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Title: Always Be With You
Author: Michelle
Rating: FRM
Pairing: Buffy/Giles
Summary: Buffy loses someone close to her and finds comfort in an unexpected place.
Spoilers: None really
Timeline: After Chosen
Disclaimer: These are not my characters. They belong to Joss, Twentieth Century Fox, UPN, WB & Mutant Enemy. This is purely for fun.

Note: This is for the cya_ficathon.
Here's the assignment I received:
Characters/Pairings you want the story to focus in: Buffy/Giles
Characters/Pairings you want in the story too: Angel, Scoobies, whoever you want
Things you want: I want it sent after the Buffy finale, whenever you want
Things you don’t want: I kind of hate Andrew
Extras: R, at least


**********

It happened on the same day that Buffy discovered she was pregnant. One life taken as she discovered a new life inside her. She’d received the call as she left the doctor’s office. She could barely understand Willow through her sobs, but she heard the words: Giles, emergency room, and hurry. She ran there on foot, somehow knowing she couldn’t afford to get stuck in traffic. Giles was barely holding on when she entered the room.

“He doesn’t have much time left,” the nurse told Buffy before leaving her alone with him.

“Giles,” she cried.

“Buffy,” he whispered weekly. “I love you.”

“I love you, too,” she chocked out. She threw her arms around him and rested her head on his chest. “Don’t leave me.”

“I’m sorry, Love.”

She raised her head to look him in the eyes. “You can’t leave me. We’re going to have a baby. I can’t do this without you. I need you.”

“I’ll always be with you, Buffy,” he told her quietly. “Always.” He took a ragged breath.

“No!” Buffy screamed as the alarms sounded on the monitors.

**********

Buffy was still in shock two days later when the doorbell rang unexpectedly. She ignored it at first, but after several rings, she got up and yanked open the door. “Go away!” she yelled. She looked up and saw a grey haired couple standing on the porch. “What the—” she stammered. “Who—” Then she saw the luggage at their feet. “Oh my God,” she whispered before bursting into tears.

The woman took Buffy into her arms and held her as she cried. She guided Buffy inside and sat on the couch with her. “Richard,” she said quietly as he brought the luggage inside.

“I’ll make some tea, Gertrude,” he said, answering her silent question.

Buffy tried to speak, but she was crying too hard. Gertrude shushed her and rocked her. “You can tell us all about it later, dear.” Buffy nodded and cried more.

Several minutes later, Buffy wiped tears from her eyes as Richard handed her a cup of tea. “Willow couldn’t reach you. Then I forgot. I’m sorry.”

“Has the wedding been canceled?” Gertrude asked.

Buffy nodded and started to cry again. She didn’t think she could explain what happened.

Richard picked up a newspaper clipping that was lying on the coffee table and handed it to Gertrude.

“I’m sorry,” Buffy cried. “I didn’t want you to find out this way.” She wiped her eyes on her sleeve. “The car came out of nowhere and hit him. He was just walking on the sidewalk and the car hit him.”

Gertrude cried out as she read the article and heard Buffy’s story.

Richard sat down between them and put an arm around each of them. Buffy buried her face in his chest. “It hurts so much.”

“I know,” he whispered. “It’s never easy.”

“But it wasn’t a vampire or a demon,” she said. “It was just a dumb guy in a car.”

“Watchers are human,” he told her.

“I’m sorry,” Buffy repeated. “He was your son. I should have found a way to tell you.”

“He was your Watcher and fiancée,” Gertrude said through her tears. “That bond is stronger than ours.”

Buffy started to speak, but stopped when she saw the look in the other woman’s face.

“We’ve been through worse than this, dear. We’ll be fine,” Gertrude assured her.

“However,” Richard said. “You need help and support. Let us help you.”

Buffy nodded and let Giles’ parents comfort her.

**********

In another time and place, Rupert Giles had just graduated from his formal Watcher training. His last task before he was given an assignment was to teach a small group of second year students during the summer. They had been labeled as 'troubled' students. He was preparing some lessons for them when there was a frantic knock on his door.

“Mr. Giles!” a young man shouted. “You have to come stop them.”

