It was almost half past four when Buffy woke up in need of some water. She rubbed her eyes and took a moment to adjust to her surroundings before she kicked back the covers and slid off the bed. She had a robe, but since the bathroom was right there she did not bother with it. Giles should be sleeping anyway, so she was not too concerned about being seen. Besides, the T-shirt she was wearing was not that short.

She entered the bathroom and noticed a sliver of light shining beneath the door leading to Giles' room. Was he still awake? She filled the glass he had left for her with water and as she drank from it, opened the door leading to his room.

The sight that greeted her was not at all what she had imagined. She had thought maybe he had fallen asleep while reading and was going to turn the light off for him. Or maybe he was up late researching something despite his saying that Cleveland had been fairly quiet so far.

This was obviously not the case. It appeared he purposely fell asleep this way. He had two crucifixes hanging above his bed along with a dream catcher. At bedside was a bottle of hard liquor, nearly empty and a glass that was empty.

Deciding that he must have left the light on for a reason instead of by accident, Buffy paused in the doorway to regard him. He did not look peaceful and that bothered her. The last apocalypse was over and done with, and he had said himself things were quiet here. She saw no reason why he should look so disturbed while he slept.

She debated about waking him, asking him what was going on, but decided it was really none of her business. She returned to her room and her bed after placing the water glass on the counter, but she could not get back to sleep. Something was wrong with what she saw and Buffy did not think she could sleep until she found out what it was.

She slid out of bed once again, less than ten minutes had gone by since she had first entered Giles' bedroom. She padded toward his room, her feet sliding across the tile floor in the bathroom where she paused at the door. Did she really want to do this? Did she want to cross the line and become the advisor instead of the advisee as she had been for the past seven years? Her hand opening the door gave her the answer she sought.

"Giles," she whispered from the doorway in case he was awake.

"Jenny," she thought she heard him murmur and Buffy frowned. Was he dreaming about Miss Calendar?

"Giles," she said a little louder as she walked further into the bedroom. She grew concerned when she noticed his head shaking almost violently against his pillow, his arms stiff at his sides as if he was unable to move them. Was he under some sort of spell?

She ran to the side of the bed and placed her hand on his shoulder and shook him gently. "Giles," she said the worry evident in her voice.

"I won't tell you," he said gruffly and Buffy noticed a few tears trailing down both of his cheeks.

"Giles," she repeated not knowing what was going on. She was relieved when she saw his eyes open until she realized that he was not seeing her. Not really anyway.

"You can't fool me again. You can't. I fell for it once but never again."

"Fall for what, Giles? Talk to me. What's going on?" His eyes fell shut again. "No," she said hitting his chest harder than she intended to. "Don't go back to sleep on me, Giles," she said panicking.

"Blood," he murmured. "Have to stop him."

"Blood?" she mimicked. "Stop who?"

His eyes flew open wide and glanced rapidly around his surroundings. His arms suddenly began moving and Buffy could sense by his breathing that he was waking up.

"Buffy?" he asked in a hoarse whisper as if he had forgotten she was there.

"Yeah," she said with a slight smile, her hand resting just above his rapidly beating heart. "It's me."

He reached for her, caressing her face with his warm hand. It was obvious whatever he was dreaming about had really affected him as his palm was sweaty. Not ookily sweaty but enough to let her know he was scared. But of what? "I thought I was dreaming. I thought it was Drusilla again."

"Drusilla?" She was really confused now. "Giles, Drusilla is long gone."

"I know," he said and took a deep, ragged breath. He reached over to his nightstand where the empty tumbler was and Buffy placed her hand over his wrist stopping him from drinking anymore.

"You are awake, right?" she asked, wanting to be sure. "Do I need to pinch you or anything?"

He chuckled gruffly and shook his head. "No, no need for pinching. I'm truly awake. I apologize if I frightened you, Buffy," he said. His eyes grew wide as she crawled into bed next to him.

"I just wanted to make sure I didn't have to be the Slayer before I got comfortable again."

"No, you don't. What's on your mind?"

"I think the question is what's on your mind, Giles?"

"Nothing important, Buffy. Nothing for you to concern yourself with."

"Giles, I'm not a kid anymore. I'm not even your Slayer. I want to know what's going on with you."

He sighed heavily and she sensed that while he was close to breaking he was not there yet. "Has Drusilla been giving you trouble?" she asked. It was not unreasonable to think that Drusilla might have heard about Spike's death and sought Buffy and Giles and the others out for revenge.

"No, I haven't seen or heard about Drusilla since," Giles shrugged slightly. "A good year or two at least."

"Then what, Giles?" she asked, staring up at him. She imagined she should feel weird lying with Giles in his bed, neither of them really dressed but it felt natural, normal, right. She tapped on his chest above his heart lightly, glad to feel its beating slow to a more normal rate.

