by froxyn

Fandom(s): Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Character: Giles
Word Count: 1,559 words
Rating: G
Note: When he s on his own late at night, his thoughts are all he has.

Inspired by Voices in the Dark, by Aadler.


Giles made his way to the window for the fifth time in the last forty-five minutes. He sighed heavily, straining to see anything in the darkness. Though his front porch light (or front stoop light, as it were) was on, it didn’t really do anything to illuminate the area. He could see as far as the fountain in the courtyard, and the shadows that surrounded it, but could make out nothing more.

He briefly wondered why he kept returning to the window, but he didn’t have to dig very far to find the answer.

She was out there … somewhere. He didn’t know where she was, but he knew she was out there. In a park or a graveyard or an alley … or any of the other places where earth and hell intersect. That was where she would be found. She was out there, but he hoped that she wasn’t alone. He wondered if Xander and Willow had accompanied her on her patrol tonight.

He glanced at the clock and, seeing that it was well past midnight on a school night, he realized that the chances of Xander and Willow being out there with her were really rather slim. They had learned very quickly the benefits of having a sufficient amount of sleep. But, she was different, his Slayer … she didn’t need nearly as much sleep and often faced the darkness while the others slept peacefully throughout the night.

He admired her for many things, and that was one of them. The ability to function throughout the day, requiring only a nap during her free period, after patrolling for most of the night.

With another deep breath, he turned and walked away from the window. Staring into the darkness wouldn’t bring her by any faster … if she stopped by at all. She did most nights, even though he was officially no longer her Watcher. That had ended when he betrayed her during the Cruciamentum. Surprisingly to him, she had forgiven him rather quickly and had refused to even contemplate the idea of answering to someone else.

Not that she have ever ‘answered’ to him.

He smiled at that thought and sat down on the couch.

She ‘answered’ to no one, really. And he couldn’t help but think that that was what had kept her alive … for the most part. She did die the once. He tried very hard not to allow himself to think about that.

But, the point of the fact was … he had betrayed her, he had lost his title … his job along with most of his contacts, but still she continued to turn to him. Time and time again, it was him … Giles, never Mr. Giles, just Giles … who she turned to. That was almost worth losing his place in the Council. To see that amount of trust and loyalty, especially after what he had done … nothing could have eased the ache of losing what he had worked so hard, and so long, for any better.

Hearing her strongly suggest to Quentin that he leave Sunnydale helped a little as well, he had to admit.

He had been quietly relieved that she had never asked him about Quentin’s statement concerning his affection for her. There would’ve been no good answer to give her. Of course, he was attached to her … he cared for her … he worried about her … he loved her. He’d never said the words … and he probably never would. Chances are everything would be taken out of context.

Or not.

He furrowed his brow and shook his head.

A father’s love, Quentin had said. Giles supposed that it was true … to a point. But, when he delved deeper, he knew that description was simply inaccurate and far too inadequate. He had never had a hand in raising her. He had taught her and advised her and helped her, yes … but he had never raised her. He’d never had to. Her mother had done a perfectly wonderful job of that on her own. For the most part, at any rate. And though she loved him dearly, her father hardly seemed to neither set nor reach the standards that a father should.

He felt some sadness for her in that regard. But, for the most part, he felt pride. He was proud of Buffy. He had watched her grow from the girl who stamped her foot while she denounced her calling to the young lady who was currently juggling her life, her love, a demonic mayor, and a rogue Slayer. He had a feeling that the person she was just two years ago would not have been able to cope with the things that were currently going on in her life. But, now … she was taking it all in stride.

And she was able to do that because of him.

His eyes were drawn to the clock again. Merely eight minutes had passed. He would’ve sworn it had been longer than that.

His mind continued to race … wondering where she was, hoping she was alright, wondering if she was patrolling alone, hoping she wasn’t … then hoping she was. That was a selfish thought. He didn’t even try to justify it to himself because if she wasn’t alone, then that meant that Angel was with her.

He successfully stopped the scowl before it completely formed.

Angel was not someone he wanted in his thoughts at this moment. He had caused Buffy, and everyone else, so much pain over the years. Merrick may have taken her innocence where vampires and demons were concerned, but Angel took her innocence of love. She’d given her heart to him so freely and …

His jaw clenched and released … and then he took a deep breath.

Technically, he supposed it wasn’t all Angel’s fault. However, he still stood behind the idea that Angel should have researched the curse that had been placed upon him. If Angel had just taken the time to find out what his curse was all about, the past year could have been so very different.

Maybe Jenny would still be here.

He stood up quickly and shook that thought from his mind.

He made his way back over to the window. There were some things that were best not thought about right now. Angel, Jenny, Joyce … and of course, thinking of Joyce brought another name to mind. Ethan.

He huffed an unamused chuckle and attempted to push back the thoughts of that one night he spent with Joyce. He had been fairly amazed over the fact that Buffy had taken the knowledge of his actions so well. But, he couldn’t help but wonder if she would have still stopped him from putting a bullet into Ethan’s brain if she had known at the time what had transpired between her mother and her Watcher.

What Buffy didn’t know was that a few days after she had found out about her mother’s dalliance with him, Joyce had stopped by. She had asked if he’d be interested in seeing how they would go with a dinner, perhaps a drink. He’d considered it. Briefly. For half a second, maybe.

But, it would never work.

Apart, they each were able to enrich Buffy’s life in different manners. Together … he couldn’t help but think it would be disastrous for all parties involved … including Xander and Willow. And even Cordelia to a certain extent. It was more of a hunch than solid knowledge, but since being paired with Buffy, he'd learned not to dismiss his hunches.

He’d be lying if he said that he hadn’t enjoyed that night with Joyce. No inhibitions, raging hormones, baser instincts … what wasn’t there to enjoy? But, it wasn’t real. And to force their lives together would do nothing but force Buffy away from the both of them.

His relationships, or lack thereof, always hinged on that particular woman’s ability to accept him. And to accept him, they would have to accept Buffy and the bond they shared. They would have to accept the fact that once in a while — more often than not — they would find themselves embroiled in a demon attack of some sort. They would have to understand that he would drop everything to run to Buffy’s side … at the drop of a hat.

And he didn’t think that even Joyce would … or could … accept those terms.

So, there he stood … staring out the window as he leaned against window frame. And he watched for any movement that might let him know that she was there. It was all he could do at that moment. It was what she needed him to do. She needed him to wait … to watch. So he did.

“A father’s love …” He muttered, turning away from the window. “Sodding prat has no clue at all.”

She had given everything to defend a world that would never know how much she had sacrificed for them. How could he begrudge her a few sleepless nights for himself while watching her … waiting for her? He couldn’t. He didn’t have it in him.

And so he would wait … for as long as he needed. And he’d relax once she stepped into his flat.

He’d do the same thing the following night. And the night after that.

And the night after that.

He’d continue this seemingly endless loop of waiting until she needed him to wait no longer.

~ End

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