He knew there was on in every group. There was always one student who would turn anyone in to gain the teacher’s favor. “What have they done now?” he asked with a sigh.

“Dark magick,” the young man said.

Giles was skeptical as they rushed to the dormitories, but as they got closer, he could feel the magick in the air. It took all his willpower to ignore the power calling to him. He tried to focus his mind on anything besides the magick. A prophecy about a Slayer came to mind. He focused on that as he opened the door to the dorm room.

The moment he opened the door, he knew it was a mistake. The magick grabbed him instantly. Before he knew it, his world turned black.

**********

Giles’ parents stayed with Buffy for several weeks. They refused to leave until the driver of the car was caught and convicted. It was the closure they all needed.

Once they had gone back to England, Buffy moved out of the house. She refused to live alone in the house she’d shared with Giles. It was too painful.

When Angel Investigations had moved out of the Hyperion Hotel in Los Angeles, Angel sold the hotel to Giles and the Watchers’ Council. The Slayers and the Scoobies then moved into the hotel, but Giles and Buffy bought a house. Now that Giles was gone, Buffy moved in with the others.

She hadn’t really wanted to be around the others. They couldn’t understand how she felt. They tried to act normal around her, but it was always awkward. Every day she spent more and more time alone in her room until one day, she had to get out. She took a walk, trying to get some perspective.

“It didn’t take me this long to get over Mom,” she muttered as she walked. “Why can’t I get over Giles?” She saw a man standing on a corner. He looked like Giles, only younger. “Great, Buffy,” she mumbled under her breath. “Now you’re seeing things.” She shook her head and kept walking.

She walked around the block once before deciding she was ready to go back to the hotel. As she rounded the corner that would bring her to the entrance, a man grabbed her. She felt a hand cover her mouth as she tried to scream.

“I’m not going to kill you,” a gruff voice whispered in her ear. “At least not today.”

Buffy could tell he was a demon. He was too strong to be a man.

The demon laughed. “But if you scream, I might go ahead and kill you now. Understand?”

When Buffy nodded, he removed his hand from her mouth. “What do you want?” she asked.

“To kill the Slayers and Watchers. What else would a demon want?”

Buffy was speechless.

“I take pride in making the deaths I cause as peaceful as possible.” He sighed. “I regret what happened to your Watcher. He wasn’t meant to die that way. I never meant for him to suffer. If he hadn’t run, his death would have been quick and relatively painless.”

“You expect me to believe that?” Buffy asked. “No demon wants painless deaths for anyone.”

The demon ignored her. “Do you want to know how you’ll die?”

“Sure,” Buffy spat. “Then I’ll tell you how it’s not gonna happen. Slayer here. Takes a lot to kill me and keep me dead.”

He laughed. “I know all about you.” He held her tighter with one arm as he placed a hand on her stomach.

Buffy’s eyes flew wide open as she squirmed in his grip.

“This child will die soon. So will you.”

“You’re bluffing,” she retorted. Her mind raced as she thought of what might kill the baby. “The baby is fine. Healthy.”

“Now,” he whispered into her ear. “But not for long.” He pulled a long needle from his pocket and showed it to her. “This is what will kill you both. Your baby will die slowly. If you’re lucky, you will die soon after it does.” Suddenly, he jabbed the needle into her abdomen and pulled it out again. “Too bad your only hope for a cure died weeks ago.” He let her go and turned away.

Buffy fell to her knees. Out of the corner of her eye she saw someone running. Through teary eyes, she watched as another man fought with the demon. For a while she watched them fight, wondering who would win. She closed her eyes for a second to blink away the tears. When she opened them again, the man was picking her up. “The hotel,” she muttered. “My friends live there.”

No one was in the lobby when they entered the hotel. He laid her on a couch as he looked around. “Hello!” he shouted. “Anyone here?”

The voice was familiar. She reached for his hand. “Giles?”

He knelt down beside her, putting a hand on her brow. “I’m not who you think I am. My name is Rupert.” He brushed hair away from her face. “Where is your Watcher?”

“You’re my Watcher.” She lifted a shaking hand to his face. “Giles,” she whispered. “You came back. How?”

He pulled her hand away from his face. “I don’t know you,” he told her calmly. “You have me confused with someone else.”