"It was just a dream, Buffy. Surely you still have dreams now and again."

"Well, yeah, but Giles I couldn't wake you up. You were crying," she whispered, unsure how he would react to her seeing him like that.

"I was dreaming about Angelus if you must know."

"Has Angel lost his soul again?" she asked confused and shivering instinctively at the thought. "Why didn't you tell me?"

"Shh, Buffy, I assure you as far as I know Angel's soul is intact."

"Good," she said, more than a little relieved. Seeing him again before everything had gone down was nice, they parted on good company without fighting or bickering. She did not want to have to go on an Angelus hunt.

He sighed heavily and turned onto his side to face her, his hand resting at her hip. "My time in Angelus' hands."

"But Giles, that was like years ago."

"I realize that, Buffy."

She glanced up at the wall above his bed and took note again of the crucifixes and dream catcher. "I had no idea," she whispered, the meaning behind them sinking in. For over five years he had been trying to escape dreams of that night?

"No one did. I don't like to talk about it."

"Join the club," she whispered realizing that they were not all that different when it came to freely discussing the things that altered their lives.

"What did Drusilla do?"

He ran a fingertip along the length of her arm and she could tell by his face that he was processing his thoughts. "She made me think she was Jenny. She got into my head and knew I would confide in Jenny. It's because of me, Buffy, that you had to fight Angelus at all. It's because of me that he knew how to open Acathla."

"Is that what you think?"

"I'm afraid I do."

"Oh God, Giles, that was so not your fault. If anyone's it was mine. I should have killed him long before it got to that point. I could have killed him after we destroyed the Judge. I was this close," she said holding her thumb and index finger a mere inch apart. "And I couldn't close the deal."

"I know, Buffy, I understand your hesitancy and cannot fault you for it. You loved him, he still bore Angel's face and soul or not he loved you. He used that love to torment you instead of help you but it's obvious soul or not you occupied his thoughts."

"But that doesn't mean anything that happened that day was your fault."

"I should have known, Buffy. I knew Jenny was dead, but I wanted it to be her so badly," he said, fresh tears brimming in his eyes. "Ever since she died, ever since the spirit in the school possessed you and Angel I wanted to feel her again just once. And I let that become a weakness."

"You are so not weak, Giles," she said with conviction.

"Then explain to me why for years now I cannot sleep without seeing one of their faces, without waking up feeling the pain in my fingers and on my body where Angelus inflicted his damage on me. The only way I get a decent night's sleep is with plenty of scotch in me and even that doesn't work sometimes. Sometimes I purposely drink too much without having eaten hoping I'll heave my guts out to the point of dying just to escape it. I'm not weak, I'd never contemplate taking my own life but there are nights I wake up and wish I were dead so I could have some peace."

Her eyes closed as he spoke, his words sinking in. Had she really been this clueless over the years that she had no idea the events of over five years ago still plagued him so much that he felt the need to stay drunk?

An idea came to her then, one that seemed oddly simply even if it was a little weird for her to think of Giles in that way. He was Giles after all, though he was handsome for an older guy and in the grand scheme of things when she wanted to get technical about it he was younger than two of her serious boyfriends. She wanted to do whatever it took to get him to sleep peacefully. She knew what it was like to be sleep deprived and to be woken by dreams, wondering what was real and what was dream.

She closed the distance between them, it was not difficult to do by any means. Her hand reached for his face, her fingers skimming to the back of his head as she drew him closer. Her lips touched his and she was not creeped out by it at all. It was Giles, sure, but she did not feel weird or wrong in doing this.

"Buffy," he murmured as he drew away slightly. "I don't want your pity."

She laughed lightly. "Giles, I have never kissed someone in response to their wanting pity." Kissing Spike in response to her self-pity was another story but that was then, this was now and she had gotten over that. She had forgiven herself and she liked to think Spike had forgiven her, too.

She stroked the top of his ear with her thumb and met his eyes. Eyes that held so much knowledge and had seen so much yet they still had the capability of showing love and caring. For her? She had to be wrong in seeing that there.

She closed her eyes, refusing to think about it any longer and just went with what felt right. "I want to kiss you, Giles," she whispered, hoping he would kiss her so that it would not fall on her shoulders entirely.

And he did, her eyes fluttered open as the hand at her side slid behind her, drawing her closer to him. She gave into his prompting and scooted on the bed closer to him and basked in the warmth that was Giles. His arm around her felt good and his lips on hers felt good.

His hand skimmed her lower thigh, just below where her shirt ended and she let out a soft moan in approval.

"I've wanted you for so long," she thought she heard him say but could not be sure as her other senses were so hyperaware her hearing could have been faulty.

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