Title: Crash & Burn (Voice on the Radio 2)
Author: Ripper's Girl
Rating: FRT
Summary: Giles searches for Buffy after 'Becoming'. (Songfic)
Spoilers: Becoming, Anne
Disclaimer: I do not own these characters; they are the property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy & UPN.  Crash & Burn belongs to Savage Garden. Delilah does not belong to me either, if you've never heard her radio program before.
Feedback: How else will I know if you like it?

Pairing: B/G friendship

Note: //lyrics//


Giles was startled awake by a voice calling out, "Yo, G-man, you in here?" Looking around, Giles realized that he had fallen asleep in the library. Again. He groaned as he got up. Sleeping at a desk was not helping his injuries get any better.

"How many times do I have to tell you? Don't call me that," Giles said crossly, exiting his office.

"Just wanted to see what's the what," Xander replied.

Giles could see the concern in the young man's eyes, but simply said, "Nothing new."

"How are you doing?" the teen asked quietly.

"I'm fine," the librarian replied stiffly, avoiding they boy's gaze.

"Right," Xander said sarcastically, earning himself a glare from the older man. "Look, I know you're worried about her. I am, too, but she can look after herself. You need to get yourself better first and then you can go off looking for her."

"It's none of your business," Giles snapped harshly, angry because he knew the boy was right.

"Damn it, Giles! We're worried about you!" Xander yelled in frustration.

"Well you needn't be. I'm an adult and perfectly capable of taking care of myself," Giles replied and turned to go back into his office.

"If you're so capable of taking care of yourself, why'd you sleep in your office again last night?" Xander bit out, refusing to back down.

Giles sighed and turned back to face the boy. He knew Xander was right. "What do you want me to say?" Giles asked tiredly.

"Just promise me that you'll put off searching until you're injuries are healed," Xander said, lowering his voice now that it seemed he was finally getting through.

"I can't sit around and do nothing while she's out there," Giles replied, anger and despair, both evident in his voice.

"I'm not asking you to do nothing. You can still go over your maps and make phone calls and stuff like that. Just no more driving all over the state and no more sleeping in your office," Xander said sternly. "If you find a good lead, I'll get my uncle to lend me his car and drive wherever on the weekends. Just, promise me." When Giles didn't answer right away, Xander begged, "Please, Giles."

Something in the boy's voice tugged at Giles' heart and he found himself giving Xander his word that he would stay put and take care of himself.


Two Weeks Later

Giles smiled as he heard the children sitting around the library, chatting happily. It was the happiest he'd seen them since Buffy's departure. They had good reasons to be happy though. It was the last day of school and Willow's first day out of her wheelchair. Giles, himself, was in a fairly good mood. Tomorrow, the splints would be removed from his now healed fingers and he would once again be free to continue his search for Buffy. He had managed to find out from a bus station attendant that a girl matching Buffy's description had bought a bus ticket to Los Angeles. He hadn't been able to confirm whether she had stayed in L.A., but his gut told him that she had. L.A. was a big city and it would be easy for her to get lost in the crowd, but it was familiar to her, so she would feel comfortable there. He just didn't know how he'd be able to find her. He wouldn't give up though. He couldn't.

Standing, Giles moved to the doorway and just watched the four teens. One of them had brought a radio in and it was sitting on the counter, tuned to the local radio station. As he watched the teenagers, the song that was playing drifted into his consciousness. Tuning out the noise the kids were making, Giles focused intently on the words of the song, an idea forming in his mind. 'It couldn't hurt,' he thought to himself. 'Besides, it's better than just driving around the city hoping I spot her.'


"Yo, Anne! Table seven's pie is up," the harsh voice of the cook at Helen's Kitchen called.

Buffy picked up the plates and delivered them to table seven, trying to dredge up a smile, in hopes of getting a decent tip. Leaving the check with them, she went off to help another table. When she came back fifteen minutes later, the couple was gone and all that was left was a lousy two-dollar tip. Glancing at her watch, Buffy was grateful to see that her shift was finally over. She hurried into the back of the diner and changed out of her work clothes.