Buffy pulled his hand to her lips and kissed his palm. “You’re Rupert Giles, my Watcher. We were going to be married. Then . . . then you –” She looked into his eyes, her eyebrows scrunching together. “How can you be here? Did Willow bring you back? She promised she wouldn’t do dark magick anymore.”

He pulled his hand out of hers. “I don’t know anyone named Willow, and I don’t know you.” He sighed. “What is your name?”

Buffy stared up at him. “You forgot?” She began to cry as she tried to make sense of things. “Sometimes fairy tales are real,” she mumbled quietly. “In fairy tales a kiss always fixes everything.” In a swift movement, she pulled him down and kissed him. He didn’t respond, but he didn’t push her away either. Slowly she pulled away from him. “You really aren’t my Giles,” she whispered. She closed her eyes, trying to hold back her tears.

He wiped the tears from her cheeks. “I’m sorry.”

In the distance, she heard Willow and Dawn. She opened her eyes and stared at the man in front of her. “I loved him so much.”

The voices got closer, and he stood. “Your friends will be here soon. I should go.”

Buffy watched as he slipped out the door just as Willow and Dawn appeared at the top of the stairs.

“Buffy!” Willow shouted. “We’ve been looking for you for a while.”

“Where have you been?” Dawn asked.

“I went for a walk,” Buffy said weakly. “I was attacked by a demon.

Willow and Dawn shared a worried look before Willow asked, “Are you okay?”

“Giles saved me.” Buffy didn’t notice the strange looks she got. “He carried me here. Then he just left.”

“Buffy, it couldn’t have been Giles,” Dawn said.

Buffy didn’t hear the comment. “Why were you looking for me?”

“Angel called. Wesley found a prophecy about you,” Willow answered. “And the baby.”

“Said a demon would attack the baby,” Faith said from the stairs. When she joined them, she whispered to Willow, “Angel and Wes are on their way.”

“The demon did something to the baby,” Buffy said. “He said my ‘only hope for a cure died weeks ago.’ Oh god. He meant Giles.” Buffy was quite a moment. “We have to find him.”

“Buffy, we can’t. It’s impossible,” Dawn said.

“What’s impossible?” Angel asked from the doorway.

“Angel! You have to help,” Buffy said, trying to sit up. “You have to find him.”

“Find who?” Wesley asked.

“Giles,” Buffy said. “He’s the only way to save the baby.”

Angel hurried to Buffy’s side. “We’re here to help.” He picked her up. “But you need to get some rest.”

**********

Buffy fell asleep with Angel watching over her. She woke later to the sound of hushed arguing.

“You believe her?” Willow asked.

“It wouldn’t hurt to look into it,” Wesley said. “Stranger things have been true.”

“But Giles is dead,” Dawn said.

“The man must look similar to Mr. Giles,” Wesley argued. “I should be able to find him. He may know what happened to Buffy.”

“What if she’s completely delusional,” Xander suggested. “Anyone could look like Giles to her.”

Inside the room, Buffy turned to Angel. “He said his name was Rupert. He knew about Watchers and Slayers.”

“I believe you, Buffy,” Angel said, smoothing hair away from her face. “Would you like something to drink?”

She nodded. “Water.”

Angel kissed her forehead before leaving.

After a moment she heard Angel and Faith talking to the others.

“Can you keep it down?” Angel asked. “She can hear you.”

“Yeah. My room’s farther away, and I can hear you,” Faith said.

“She needs her rest,” Angel said.

“Sorry,” Xander mumbled.

“We’ll go downstairs,” Willow said.

Buffy drifted to sleep as the voices faded.

**********

Buffy dreamed of Giles. She dreamed of being held in his arms, dreamed of being kissed by him, dreamed of making love with him. However, every time she opened her eyes, she saw Angel watching over her. Even though she knew it was always Angel, she couldn't keep her heart from hoping it was Giles each time.

Once, when she woke, Angel was stroking her hair. “Giles?” she mumbled.

“It’s Angel. I’m here, Buffy,” he whispered.

She looked up into his eyes. “I don’t want to die.” She clutched his arm. “I don’t want the baby to die, Angel.”

