to Buffy. If Giles had any hope to reach it, he would have to crawl over Buffy's lap, unless his slayer moved. Giles looked up and saw Dawn throw a smug look over her shoulder. The young teenage girl knew exactly what she was doing and Giles was never one to back down from a challenge.

      
 So in true watcher form, Giles got on his hands and knees, grabbed a marker and started to write what Dawn had outlined in her notebook. He felt Buffy shift but she didn't move completely. The retired librarian looked up and saw that his slayer was watching him. Their eyes locked and it was one of those moments when everything else just melted away. The idea that anyone else was in the room melted away and Buffy felt herself lean in but their lips never made contact. Instead they heard Dawn screech from the kitchen. Buffy shot up and ran into the kitchen, followed by the other three people who had occupied the living room with her. Dawn held the sprayer that was connected to the sink in front on her.

       
“Die spider die!” She squirted the sprayer and both Buffy and Giles could see a spider running rather quickly across the counter, escaping the straying water. Buffy moved behind Giles and he looked down at her with amusement.

       
“Not touching it.” Buffy sated firmly.

       
“You're the slayer.”

       
“Still not touching it.” With that Giles pulled off his glasses and took out his handkerchief to clean them.  He sighed and walked over to where Dawn was still hiding behind the sprayer. He took a spatula from the bin near the sink. He went up to spider which wasn't as big he was sure Dawn and Buffy would have made it out to be. He raised the spatula and hit the spider, killing it instantly. After taking an paper towel and taking the spider's body to the bathroom to flush it down the toilet, came back into the kitchen to see Buffy throwing the spatula away. He shook his head but laughed.

       
“Mr. Giles to the rescue.” Tara stated and he gave her a small smile. He had always liked Tara even though she brought Willow closer to magic. Tara had always been respectful, kind and knew how harmful magic could be. He had been surprised to hear that she had been involved in Buffy's resurrection. He had been surprised that Buffy had been resurrected at all. He was angry with Willow above all of them but he was angry with Tara as well because she should have known better. However, he never had the relationship with her were he could reprimand her like he did with Willow. All he felt that he could do with Tara was smile and hope that she knew she over stepped a boundary. The only comfort he had when it came to Tara and magic is that he knew Tara wouldn't become addicted. He felt the opposite about Willow.

       
“Thank you Tara. Apparently Buffy can kill demons and vampires but asking her to slay a spider is far too much to ask.”  He joked and saw the slayers lips twitch upward. His heart leap at the sight of a small smile. He hoped that he could grace that into something more.

       
“Well, that it what having the worlds best watcher is for.” Buffy stated. Giles was about to reply when he heard the front door open. Everyone turned and saw both Anya and Xander come into the kitchen with four pizza boxes while Anya carried a few soda bottles. The young man sat them down on the counter and smiled widely.

       
“Okay everyone. I have buffalo chicken pizza with sides of ranch for the Dawnster. Hawaiian for Tara and Anya. White for the G-man and pepperoni for us normal people along with several bubbly beverages.” Xander stated as Dawn slugged him in the arm. “Ouch!” Xander stated as he rubbed his arm. He glared at her while she laughed. Giles watched the young man and how he interacted with Dawn. Xander always felt kind and was always one who could boost Dawn up to be her best, however in many ways it was a double edge sword. The youngest Summers always had a bit of a crush on him and even though she accepted that he was in a relationship with Anya, it was obvious to Giles that Dawn would always carry that torch. He felt bad for the young girl because he was in many ways in the same position. He knew that Buffy loved him and he knew that he would always carry that torch for her.

       
“Thank you Xander.” He stated as he watched Willow move to the cabinet to get plates down. “But don't call me G-man.” Xander laughed and nodded. Willow sat the plates down on the counter and the moved the pizza boxes into a buffet style set up. They all got their slices of pizza and moved into the dining area with whatever beverage they wanted. They all gathered around the wooden table. Giles was saddened to see that Buffy was in between Xander and Dawn. He settled for sitting across from her. Willow had taken the seat on his left and he shot a sideways glance at her. She smiled at him as though they had not argued at all. He sighed in relief. That last thing he wanted was for this dinner to be awkward.

