TITLE: I'll Be Watching You

AUTHOR: Erin Giles


DISCLAIMER: I do not own any of the characters in this fic . . . except Matthew and Will and Charlotte and also Helen (maybe it would be easier to say which ones I didn't own . . .)

SUMMARY: Sequel to 'Hey Dad'. (Set in early season 5 - a month after Hey Dad) How did everything turn out for Giles and his family issues?

FEEDBACK: Feed Mini Ripper! Please leave a review!


Buffy entered the Magic Box shop, now recently acquired by Rupert Giles, the man who had once been her Watcher - her mentor - but was now more a friend and father figure than anything. The bell rang loudly in the almost silent shop. It wasn't fully furbished yet, but Xander had planned to finish the woodwork by tomorrow, as opening day was only a week away now.

The lights were not on, but the door had been unlocked, leaving Buffy room for concern. Giles hadn't been at home, and no one had seen him since they had left the shop earlier that evening. All her friends had gone their separate ways, entertaining themselves for the evening, and in all fairness Buffy was supposed to be going out with Riley, for once not patrolling. She was concerned for Giles though after the way he had acted today and due to recent events she was even more concerned than usual. So her and Riley had come to the Magic Box, a sort of detour to the Espresso Pump.

Giles had been easily irritated today, and the Scooby gang had shied away from him, including the Slayer. More than once when she had asked him a simple question she had seen Ripper trying to break free, the fire dancing in eyes. It wasn't normal for Giles to be this angry. He was angry with himself though, she knew that, but for what reason remained unknown. He had taken his rage out on them all today, almost coming to blows with Xander at one point, the Slayer stepping in just in time as the red head witch called, 'Time out!' loudly above the din. Buffy knew he wasn't angry with them though.

"Ow!" Buffy turned to see her boyfriend rubbing at his shin, looking angrily down at a crate in front of him,

"Didn't they teach you stealth skills in Evil Commando School?" Buffy whispered harshly as Riley just glared back at her,

"Why are we being so q-" he was cut off by a harsh hushing noise escaping Buffy's lips as they drew nearer to the training room. She could hear grunts coming from the room, and the sound of a fight taking place, but she didn't go barging in. And as she pushed at the door slightly, letting a sliver of light escape the confines of the back room, her suspicions were confirmed.

She watched as Giles took numerous blows at the punch bag, his back to her, still dressed in the clothes he had worn to work in the shop today. She motioned for Riley to stay back and she stepped fully into the room, not saying anything, but continuing to watch him vent his frustrations on the punch bag.

Giles had always had the fighting technique, it was in his genes, had been part of his training, something he would never forget, that would never change, but there was something feral about the way he fought now. There wasn't any method to his punches or kicks; there was just pure anger and hatred fuelling his actions. Buffy had always thought Giles as strong - nowhere near slayer strong - but it only hit her now how strong he was.

She watched as he stopped punching, breathing heavily as he moved forward and leaned his head against the punch bag. She opened her mouth to say something, but she was cut short,

"Go home Buffy." he said, almost breathless. She took a moment to digest what he said shocked at the fact that he knew she was there. He hadn't shown any sign until he had spoken just now. She watched as he moved away from the punch bag and took one finally punch at it, dislodging it from his moorings and leaving it to lie, defeated on the floor. She cringed at the brutality of his actions, deciding Slayer pitted against Ripper would be a debatable outcome.

"I don't think the punch bag ever did anything to you Giles." She said softly, moving further into the room, watching as he balled his fist and moved away to the horse. She watched him lean heavily on it, continuing to take deep breaths. She saw his hand go to his stomach, as he continued to try to catch his breath,

"Giles, please." She pleaded with him,

"Please tell me -" she was cut off as Giles turned on her, fists balled at his side again as he moved towards her, almost shouting,

"I said go home Buffy!" he almost shouted at her. Her brow crumpled into that of a frown as he closed in on her but she held her ground. Her features melted though as she saw his bleeding knuckles,

"Giles, your hurt." She said moving towards him to see to it but he immediately stopped her,

"Go home!" he shouted in her face once more, giving her a shove backwards to emphasis his point. She fell, not so gracefully on her backside, not expecting it she was shocked more than anything at his gesture. He had always pushed her away when it came to issues of him but never had he physically pushed her away.

