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Author's Chapter Notes:
DISCLAIMER : The characters are the property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, Sandollar Productions, Kuzui Enterprises, 20th Century Fox Television, the WB Television Network, and whoever else may have a hold on them. I do not mean to infringe upon any copyrights.
TIMELINE : S6 FLOODED
DISTRIBUTION: Everyone who has my general permission. Others please ask first (I'll probably say 'yes')
FEEDBACK : Please.

Thanks to my beta, Phendog

*…* Thought
PART 1

The noise in the house was so loud for Buffy that it was unbearable. She was watching Tara making pancakes for Dawn, who seemed to be late for the school. Willow was ecstatic, which was usual for her these days; she wasn't like that before Buffy's 'return'. Xander and Anya were talking about some things, waiting for Dawn to go to the high school.

It was hard to be here, to act like everything was normal, as normal as possible. But it wasn't. The only thing which helped Buffy to not become totally crazy, to not scream at all these persons present here, the only link to the world, was Him. Without his presence, she didn't know how she would manage to even breathe.

Giles entered in the kitchen, smiled softly to Buffy who returned his smile. He took a cup of tea and said a general "Good Morning".

He seemed calm, acted as he would on any morning. But inside, he was angry towards Willow and her attitude, her arrogance and lack of awareness of what she had done. He had tried to escape her until now, he was persuaded that if he was alone with her too long, he would say to her what he thought about her and her irresponsible attitude. And he didn't want that, at least for now. The reason was his concern for Buffy; he was really worried about her. When he was looking at her, it was like she was not really here. Her mind seemed constantly to be elsewhere, and she was so sad when she thought that nobody was looking at her. She was hiding something, Giles was convinced about that. It was probably normal, she needed time for the readjustment; after all, she had been in some hell dimension…

"Finally!" Anya exclaimed as Dawn came in the kitchen.

"What?" She shrugged, taking the pancakes with a big thankful smile to Tara.

"You should hurry, Dawn, or you'll be late," Giles said quietly. He looked to Buffy for any signs of agreement, anything; but there was nothing. He sighed lightly. Once again, her eyes were opened but they seemed so empty. In the face of that, Giles felt useless and…terrified.

When Dawn had completely devoured her pancakes, she said her goodbye and pressed Anya and Xander to the exit. "Come on, I don't want to be late!" She said with gravity.

"Excuse-me!" Anya began but was quickly stopped by Xander with his "please honey."

They were outside when Tara excused herself and went to her room to take her stuff. Willow tried to start the conversation. Buffy thought it was time to get away. She wasn't in a real mood to hear again how Willow was glad that she was able to bring her back. So, she claimed that she wanted and needed to do some shopping. She took her handbag and went outside. Giles saw Buffy go away with concern.

"That was fast." Willow said naturally, "I wonder what is up with her?"

"What do you mean?" Giles tried to have a neutral voice.

"Well, it's like each time I want to talk with her, she goes away. Like she wants to not have the opportunity to be with me alone. She's not really thankful to me."

"Really." Giles tried to contain himself, but in his voice, his anger could be heard.

"Giles?" Willow was surprised, "What? I mean, she's here because of-"

"You! How can we not be aware of that? You congratulate yourself enough about that!" Giles let his anger explode.

"Giles, I…I don't understand," Willow said softly.

"Are you sure? Excuse-me if I have some difficulties believing you. You are so sure of yourself and your magic capabilities. You think you are the most powerful witch in the world and that nobody can resist you."

Willow tried to say something, but Giles yelled, "What have you done Willow? How could you have made a resurrection spell! Bring her back? What were you thinking?"

"What was I thinking?" She repeated, "I'm going to tell you what I thought. I thought about Buffy!"

Giles removed his glasses, rubbed his eyes and without conviction he said, "Maybe."

"What! What 'maybe'! I thought about her and how to bring her back."

"I think you thought more about you." Giles shook his head, "And about your powers."

"Okay!!! Think what you want, but a word of advice, Giles, remember that I was able to resurrect her, and that’s just a single side of my powers," she said coldly.

"You have played with powers of which you have no idea, Willow."

"Don't be so sure about that, Giles. And if I were you, I would not push me." Her tone was superior and satisfied.

"We'll see." Giles' tone was frightening as well. He stared at her, and then went out the kitchen.

"Giles…wait, Giles! I…I don't want to fight-" Willow tried to explain to him, then sighed seeing him going away.

OUTSIDE, NEAR THE KITCHEN WINDOW

Hearing some voices when she was outside, Buffy had taken some step back. The voices inside didn't seem friendly, the conversation more of a dispute.

She spied the argument between Willow and Giles. She sighed sadly. Giles was right; Willow was too sure of herself. But what knocked Buffy out was when she heard Giles ask 'Bring her back! What were you thinking?' Buffy had the feeling that the only thing, which had helped her until now, especially to not become mad, was falling apart. *He…He isn't happy that I'm here.* She thought with tears.

She needed to go away; she couldn't face him now. It was as if she it was difficult to breathe. She needed to get away from the house, away from him as soon as possible.

She walked for hours, without goal. The only thing that Buffy knew was she hadn't the courage, the force to face Giles yet, with the knowledge that he didn't wish her back…in his life.

END PART 1
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