“I won’t let it happen,” he promised.

“But they don’t believe me.” She tightened her grip on his arm. “You believe me. Don’t you?”

“I believe you,” he assured her. “Wesley is out looking for Giles. He’ll find him and bring him back. I promise.”

“I need him, Angel. We’ll die without him.” Her hand slipped from his arm.

“I won’t let you or the baby die,” Angel said before she slipped off to sleep again.

**********

A cool hand on her face woke Buffy. She knew she needed to face the truth. Giles wasn’t coming back. “Angel,” she whispered.

“No. I’m not Angel.”

Buffy’s eyes snapped open at the sound of the familiar voice. “Giles?”

“I prefer the name Rupert, but you can call me what you like,” he said, smiling down at her. “I’m sorry I left in a rush before.”

Buffy stared up at him for a long moment. “You’re not my Giles. Are you?”

“No,” he whispered as he wiped her face with a cool, wet cloth. “But I am here to help you.”

“Then you’ll go back to wherever you’re from?” she asked.

“I can’t go back,” he answered. “I’m not certain if my home is even there any longer.”

Buffy didn’t know what to say. “I’m sorry.”

Rupert sat on the edge of the bed and held her hand. “I believe I was brought here to save you. The prophecy that Wesley showed me is the same one I was thinking of just before I appeared here. It can’t be a coincidence.”

“There’s always a prophecy,” she mumbled. “So what’s it say?”

“That you and your Watcher will defeat a demon that would destroy all Watchers and Slayers,” he answered, looking in her eyes.

“How do you know it’s me?”

He placed his hand gently on her abdomen. “Your child will be saved from the brink of death. In the process a bond will form between you and your Watcher. The bond will help defeat the demon.”

“What do we have to do?” Buffy asked, placing her hand on top of his.

Suddenly, he pulled his hand away and stood. “There’s a spell.”

Any further explanation was halted by a soft knock at the door. “Buffy?”

“Come in, Dawn.”

Dawn slowly opened the door and walked into the room. “I didn’t want to interrupt,” she said. “But Willow said you would need this book for the spell.” She handed the book to Rupert before pulling a small knife from her pocket. “And this.” She handed him the knife. As she turned to leave, she said, “We’ll be downstairs researching if you need anything.”

“Thanks,” Buffy said. She watched the door close behind Dawn and waited a moment before turning back to Rupert. “Can we do this now?”

Rupert blushed. “I suppose now would be as good a time as any.”

She patted the bed next to her. “Come here.” She waited for him to sit before speaking again. “Why are you so afraid?”

“I’m not,” he protested.

“Yes you are,” she said, taking his hand in hers. He flinched at her touch. “See? You may not be my Giles, but I still know you’re afraid to do the spell. Why?”

He looked down at their hands. “The spell requires an ‘intimate act’ between us. It could be no more than a kiss, but it’s likely more than that.”

“Oh,” she said. An uncomfortable silence hung between them until Buffy couldn’t stand it anymore. “You don’t find me attractive, and you don’t think you can perform the spell. I understand. You’re not my Giles, and I shouldn’t have expected you to be exactly like him. I don’t want to force you into any–” Soft lips against hers stopped her rambling. It took her a while to realize that Rupert was kissing her. When he pulled away, she put her hand to her lips.

“I-I’m sorry,” Rupert said. “I tried to get your attention several times.”

“You’ve got it now,” Buffy mumbled.

He smiled. “I do find you attractive. I’m just nervous. The last spell where sexual contact was necessary–”

“I know,” Buffy said. “But this is different.”

“You know?” he asked.

She unbuttoned the cuff of his left sleeve and rolled it up, revealing the tattoo on his forearm. “Giles told me all about it.” She ran her fingers over the tattoo. “If you stay here, you don’t have to worry about this anymore. Eyghon was destroyed years ago.” When Rupert started to ask about it, Buffy stopped him. “Long story. I’ll tell you about it later.” She reached over and unbuttoned the cuff of his right sleeve. “To make things easier later,” she explained.

“Are you certain you want to do this?” Rupert asked.