He stared at her dumbfounded for a moment before turning his back on her, moving away to the horse again,

"Go home Buffy." he said so softly he was barely audible. Buffy pushed herself to her feet, and opened her mouth to say something, to retort or ask him a concerned question, but her own anger soon set in. She turned on her heel and walked out of the training room. There was a long pause before Giles turned from the horse to follow her out into the rest of the shop,

"Buffy?" he called, but by the time he got there the bell swinging above the door was the only sign that she had been here. Giles clenched his fists again before throwing several punches at the wall as the plaster crumbled, not caring that his knuckles were bleeding. He hit the wall a few more times before he felt the tears flowing free and he sunk to the floor of the Magic Box, dissolving into pained tears.

His father had always told him it wouldn't end well having two lives. You couldn't separate them. But he had done that to an extent leaving his other life behind to come back to later, but that hadn't worked out. They had found him and now -

Rupert Giles, for the umpteenth time in his life, had messed up. Badly.


"Buffy what's the matter? Did Giles say something to you?" There was a silence as Buffy continued to pick at her food, staring at it as if waiting for it to jump into her mouth itself,

"Buffy?" Riley called again, trying to catch her eye,

"Huh?" she asked, looking back up at him, a look of confusion on her face,

"Giles? Did something happen? You ran out of there so fast and you've not touched your food or spoken since we got here. I guessed there might be something up." Buffy looked at him for a moment longer before looking down at her food again,

"Oh, it's - nothing."

"Buffy?" Riley questioned softly, as if to say, 'I know you, and it's not nothing.' She stared at her food for a moment longer before dropping the fork onto her plate with a clatter, and looking back at him.

"You saw how non-Giles-like he was today. And then when I went to see him - check he was ok - he's beating up a punch bag, knuckles bloody. And - and he pushed me away. He physically pushed me away. There's just - I know it's been hard ever since Matthew came over to see him and left again when Giles said he wasn't coming back, but," She sighed, her shoulders slumping forward,

"There's something other than that that's happened today or yesterday." She looked deep into Riley's eyes,

"I'm worried about him, and at the same time I feel guilty. Like everything that's happening with his family is my fault."

"Buffy it's not your fault. Giles told you that and even Willow did. And now I'm telling you it's not your fault. Giles is a grown man and he can make his own decisions." Riley picked up his cup and sipped at the luke- warm coffee,

"I think you should just give him some space to calm down. He'll be fine by the morning." Buffy didn't think so but she didn't want to talk about the matter any further with Riley, so she settled,

"I guess you're right." She said, a half smile on her face as she went back to her food, trying to force some down her throat as thoughts of Giles continued to plague her mind.


Buffy sat watching Willow who was reading a book cross legged on her bed as she continued to unpack books from a box onto her shelves,

"I thought you were here to help me unpack?" Buffy asked her best friend as she caught four books from falling from the shelf. Willow didn't look up from the book, or even acknowledge Buffy's presence as she turned the page. Buffy frowned as she slid the books she was supposed to have returned to the library last year back onto the shelf,

"Earth to Will?" She called, striding over to the witch and taking the book from her hands,

"Hey I was reading that." Willow protested, trying to snatch it back but failing,

"Yeah and not doing much else Watcher junior. I thought you were gonna help unpack?" Buffy asked as she read the cover of the book Willow had had her nose buried in,

"Yeah I will, just after I finish -" she grasped at the book, catching it before she tumbled from the bed onto the floor. Buffy tried to suppress a giggle as her best friend fell off the bed and landed in an undignified heap on the floor. She didn't manage it though. Willow eventually joined in with the giggling as she tried to untangle herself,

"Hey I lost my place." She finally protested when she was sitting in an upright position,

"Good, now you can help me unpack. Seen as everyone else seems to have not turned up yet." Buffy said disgruntled slightly as she moved back to her box as Willow picked up one herself.


Xander rolled his eyes as he stepped into the foyer of Stevenson hall and turned on his girlfriend,

"Look! An! Work with me here ok? We've not been going out that long and Giles was married for two years before he had his first kid. I don't think now is the time for kids in our relationship."

"So can we get married?" Anya asked, looking at Xander wistfully,

"And then will it be time for kids?" Xander suddenly started to look flustered as he started walking hastily down the corridor,

"Well Anya I don't think that. Now isn't really."

"Am I not doing it properly? 'Cause I know it's been a while but I remember that it was always this way. We always used to."

