Raven's Choice

Pain and Confusion

Buffy stormed into her house with Willow, Anya and Xander close behind. Dawn came rushing down the stairs when she heard them coming in.

“Buffy, where in the hell have you been? I’ve been worried sick…”

“Not now Dawn.”

“But, you didn’t call, I went to the Magic Box and no one was there I was getting ready to call Giles….”

“NOT NOW DAWN.” Buffy yelled at her younger sister.

Xander, quickly sensed a situation that could get way out of control gently took Dawn’s arm and said “Hey Dawnie, let’s go get something to drink. Buffy just, well we all found out some stuff tonight and it’s messing with all our heads”

“What’s going on?”

“Dawn, look, I’m sorry I yelled, I just need a little while and I will explain everything. Okay? Go with Xander.”

“Okay Buffy.” She said dejectedly. Being the younger sister of the slayer was so not everything it was cracked up to be.

Buffy collapsed on the couch; her head was full of questions with no answers. It was bad enough that she was still angry and depressed about being pulled out of Heaven, but now all this stuff about Giles she never knew.

“What the hell, Will?” Buffy looked at her best friend and was trying not to still be angry at her. Willow had brought Buffy back from the dead. She had thought Buffy was suffering in a Hell dimension and used dark magic to resurrect her best friend. What Willow didn’t know was that Buffy had been in Heaven. When Buffy came back down to Earth a piece of herself was lost and Buffy didn’t know how to get it back.

“I don’t know Buffy; I’m just as shocked as you are. Giles, married and he could never tell us. It’s so sad and so, I don’t know, tragic, I guess?”

“But, Will, he’s still leaving me, leaving us. Going back to a life we never knew he had. Children? He has a son? Why keep all that from us?”

“Buffy, what do we really know about Giles? He never really talked about his life before coming to Sunnydale. And if it wasn’t for that one Halloween, we wouldn’t even know he had the nickname Ripper and that he had delved into magic.”

“I know. I’m just so confused Will, I need to do something; I don’t even know what to do. Tell me what to do Will?”

“Buffy, I can’t. You need to talk this out with Giles. I can’t tell you what to do.”

Through this whole conversation Anya had been quiet. She was just as confused and hurt also, but like always, they never asked her what she was feeling.

“Well, if you ask me…” But, she didn’t really know what to say.

Suddenly there was a knock at the door, Willow went to answer it and saw Giles standing there. “Giles,” she said as she flung herself in his arms letting him hug her for a minute before she broke the contact. “I’ll get Buffy.” He didn’t question how Willow knew he wanted to talk to her, so he waited in the living room. The others said their goodbye to him and as Anya got up she said “Giles, Buffy isn’t the only one who’s upset. I think all of us are.”

“Anya, let me talk to Buffy. I will come to The Magic Box early and we can talk, okay?” Sensing that they didn’t want her there, she left, hoping that Giles would keep his word.

Buffy silently entered the living room and Giles saw that she had been crying. At first they just looked at each other uncomfortable for the first time in a long time. “Well, this is awkward”. The silence stretched out between them with the knowledge their relationship would never be the same. “I know you’re hurt and angry at me Buffy, but I thought I explained why I couldn’t tell you.”

“Giles, why did you tell Jenny and not me? I thought we were…..” She wanted to say she loved him, but the pain of his lying to her was still too fresh, the hurt too deep. She said softly, head down “Closer than that.”

“I never expected to have feelings for anyone other than Anais. We saw each other so little over the last 10 years, and I,” He got up, walked to the large window and looked out “I needed someone, and Jenny was there. I never lied to her, I told her from the beginning there was someone else and when she didn’t understand, I had to explain. I wanted it to be you Buffy, I wanted to tell you, but after explaining everything to Jenny, well I just couldn’t”. He turned around to face his slayer, pleading with his expression for her to try to understand.

“But, why do you have to leave? Why can’t you stay, just for a while? Just so I can understand all of this.”

Giles walked the short distance it took to reach Buffy and enfolded her in his arms. The tears he’d been holding back threatened to break free. Buffy, however, didn’t fight them. She let them come for she knew she was losing her Watcher and there was nothing she could do to stop him. “Buffy, you aren’t you. You keep wanting me to make your decisions for you,” he lifted her chin up so he could look at her; “You are stronger than this. I know you’re in pain and I wish I could take it all and let you rest, but you’re here and I can’t live your life for you. What happened to cause such deep sorrow, such deep pain? It’s more than just being pulled back into your body, what are you holding back?”

“Giles” she said as she broke away from his hold. She was suddenly antsy; like there was a memory or the echo of a feeling she’d been chasing and hadn’t quite caught-up to it. “I don’t know. I feel like I’m not complete, like there is something missing and if I could just remember it I’d be whole again.” She turned her back on Giles, and cried silent tears. He moved up behind her, laid a hand on her shoulder, chin on her head. “Buffy, I can’t give you back what you lost. I can only let you go so you can find it.” He laid a kiss on her head, slowly turned around and quietly walked out the door. Buffy soundlessly crumpled to the floor and let out silent screams, she wanted to cry, but all her tears had dried up.

Willow found her crumpled on the floor and kneeled next to Buffy and just held her and let her release all of her pain and anguish. Willow was feeling guilty that she was partly responsible for it.

Two days later Giles left. He had given Buffy some money to help with expenses and while more than grateful she wished he would just stay. Buffy knew it would be a long time before she could forgive him.

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