Let It Fall

She knew it long before he did.

She was young, and an American, with free-thinking ways – but above all, she was the Slayer, and she called it as she saw it. He, on the other hand, was older, and very, very British. Afraid of technology and wanting so so much to just be alright, he lied so fervently that he convinced himself.

Of course, Buffy didn't say anything right away. She watched him in the library as she practiced tai chi and he pored over ancient tomes. Her gaze caressed the curve of his back as he hunched over dusty texts; her eyes traced the contours of that beloved face behind oft-cleaned glasses as blue eyes darted across the tiny script. She also closed her eyes and tilted her head as he ever-so gently cleaned her wounds after a particularly rough fight and she knew, she felt, that he loved her too.

And still she said nothing.

He had Jenny, and she had Angel, though she knew that she and Angel weren't quite right for each other (not like me and Giles, her mind supplied), that was how it was. And make no mistake, she loved Angel with a fierce passion in the depths of her flighty heart, but it was clear to her that fire would fade, whereas the deep and steady devotion she dedicated to her Watcher could never die.

There were opportunities, too, like when the Council tested her on her birthday. But the man, Quintin Trevors or something, had said that Giles felt a fatherly love for her. That threw her off.

And then Jenny died. Okay, yeah, that skips over Angel and Buffy … but while Angelus wreaked havoc on the town, Buffy watched Giles, saw the pain he was in, and knew she would kill even Angel to fix her Watcher's broken heart. Anyway, when Buffy got the call to announce the gypsy's death, she secretly rejoiced even as Willow collapsed in tears against the wall.

And after rescuing Giles from the burning warehouse, she pulled him close and whispered in his ear just three simple words. She crossed her fingers and prayed that she wouldn't lose him, but once the phrase had fallen from her lips, she knew that she just had to let the chips fall where they may …

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