Xander stepped into Buffy's room to find Willow and Buffy already there, unpacking,

"Ladies! So relieved to see you!" Xander said as he moved to pick up a random box, finding it was empty and going in search for another, Anya following,

"Hey Xand." Will smiled at her best friend.

"You're late!" Buffy protested.

"Aren't we in a good mood today!" Xander said sarcastically, picking up a box and putting it on Buffy's bed.

"Xander you didn't answer my question." The ex-vengeance demon protested loudly,

"Anya we'll talk about this later ok?" Xander said half-smiling at his girlfriend as he moved towards her, taking her hands in his,

"I don't think we should be discussing this here."

"Why not? Would it be a better time at the Magic Box, because I'm sure Giles would be willing to tell me whether we're doing it right or not. I'm sure if he has three kids he must know how to do it by now." Xander had the decency to blush, even though Giles was not in hearing range, before Will interrupted,

"Where is Giles anyway? He said he would help you unpack before he started work on the shop for the day." Buffy frowned, roughly slamming books onto the shelf, which caused the shelf to bough and fall from the wall, plaster and dust scattering everywhere. She waved her hand in front of her face, coughing slightly,

"I don't think Giles will be helping." She said through gritted teeth as she stared at her desk where the broken shelf now lay.

Xander and Willow cast confused glances at each other as Anya continued to watch Buffy for a moment, turning on her boyfriend eventually,

"If it's a girl we could call her Halley."


Willow knocked on the door of Giles apartment and waited patiently for a reply. When she didn't get one she knocked again.

She had come alone because she wanted to know what happened and she had a better chance of getting the truth out of Giles without Xander there or even Tara, and Buffy was obviously too upset about something that had happened between her and Giles to even consider coming. So it was left up to Willow. She didn't mind though. They hadn't really spent much time with Giles since they had gone to college and she had to admit that she enjoyed spending time with the Englishman,

"Giles?" she called as she tried the handle and found the door open which, to be honest with herself, wasn't unexpected and was no cause for panic. The apartment was silent. No noise came from upstairs, from down the hall or even in the kitchen,

"Giles?" she asked the silence and still got no reply. But she heard something there, something from upstairs in the attic,

"Giles, it's Willow are you in?" she questioned, moving further into the flat and looking up at the loft bedroom. There it was again, almost like a mouse, shuffling along a skirting board but the noise only grew louder until a rather dishevelled looking Giles peered over the banister,


"Hi!" she said in way of greeting, raising her hand slightly and half smiling. There was a long pause in which Willow looked away from Giles and cast a glance round the room. Giles didn't move though,

"Did you want something?" he asked rather coldly,

"Well. I - uh," she frowned, moving backwards slightly so she could see him better,

"I was wondering if you were ok seen as you didn't turn up to help Buffy unpack and then you weren't at the shop, and Buffy seemed pretty upset about something to do with you and you were kind of angry yesterday and Giles - what's happened?" Giles looked blankly at Willow for a moment before turning away from the railing,

"I don't think it' really your business Willow. Thank you for coming over but it was a wasted trip. Goodbye." He said with his back to her, doing some unseen task but Willow would not leave as Buffy had. He was being uncharacteristically Giles, so she stomped up the stairs, annoyance in her steps and voice now,

"Giles I'm not going until you tell me what's up. I'm not Buffy I won't storm out of here in a huff even if you're mean to me because -" she trailed off as she saw the suitcase on the bed as Giles but random shirts from the cupboard into it,

"You're leaving? Giles you can't leave? Why are you leaving? Was it Buffy? Buffy said something didn't she, 'cause she means well but sometimes just put her foot in it and -" Willow broke off realizing she was rambling, no odd occurrence there, but what was odd was the fact that Giles hadn't interrupted her with some explanation

"Giles?" Willow questioned desperation in her voice now. Giles had never been the one to share things but the fact that she found him packing without any explanation as he continued to act completely un-Giles like was starting disturb her,

"Giles you're scaring me, please tell me what's going on." Still no reply, but she noticed he had stopped packing, his shoulders were more hunched,

"Gil-" she was startled into silence as Giles turned on her with bloodshot eyes,

"Willow please, just - Please just go."

"No." Willow said softly shaking her head,

"Giles I'm not leaving. Not until you tell me what's happening." There was a long pause after Giles let out a long shuddering sigh. He sunk onto the bed beside the suitcase and Willow sat down next to him, looking at him sidelong, waiting for an explanation.

And she got one.


Part Two coming soon . . . (Complete with explanation)