She walked quickly through the streets of L.A. to the small apartment that she was renting. It was more of a room than an apartment, but it was all she could afford that wasn't totally roach infested. Reaching her building, she hurried up the stairs (the elevator was broken…again) and entered her room. Closing the door behind her, she flipped on the bedside lamp and turned on the radio. She had used a good deal of her first paycheck to buy it at a pawnshop down the street. The antenna was broken, so it only picked up one station, but it was better than the interminable silence. 'At least it gets a station that plays Delilah,' she thought as she changed into her pajamas. As she listened to all the song dedications, she felt the tears, her almost constant companions, fill her eyes. 'I miss them all so much.' The faces of her mom and friends flickered through her mind, her thoughts coming to stop on Giles and the glimpse of him she had seen, bleeding and broken, tied to a chair. "It's all my fault," she sobbed, hugging her pillow tight. She was crying so hard that she almost missed the next dedication.

"Well folks, this next dedication is a bit of sad one," Delilah's voice came over the radio. "A man called in earlier tonight to tell me that a dear friend of his had run away. He told me that he knew she listened to my show and hoped that maybe she'd be listening tonight. He wants her to know that he'll always watch over her. Honey, if you are out there listening, go home. Your friends and family miss you and want you back there with them."

As the first strains of music began, Buffy sat up and listened intently. There were a lot of runaways, especially in L.A., but how many had someone to "watch" over them? She just knew that it was Giles, trying to find her.

//When you feel all alone
And the world has turned its back on you
Give me a moment please to tame your wild, wild heart
I know you feel like the walls are closing in on you
It's hard to find relief and people can be so cold
When darkness is upon your door and you feel like you can't take anymore

Let me be the one you call
If you jump I'll break your fall
Lift you up and fly away with you into the night
If you need to fall apart
I can mend a broken heart
If you need to crash then crash and burn
You're not alone

When you feel all alone
And a loyal friend is hard to find
Your caught in a one way street
With the monsters in your head
When hopes and dreams are far away and
You feel like you can't face the day

Let me be the one you call
If you jump I'll break your fall
Lift you up and fly away with you into the night
If you need to fall apart
I can mend a broken heart
If you need to crash then crash and burn
Your not alone

Because there has always been heartache and pain
And when it's over you'll breathe again
You'll breathe again

When you feel all alone
And the world has turned it's back on you
Give me a moment please
To tame your wild, wild heart

Let me be the one you call
If you jump I'll break you fall
Lift you up and fly away with you into the night
If you need to fall apart
I can mend a broken heart
If you need to crash then crash and burn
You're not alone //

As she had listened to the song, the tears had continued to fall. She had been so stupid. She should have known Giles would still want to help her; that he wouldn't blame her. Getting under the covers, she smiled her first smile in a long time. She knew what she would do tomorrow.


Giles slammed the phone down and blew out a frustrated breath. 'This is getting you nowhere!' his mind screamed at him. He got up and paced the room. Giles knew that if Buffy didn't want to be found, he would never find her, but he couldn't just give up. Deciding he could use a strong cup of tea, Giles was heading to the kitchen when there was a soft tapping at his door. It was so quiet he almost ignored it, but some instinct told him to open the door. He pulled it open and stared in amazed disbelief at the person standing on his doorstep.

"Will you break my fall?" she asked shakily.

The sound of her voice broke through his stupor and he pulled her into the house and into his arms.

When she felt his arms around her, holding her tight, Buffy let go and started sobbing, "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry."

Holding the sobbing girl in his arms, Giles gently lead her over to the couch and sat them down. He stroked her back as he murmured comforting nonsense in her ear. When she had finally calmed down a bit, Giles reached into his pocket and pulled out a handkerchief.

Taking it from him, Buffy managed a shaky smile and said, "Thanks."

Clearing his throat, Giles managed to say, "I take it you heard the song."

"Yeah," Buffy replied softly. "No one's ever dedicated a song to me before."

"Yes, well," Giles stammered. "I didn't know how to else to find you."

"I'm sorry I ran," she whispered.

"Why did you?" he asked, no blame in his voice, only concern.

"It was all my fault," Buffy cried, close to tears again. "I'd been kicked out of school and my house and you were all hurt and it was all my fault."

Giles drew her once again into the protective circle of his arms and shushed her. "It wasn't your fault, Buffy. We all made mistakes, but you did the best that you could. You should have realized that you needn't run away, but if you recall you're not the only person to have run, which, apart from being a little weird…" Giles trailed off, pleased to catch a glimpse of a smile at his last line.

"Thank you," she whispered. "I'm glad I'm not alone."

They sat there in silence until Giles felt Buffy's breathing even out and he was sure she was asleep. Getting up, he laid her out gently on the couch and covered her with an afghan. Bending down, he kissed her gently on the forehead. "You'll never be alone," he murmured before turning off the lamp and heading up to bed.