       
“So, Giles how long do you plan on staying?” Xander asked and Giles stopped chewing. He sat his white pizza down and looked at the younger man. In all honesty, he hadn't given it much thought. Now that it was before him, he guess he knew he needed to go back at some point to sort a few things out. He couldn't leave everything he had in London to sort itself out. He sighed. He didn't want to go back. He thought for a moment that his aunt could take care of a few things for him but shook the thought off. She was already doing more than enough for him and didn't want to ask anymore of her.

       
“I haven't given it much thought actually. I suppose that I would have to leave at some point but nothing is certain at the moment.” He replied. Giles looked across the table to see Buffy eying him. He could tell that she didn't like the news very much. She was hurt and felt as though she was about to cry. In the last day, Buffy had felt much better since she had been alive again with Giles here. She didn't know if she would be able to make it if he left. Part of her knew that she couldn't depend on him so much but at the moment, she couldn't help it. She needed him. She couldn't survive without his help.

       
“You're leaving?” Her voice was hardly above a whisper. It was low and heartbreaking. It caused Xander to put his head down and eat a slice of his pizza. He also had to place a hand on Anya's shoulder to keep her from speaking because they all knew that she would most likely say something completely inappropriate. Willow and Tara attempted to pull Dawn into an easy conversation but the younger girl was too busy looking between her sister and Giles.

          “At some point I will have to. I have a few things that need to be cleared up. I left in sort of a hurry.” Giles said and a calm voice. He could tell Buffy was on the edge of cracking and he didn't want that, not in front of the others. It would only lead to things he knew Buffy was no where near ready to handle. He saw her knuckles go white as she gripped the table. There was a crack and everyone had gone still. Buffy snapped a piece of the table off. Yet, no one looked at her except for Giles and Dawn. Willow just looked down at her plate and Tara was watching her girlfriend with concern. Anya was watching Giles watch Buffy and cocked her head. She was wondering why she never saw it before, the way he looked at her. Xander placed his hand on her shoulder and spoke calmly to her.
      
  “Buffy-”

    
 “What would you need to sort out? How long would you be gone?” Buffy asked, brushing Xander off. Giles sighed and looked at her. He didn't know what say. He wanted to make the pain go away but he didn't know how.

       
“I have to terminate my employment with the museum, break my lease on my flat, transfer a few things to my aunt. It shouldn't take too long and I don't plan on leaving right away.” Buffy's shoulders relaxed. She took a few deep breathes and tried to relax. She looked up into Giles's eyes and smiled lightly. She saw worry and anxiety there.  She had seen that look before, every time she had to come home from patrol with some type of injury and of course that time when he had given her that test but she didn't want to think of that.

       
“But you will come back?”

       
“Buffy, I will always come back.” It was gentle and reassuring and Giles knew how true it was. No matter what happened, if Buffy needed him, he would always be there. She smiled at him and it made Giles's heart race. Seeing that look upon her face made his insides squeeze. He returned her smile with one of his own. It was a sort spell that was broken by Xander's voice.       

       
“Well, if we're sharing news on the brighter side, I guess now is a good time as any.” Xander stood up and everyone was looking at him with surprise. “We all know that Anya-”

       
“We're getting married.” Anya stated and held up he left finger. Willow's and Buffy's eyes grew wide while they stared at the small ring. Tara smiled and congratulated them while Dawn just sat there stunned. Giles smiled and stood up to embrace the young man. He whispered congratulations in his ear. Buffy looked over to Willow and their eyes locked. Both were shocked because Xander was their best friend.

       
“Congratulations.” The former librarian whispered. Xander squeezed him tightly. He had always looked at Giles as something of a father figure and hearing the congratulations was warming. Buffy smiled in ease and she truly meant it. She stood up and hugged him after Giles was done with the young man. While the slayer was angry with Xander, she still wanted him happy. When she pulled away she stepped back to allow the two witches and her younger sister to hug him. When they were done, Tara, Willow and Dawn surrounded Anya to admire her new ring. Buffy and Giles stood in the background. Giles wrapped her arms around Buffy and she lead back into them. Willow looked up and saw the interaction, and she wasn't the only one. Dawn was beaming when she saw it and Tara looked confused. The only ones who were oblivious were Xander and Anya. The engaged couple were to involved with their announcement to notice.   

