by GylzGirl

DISCLAIMER: Joss owns all, I own zip save the actual story
AUTHOR'S NOTE: For Ann Berry, because she asked nicely :)
Written: 1999


It was 2:30 in the morning when Rupert Giles awoke with a scream. He flicked on his light and ran a hand through his hair as he calmed his breathing down to normal. He half-smiled as he shook the nightmare off. Normal people had night terrors about vampires and demons. Since he saw those regularly, his sub-conscious had to find fear in the mundane and had churned up his memories of falling into the Thames and nearly drowning on a family trip when he was six.

Within minutes, Giles was up and getting dressed. He'd learned from experience there was no getting back to sleep after this particular dream. He fixed himself a quick cup of tea and, with crucifix in pocket, was out the door and on the way to the library.

Giles entered the library, sat his briefcase on the counter, and had headed into his office, when he stopped himself. He realized he really had nothing to do and no good reason to be there save not being able to sleep. The Hellmouth had been blissfully quiet of late, no new portents, and no new books to research. Sunnydale's two-Slayer team was handily wrapping up the little vampire activity there had been. It had almost been perfect, well, as perfect as the Hellmouth could get, he supposed.

He retrieved the book trolley from behind the counter and proceeded to reshelve its contents. After awhile, Giles began to feel hungry. He emerged form the stacks, only to have his second good scare of the night.

"Sorry Giles," Buffy said with a smile.

"Is something wrong?"

"Nope. Made my rounds earlier, not a vamp in sight. Faith's on her shift now. I went home, had a bad dream, woke up, couldn't get back to sleep and thought I'd swing by here. You know, just on the off chance..."


"I'm sorry. You know I worry about you being here on your own at night after Kendra. Indulge me."

"Don't I always?"

Buffy grinned and spoke in her best Giles imitation. "Do you want me to answer that or shall I just glare?"

He smiled. "Well I'm fine. You should go home to bed."

"Do I have to?" Her voice was almost childlike.

"No. I was about to do some cross-referencing. Would you like to help?"


"Okay, now I know something's wrong. What was your nightmare about Buffy? Was it a portent?"

"No. Nothing like that. I dreamt about the night Kendra...well you know." She took a deep breath and hopped up on the table. Giles sat in the chair next to her and waited patiently for her to continue. "Only this time when I came in, Willow, Xander and Cordy were all dead too." She averted her eyes from her Watcher's penetrating gaze.

"And me," Giles asked when he wasn't sure she'd keep going.

"You were injured, dying. I knew you were dying and I couldn't do anything but hold you. You kept telling me it was okay. That you were so tired you couldn't fight it. You were so damn calm. I woke up crying and I just sorta...well I needed to make sure you were okay. Pretty dumb huh?"

"Not at all," his voice was gentle. "I um, I was just going to make a sandwich before starting in on the card catalogue."

"Oh hey, why don't I make us both something to eat while you have at?"

"It's amazing how domestic you'll offer to be if it means avoiding academics of any kind," Giles teased.

"Hey! I'm hardly going MaryAnn here Professor. You're hungry. I'm hungry. So I've got chef duty while you get papercuts. You're the one with the sucker end of the deal." Giles grinned as Buffy made her way into his office.

Ten minutes later, Buffy emerged with a small tray containing two sandwiches and two canned drinks (a soda and an iced tea). "Well, it's not the Ritz but it's edible at least." As she started to lay the food out on the table, Giles went to his office and emerged with his small radio. He sat it on the counter and turned on the classical station before sitting down.

Buffy crinkled her nose at him. He smiled gently, "Indulge me."

Little time passed before both sandwiches were gone. The two of them had not really spoken, instead finding a strange comfort in the silent presence of the other. Giles took both plates back into the office. He came back out and was about to shut off the radio. "Hey wait," Buffy said.


"Is that a waltz?"

"Yes, it is."

"You don't have to sound so surprised that I'd know that," she said with a smile. "Mom and I used to watch these old romantic movies every Sunday afternoon in L.A. Lots of period pieces with huge ballroom scenes. The women all in ringlets and fancy dresses. I used to think it was so cool how their skirts would swish and swirl when they waltzed."

Giles got a strange smile and held his hand out to her.


"Come on. I'm going to show you how to waltz," Giles said.

"Oh I don't think I...I'm not very good."

"Nonsense. It's my duty as your Watcher to instruct you and a Slayer that doesn't know how to waltz...why it's just unheard of. I could be drummed out of the Watchers if word of it got out."

Buffy giggled and took his hand. "Right then, here we go." Giles kept his grip on Buffy's hand and placed his other hand on her back. "Now put your other hand on my shoulder and just follow my lead."

Giles began slowly for Buffy to get the hang of it. She caught on quickly and soon they were moving in perfect time to the music. Another waltz came on the radio. "Do you want to stop," he asked.

"Just one more? Its" Giles smiled and moved them out into the room once more. Buffy felt like she was flying. Since discovering she was the Slayer, she had rarely thought about getting married and never once since Angel... This reminded her of daydreamed weddings from childhood. Giles was such a wonderful dancer, she felt as though she should be wearing a beautiful white dress just to have the priveledge of dancing with her Watcher. Her Watcher. Buffy pulled closer to Giles and rested her head against his chest.

When the song ended, she pulled back and smiled up at him. "Thanks Giles, that was really nice." She leaned up and kissed him lightly on the cheek. He smiled, near a blush. Buffy checked her watch. "It's still only 3:40. We should both head home. I think I could sleep again."

"Yes, for once I think I actually could too."

"You'll need your shut-eye." Buffy quipped as she headed toward the exit.


Buffy stopped in the doorway and turned to face him. "If this dry spell keeps up, tomorrow night, I teach you how to dance to *my* music." She was out the doors before he could protest.

Giles smiled to himself, collected his briefcase and walked to the doors. "In that case Miss Summers, perhaps I should bring some of my more modern music in." He completed a James Brown-like spin, flipped the light switch off and went home to bed.