the bunny warren v. Faith

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Worn and Faded

Author: Venus Blue
Written: January 30, 2002
Summary: The final conversation between Buffy and Giles before he left in "Tabula Rasa."
Pairing: Buffy/Giles
Rating: PG-13
Spoilers: Giles left. You know that, right? There you go
Feedback: Valued more than chocolate.
Disclaimer: Fox and the lovely Joss Whedon own all characters. But they are dorks for not letting them play more. Sting and company own the lyrics to this FABULOUS song, but I think ASH sings it better.
Dedication: To Ally, for introduing me to GilesNaughty, and to Da Wench, for being my favorite B/G writer. Especially for the naughty stuff. ;)
AN: I was downloading some ASH songs, and when I heard this, this fic just popped in my head. I hope it goes as well on paper as it does in my head. "//" indicates song lyrics.
Awards: View, View 2nd Award, , View 3rd Award

"Buffy, I'm sorry, but I can't-"

"Can't what? Giles, please...you can't leave me. I can't handle things without you. If you're not here..."

"It will get easier, I promise. You just have to get your bearing. And you can't do that while I'm here."

"Yes, I can! I will! Give me another chance! You can't just expect me to...to...to quit cold turkey!"

Giles almost smiled at this, but quickly regained his composure. They'd been having this discussion for the past hour, and he only had a couple of hours until his plane departed. Looking at the tear-smudged face of the girl he adored more than life itself, he tried again.

"Buffy, you know I care about you very deeply, which is why I must do this. I'm only a phone call-"

"And a plane ride, and a REALLY expensive plane ticket away," she said, cutting him off and standing up. "Giles, I..."

She faltered. She wanted desparately to tell him. Tell him how much she needed him. How much she loved him. With all her heart and soul. How he was the only one she wanted in her life, the only one in her heart. But she couldn't.

She walked away from him, slowly pacing around the room, stopping by his packed bags. His guitar case leaned against the wall, worn and faded from years of use, but still in good condition. It suited him.

She stood staring at it so long, Giles began to get nervous. He stood up quietly and walked to her, silently placing a hand on her shoulder. A bolt of electricity ran through both of them, and shook them to the core. Quickly removing his hand, he turned his head and said, "I really need to get going," his voice choked with emotion.

Fighting back the sobs, she said, "Before you leave..."

Taking a deep breath, he managed to murmur, "Hmm?"

"Play me a song?"

Spinning around, genuinely surprised, he said, "Pardon?"

Shyly, she walked up to him and said, "I've only heard you sing once...and then I really wasn't paying attention. I want to hear you sing."

"Buffy, I really..."

"Please?" she said, almost pleading.

Sighing deeply, he picked up the guitar case, and brought it over to his chair. Buffy sat across from him, watching his every move as he lovingly removed the acoustic guitar from the case, holding it like a mother holds a child.

'I can't believe I'm jealous of a guitar,' she thought to herself. The thought made her want to laugh and cry at the same time. Instead, she turned her attention back to those hands, strong hands that now lovingly tuned the instrument.

He plucked a few strings, trying to think of an appropriate song. Looking across at the blonde goddess across from him, he nearly slapped himself.

'Of course. What else WOULD I play?'

The first few chords brought a look of happy surprise to Buffy's face, as well as tears to her eyes. She knew the song all too well.

//Every breath you take, every move you make
Every bond you break, every step you take
I'll be watching you.//

//Every single day, every word you say.
Every game you play, every night you stay
I'll be watching you.//

He closed his eyes as he sang, pouring all the emotions he felt into the words. He couldn't look at her. Looking at her would invoke the tears that rested just behind his eyelids. He didn't know if she could tell what he was trying to convey, and he was afraid of what her reaction would be if she did.

// Oh can't you see you belong to me
How my poor heart aches, with every step you take //

// Every move you make, every vow you break
Every smile you fake, claim you stake
I'll be watching you. //

Tears were pouring freely from Buffy's eyes. She wished with all her heart that Giles thought of her as more than a daughter. She was a woman, a grown woman, and she wanted nothing more than for him to take her in those strong arms, touch her with those amazing hands, tell her he loved her. That he would watch over her for the rest of their lives. Her eyes never left his face, except to occasionally watch those hands.

// Since you've gone I've been lost without a trace
I dream at night I can only see your face
I look around but it's you I can't replace
I feel so cold and I long for your embrace
I keep crying baby baby please //

He managed to take a deep breath between each set of lyrics. He could feel the tears welling up in his throat, and he didn't want her to know. She might take it as evidence that he really DID want to stay. That he wanted to be with her, forever. No one had ever made him feel as whole as Buffy did. Not Jenny, not his one night of lust with Joyce, and certainly not Olivia. They were all just substitutes. Poor substitutes for the girl who had stolen his heart from the first moment she'd walked through his library doors.

// Oh can't you see You belong to me
How my poor heart aches, with every step you take //

//Every move you make, every vow you break
Every smile you fake, claim you stake
I'll be watching you.//

Every smile you fake. Buffy thought she heard a note of...something...in that line. Giles knew she wasn't really happy. He knew she couldn't be happy, as long as she was alive. She didn't know how to tell him. Tell him that he was the only one who could possibly ever make her FEEL alive. Angel couldn't anymore. Riley never had. And if Spike touched her one more time, he would be Hoover food. She wanted Giles. Only Giles. And until she was safe in her arms, every smile would be faked.

// Every move you make, every step you take
I'll be watching you. //

// I'll be watching you
I'll be watching you
I'll be watching you
I'll be watching you //

With a final strum of of the strings, he ceased singing. He continued to look down at the guitar, the tears he'd been fighting finally flowing down his face. He couldn't look at her. Couldn't see her pain.

Buffy moved forward finally, kneeling in front of Giles and slowly moving the treasured guitar to the side.

"Giles. Giles, look at me."

He refused, and she set one soft hand to the side of his face and whispered, "Rupert. Please." When he finally did, he saw her looking at him pleadingly, her eyes full of tears and red from crying. He leaned forward and pressed a gentle kiss to her forehead. He held his lips against her soft, warm flesh, his hands slipping into her hair.

She looked up at him, and slowly pressed her lips to his own. At first he resisted, then finally gave in, caressing her lips with his own, using teeth and tongue to massage hers.

Moaning softly, tears ceased, she wrapped her arms around his neck, pulling herself up so that she was leaning into his lap. The kisses became more heated, more passionate, and when they finally came up for air, their eyes were sparkling with more than tears.

"Buffy-"

"Giles-"

They both laughed nervously, and he took her hand in his, gently kissing the palm. She smiled sadly, and said, "You're still going to leave me, aren't you?"

"I have to. I'm so sorry, Buffy..."

Silencing him with a chaste kiss on the lips, she said, "I don't want you to go. But if it's what you feel you have to do..."

She felt the tears start anew, and she stood up quickly, wiping furiously at her eyes.

"I have to go. Patrol and all."

As she reached the door, she heard him say in not much more than a whisper, "Every breath you take..."

She turned her head, and nodding slightly, she said, "I know."

And with that, she was gone.

~~~~~~~~~~
Buffy: When I kissed you, you know I was thinking about Giles, right?
Spike: You know, I always wondered about you two.
-Tabula Rasa
~~~~~~~~~~~~

Shades of Grey


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