      
  “Anya, what happened to letting me break the news?” Xander asked his fiance. Anya beamed up him and Xander smiled wide. Buffy watched them interact, and realized how deeply her old friend loved this ex-demon. At first Buffy never understood what Xander saw in her but in that moment, Buffy could almost understand. Xander loved Anya and she was happy for him, despite her anger and pain. Buffy turned her head and saw Giles looking down at her. His eyes where alight with happiness because Buffy looked, not happy but somewhat at ease. This was the most he had seen of the old Buffy and it only gave Giles hope and drive to bring her back to him.

       
Unbeknownst to them, three pairs of eyes were watching them intently.

       
“You were taking to long.” Anya stated and Xander laughed. The ex-demon walked over to the small corner Giles and Buffy were inhabiting and held out her hand. “Buffy, look at my ring.” She all but shoved her hand in Buffy's face. The slayer smiled and took the other woman's hand in her own to admire the ring. “It's not big or expensive but Xander bought it so I feel obligated to like it.” Buffy laughed and replied that she liked it.

       
Behind her she heard a phone ring and turned around slightly. Giles was fumbling in his jacket pocket searching for his cell phone. He pulled it out and looked at Buffy, who nodded as he extracted himself from her. He felt all eyes one him as he left the room. He went through the kitchen and onto the back porch. He looked down at the caller id and braced himself. He flipped the phone open and pressed it to his ear.      

       
“Hello?”

       
“And here I thought you weren't going to answer.” Georgina's voice flowed as it always did on the other end. It did nothing to ease Giles's anxiety at what his aunt might say. He held his breath and waited for his aunt to continue. However, she didn't respond and Giles guessed that he would have to be the next person to speak. He just wanted to know if she discovered anything but Georgina was not one to get straight to the point, unless it suited her. She was always one for polite conversation before discussing whatever topic was at hand. Perhaps Giles had spent to much time in America but he found that habit oddly tiresome as of late.

       
“Yes well, I was with company.” He replied.

       
“Let me guess, your slayer, the witch and that young man you oh so admire?” Georgina stated. “Did you speak to the witch?” When Giles didn't reply, that was all the answer she needed. “Oh! You did! I'm going to assume that it didn't end well?” The implication in her tone was correct and for a brief moment, Giles hated how she always seemed to be right. He let out a huff of frustration and snapped at his aunt on the other end of the line.

       
“Did you call the coven?” He asked directly and Georgina sighed.

       
“No beating around the bush I suppose. You always were impatient Rupert.” 

       
“Aunt Georgie, please.” His voice was so desperate that it broke Georgina's heart. Sometimes, she forgets things when she was with him. He was so easy to tease that it got in the way when something was important to him. It was one of her failings and she knew it. It was just that she loved him dearly and she showed it by a simple tease here and there. After collecting her thoughts and taking a deep breath, she replied.

     
“Honestly, Rupert, there is nothing I can do for you.” In that moment, Giles's heart broke. While he tried not to, he had put so much hope into his aunt. He had really thought that if anyone could come through for him, it would be her. Whenever he had a problem that seemed to be no way out, she was always there to pull him out. Now, it looked as though he might loose Buffy for a second time. And this time it would be in slow motion because he would watch her destroy herself and all he could do was stand by and watch. In that moment, Giles felt incredibly lost, but then he heard his aunt speak again. “However, I believe I know someone who can.”

Comments

Aww, thanks for posting! :)

Wow, there is a lot going on in this chapter! I am glad to see Buffy continue to rely on Giles. Seeing Dawn, Buffy and Giles act as a family unit is too cute for words.

I have the feeling things are going to continue to spiral with Willow. She's true to canon here.

And I wonder who Georgina is going to send to help Giles and Buffy...
This chapter had to be split in two because it was too long. My outline had so much more going on but I ended up breaking it up and pushing some parts into chapter five.

Buffy will rely on Giles for most of this story, of course not too much. That would make it unhealthy. As for Dawn. I love her part in this. She is their biggest cheerleader.

Willow...I have plans for her. That is all I will say.

As for Georgina...who says she will be sending anyone...
Glad I caught up with this. it's great fun and I look forward to seeing where you take it.

Aunt Georgie for the win!

Thanks.

Thanks...I'm in the long run with this baby.

Aunt Georgie does more than pulls a rabbit out of a hat..that is for sure

Giles through Sunday, September 15

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