A/N: This is my first fic...please be kind!
Disclaimer: I own nothing...suing me would only get ya my student loan debts!

On with the story...

"Okay, remember before you became Hugh Hefner, when you used to be a watcher?" Buffy could hardly believe her eyes when she had walked into Giles' apartment….she put the immediate blind hatred she felt towards this woman down to the fact that she wasn't supposed to have to share her watcher with anyone…to accept that it could be something else, right now, would be too painful.

"Officially you no longer have a watcher." Ouch. She couldn't believe her ears. "Buffy, you know I'll always be here when you need me, y-your safety is more important to me than anything, but…you're going to have to take care of yourself. You're out of school and I can't always be there to guide you."

"I'm sorry to bug you."

"Buffy, I…"

"Oh. No! I mean, yeah, you're…you're right. I can handle it. It's just that…I'm on it." Even as she started speaking, she was backing towards the door. As soon as she reached it she turned and was gone. Giles last words went unheard.

"I-I'm here if you need me." He stared forlornly at the door. Oh Gods…what have I done!

"I must say, she has quite a nerve, marching in here uninvited! You're well rid of her Rupert…" Whatever else Olivia might have been about to say, she never got the chance. Giles spun to face her; the look on his face alone would have sent Angelus running into the night. She may not have been who the brunt of his anger was directed at, but her comment had been uncalled for. The straw that broke the camel's back.

"Don't." One word. Olivia had stopped speaking the second she saw his face. Had she been considering resuming, she instantly forgot about it. Don't lose it old man…keep your head. "That girl-" he pointed at the door through which she had left- "is more important than you can imagine…to this world, and to me. I don't know what possessed me to behave that way towards her, but you will not speak ill of her. I'm going after her."

"But Rupert, she barged in here, expected you to just drop what you were doing. You're going to just leave me alone here to chase after some selfish child!"

"Buffy is neither a child nor is she selfish, and you will not call her such. She is more important to me than anything in this godforsaken world, and…"

"More important than me, Rupert?" Her eyes met his, challenging him. He didn't even need to voice his answer. "I'll be gone when you return."

Oddly, he was not as sorry to hear this as he should have been. Having reigned in his anger, he just nodded and headed for the stairs, a plan already forming in his head.

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Tears streamed down her face as she ran. She didn't know where she was going, and she didn't care. As sobs wracked her body with increasing violence, her legs collapsed beneath her, and she sat in the middle of one of Sunnydale's many cemeteries. Slowly but surely, her tears became less, and as they did her conversation with Giles began replaying itself in her head.

"– you no longer have a watcher. Buffy, you know I'll always be here when you need me, your safety is more important to me than anything, but…"

"But I need you now!" she sobbed out, her words laced with misery.

From the shadows, Spike watched, amazed, as the slayer cried out. Well, this is interesting. When he had first noticed her distress, he had smiled with glee. She would be easy pickings! He had quietly followed her, intending to attack as soon as she was far enough from the watcher's house, more isolated. Now though… Bugger! I can't believe I feel sorry for the bint! There was something…her tortured tears and agonised cry…it struck a nerve in his unbeating heart, though he would never admit it. She'd be too easy…I like a challenge, and in her state, I wouldn't get it. Nope, best not kill her just yet…wouldn't want anything else to beat me to it though… And so Spike ended up keeping an eye on the slayer, taking out one gang of vamps before she even knew they were there.

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Giles sat on the floor amidst an assortment of cds, a cd player off to his side. It has to be perfect, I can't lose her! As he shuffled through the cds, he noticed one he didn't recognise. Picking it up he realised it was one of Olivia's. He went to discard it, but one of the song titles caught his eye…'Don't say it's too late'. Without really knowing why he quickly placed the cd in the player and found the correct song. He sat back and listened as it began playing.

As it finished, he just stared at the cd player in astonishment. That song…it's as if it was written just for me...

Quickly he recovered from his astonishment and began moving. First he listened to the song a few more times, making note of the words, the tempo, everything. Once he was sure he had it he ran and fetched his guitar from his bedroom, not even casting a glance at Olivia, who sat on his bed packing. He went back downstairs and perched on the edge of one of the kitchen stools, and began practising.

Ten minutes later, certain that he could not improve any further, Giles grabbed his keys and carried his guitar out into the night. His only real hope of finding her now was their bond, and he could only pray that it was still strong enough…ignoring everything around him, he concentrated, and was dismayed to find no trace of the watcher/slayer bond at all. Cursing loudly, he closed his eyes and tried again, concentrating so hard that his head began to hurt, and finally he felt it. It was only a faint thread now, but it was still there. He smiled, relief clear on his face, as he raced into the night, careful not to lose hold of the tenuous thread in his mind.

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Slowly, Buffy rose from the ground, her shaky legs carrying her as quickly as they could manage. She headed out of the cemetery, and walked now in the direction of the site where not so long ago Sunnydale High had stood.