“It’s the only way,” she answered. “Not like I’ll get pregnant,” she said, laughing. She thought she heard him laugh a little. “So. What do we do for the spell?”

**********

Buffy sat on the bed in a dimly lit room and watched as Rupert made a small cut in the center of his left palm and handed her the knife. She made a similar cut on the palm of her left hand before setting the knife down. As they joined hands, she heard Rupert recite the spell. Their hands glowed as he spoke and continued to shine as they pulled apart and placed their hands on her exposed belly. The light from their hands faded as Rupert finished the words of the spell.

For a long moment, Rupert gazed into Buffy’s eyes, communicating his desire without need for words. As he slowly leaned forward and kissed her, her breath caught in her throat, and she closed her eyes. He kissed her softly, and she could imagine him pouring his soul into hers through that simple action. When she felt his tongue glide against her lips, she opened them, allowing him inside.

At that moment, she felt a warmth flow through her body, beginning at her abdomen. She opened her eyes and saw that the room was filled with a soft light. “Rupert,” she murmured. He pulled back to look at her. “I think the spell worked.”

“Good,” he said in a husky voice. He kissed her chin. “Do you want to stop now?”

“No.”

“Good,” he repeated as he lowered her to the bed.

**********

Later, when Buffy woke suddenly, she knew something wasn’t right. She gently nudged Rupert to wake him, but she placed a finger on his lips to keep him quiet. “Something’s wrong,” she whispered in his ear. “I can feel it. Can you?”

Rupert nodded. “The demon,” he whispered barely loud enough for her to hear.

They dressed in silence, leaving off shoes and socks. They couldn’t afford to give the demon any advantage. They could move silently and more quickly if they were barefoot.

Before opening the door, Buffy took a deep breath and prayed the hinge wouldn’t squeak. When it didn’t, she let out a shaky breath and smiled at Rupert. He took her hand in his as they stepped into the hall. There was no one in sight, but they heard muffled noises coming from downstairs.

As they neared the bottom of the stairs, they saw the demon and several of their friends. Buffy noticed that no Slayers or their Watchers were present. That meant that Willow and Faith had gotten them out before the demon could get to them. However, Dawn and Xander were among the demon’s hostages. They were tied up and sitting on the floor.

Near the front door, the demon was fighting Angel. Neither seemed aware of Buffy or Rupert. Buffy helped Rupert to free Dawn, Xander and the others before turning back to Angel and the demon.

“Don’t you know you’re not welcome here!” Buffy shouted.

The demon turned to stare at Buffy. Angel took the opportunity to knock his feet out from under him. When the demon got to his feet, Angel punched him.

“Angel,” Buffy said. “This isn’t your fight.” She knew Angel understood.

He smiled at her as he backed away from the demon. “I’ll just be over here if you need me.”

Once Angel had backed off, the demon turned on Buffy and Rupert. “This is impossible! You should be dead!”

“I’m very hard to kill,” she said calmly. “And when I do die, I don’t usually stay dead.” She gestured to Rupert. “Or did you mean him? ‘Cause that’s a long story.” The demon rushed at her, but she was prepared and sidestepped at the last second. “Come on. You can do better than that.”

Several times, the demon tried to attack Buffy. Each time, she easily avoided him.

“Is that the best you got?” she taunted.

“You have to do much better to defeat the Slayer,” Rupert added.

With a growl, the demon charged at Buffy and placed his hands on her stomach. As he began to chant slowly, Buffy and Rupert each put their left hand on his head. His chanting slowed, then suddenly stopped. Pulling back, he looked up at Buffy. He opened his mouth to speak, but no sound came out.

“Do you want to know how you’ll die?” Buffy asked.

An instant later, the demon fell over and slowly disintegrated.

“Like that,” Buffy said, her voice flat. She turned to Rupert. “I hate when that happens. I didn’t even get to see him squirm.”

Rupert pulled her close and kissed her. “I thought it was great,” he mumbled against her lips. He pulled back to gaze into her eyes. “Using his own words like that. Brilliant.”

“Thanks,” she said and pulled him close for another kiss. When they parted, she asked, “Will you be staying?”

“I’ll stay for as long as you want me,” he answered, smiling.

“Forever, then.”

*** The End ***
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