As she reached it, she stood in the street, and began sobbing again. It was all so simple! Why can't things just stay the same! Suddenly she found herself doing exactly what she had earlier refused to do…she examined the feeling of hatred she had felt towards Olivia. It took all of 5 seconds for the emotion to give its name, and when it did, when she acknowledged the feelings she had kept hidden and ignored for the last few months, it opened a gate, and the tears ran again, and sobs wracked her body with a vengeance. She had been jealous…and not just a little bit, 'he's my watcher'-type jealous, but crazy jealous!

Spike noticed the second the watcher turned up, and when he didn't announce his presence to Buffy, the cause of her distress became all too clear. The bloody Pillock! I'll kill 'im! Spike prepared to do just that, watching as Giles concealed himself behind a bush a few metres from where Buffy stood. Spike moved in for the kill, but froze when he saw the look on the watcher's face as he watched his slayer. Shit! He looks ready to top 'imself! Must've been something real bad! Spike's curiosity overcame him, and he moved back into the shadows to watch the scene unfold, and to prevent any would-be intruders.

I should've known she'd come here. His heart broke as he heard her sobs drifting on the night air. My fault. He took a moment to collect himself, and then began to strum lightly on his guitar. His emotion-laden voice carried the words to Buffy, who didn't move, but quieted her sobbing and listened.

It doesn't take much to learn

When the bridges that you burn

Leave you stranded feeling alone.

It doesn't take much to cry,

When you're living in a lie,

And deceiving that someone who cares.

If I could turn back the time,

I would put you first in my life.

And I would risk it all for you

To prove my love is true,

I'll build a wall around my heart

That will only break apart for you.

Can't change the way I feel,

So tell me what's the deal?

Don't say, don't say it's too late.

And now, the hills are getting hard to climb,

I'm running out of time,

My decisions are pending on you.

And I will accept the blame

For burning out the flame,

Hoping the story will twist once again.

If I could turn back the time,

I would put you first in my life,

And I would risk it all for you

To prove my love is true,

I'll build a wall around my heart

That will only break apart for you.

Can't change the way I feel,

So tell me what's the deal?

Don't say, don't say it's too late.

Now I'm laying it all on the line, for you.

And I would risk it all for you

To prove my love is true,

I'll build a wall around my heart

That will only break apart for you.

Can't change the way I feel,

So tell me what's the deal?

Don't say, don't say it's too late.

Don't say it's too late.

She had recognised his voice instantly, and when he came to the chorus, the combination of the words, the person singing them, and the emotion filling them became to too much, and she fell once again to the ground. She sat there as yet more tears streamed down her face – How many tears can one person cry? She thought absently. Finally the song came to an end, but Buffy didn't move.

Giles laid his guitar on the ground and walked slowly towards her, uncertain of what her reception would be. When she still didn't move, he reached out his hand to her, to help her up. She took it, and the second she was up her arms leapt around his waist, and she hugged him tightly to her. He returned her hug with a mixture of absolute joy and relief, and began thanking every deity ever known to man for this undeserved second chance. As they clung to each other however, a tiny thread of doubt and fear seized him. I know how I sang it, but how did she hear it? He both hoped and feared that she had taken it as a proclamation of his long hidden love, and yet his head told him that she could only have seen it as an apology, that she must have taken it to mean the 'father's love' that Travers had proclaimed he held for her, or she would have run a mile by now. Shut up and be grateful, old man! She's forgiven you!

Buffy clung tightly to Giles, not wanting to ever move. There was just one thing she needed to know though… She pulled her head back slightly, and softly whispered "Giles". At his lack of reaction she tried again, louder this time.

"Giles." He lowered his gaze from the heavens he had been thanking to look at her. When their eyes locked, both were shocked by what they saw. Everything they had ever dared to dream was right in front of them, and suddenly Buffy was afraid. She didn't want more change. Change is definitely not of the good! she thought as she began to look away. Like lightning, Giles fingers where on her chin, resting lightly, but just enough to prevent her looking away. As he stared more intently than ever, he whispered softly the four words he had been to terrified to even think for months now.

"I love you, Buffy."

For the fourth time that night Buffy burst into tears, and Giles felt his heart break at the sound. Close to tears himself, Giles quickly released his hold on her and attempted to step back.

"I'm so sorry, Buffy, I…" He trailed off as Buffy refused to relinquish her hold on him. She shook her head slowly as she raised it, and he watched as the tears ran down her now smiling face. Wait a second…she's smiling! He stood there in shock as she slowly brought her face closer to his, and finally spoke.

"No Giles, happy tears…" she whispered softly, "I love you too." With that she closed the remaining distance between them, and kissed him softly.

Giles quickly recovered from his shock, and responded eagerly to her kiss, returning his arms to their previous position even as she moved hers to wrap around his neck.

Somewhere in the shadows, Spike watched the two.

"It's about bloody time, mate!" he muttered, before walking off into the darkness.

The End

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