See part 1 for disclaimers.
Chapter 3 - The Boyfriend in Question
Riley sat at the café, worried. When Buffy had been 10 minutes late he had been amused. She was always ten minutes late. When she was 30 minutes late he had been irritated. She had his cell phone number, she could have had the courtesy to call. She was now over an hour late. Something was wrong.
He again hit speed dial #2 and listened as the phone rang in Buffy's dorm room. And rang, and rang. Still no answer. Maybe something was wrong with the phone. He decided to go to the dorm. He paid his bill and left.
Ten minutes later Riley stood frowning at her door. It was standing partially open. He pushed the door open all the way and entered cautiously, looking around. Buffy's bed was unmade and there were little scraps of paper on the floor next to the bed, but other than that, the room was in perfect order.
He pushed the door closed with his foot and began a more through search, checking surfaces for notes or some other indication as to the girls' whereabouts. The torn pieces of paper had been a note from Buffy to Willow requesting that she get her up in time to meet him this morning. There was nothing else out of the ordinary, nothing to show where Buffy or her roommate was. He turned to leave.
And came face to face with the note on the back of the door. Someone named Giles was in some kind of trouble and Willow seemed upset that Buffy had kept her date with him last night instead of staying at the dorm and helping her.
Giles. He had heard Buffy mention the name before. Giles said this, or Giles did that. When he had asked about this Giles person all she would say was that it was someone she had known in high school. He had formed the impression that Giles was no longer in her life. Willow's note would seem to indicate otherwise. Buffy and Willow must be with this Giles person right now.
Riley stood for a moment, thinking. He could either go back to his dorm room and wait for Buffy to call, or he could find a phone book and try calling Giles. Of course he didn’t know if it was a last or a first name, but even though that was what Willow and Buffy had called him, it didn’t really sound like someone’s first name. He glanced around the room, but there wasn’t a phone book visible and he wasn’t going to open drawers looking for one. He again turned to leave.
The door opened so fast that he had to jump back to avoid being struck. Willow and another girl rushed into the room, stopping short to gape at him. Willow frowned. "What are you doing in my room?"
"I had a date with Buffy and when she didn’t show up or call me I got worried. I came over to see if you knew where she was. I found the door standing open and I let myself in. Do you know where Buffy is?" Riley shifted restlessly. The way Willow was looking at him was making him uncomfortable. He had always known that she didn’t like him for some reason, but the look in her eyes now bordered on hatred.
The two girls exchanged a glance. "Buffy has to go out of town on a family emergency. She’ll be back tomorrow evening." Willow finally said.
"What happened? Is it her father? Do you have a number where I can call her?"
Willow glared at him. "It’s Buffy’s personal business. If she wants you to know what happened, she will tell you about it when she gets back tomorrow. Now, if you don’t mind, you need to leave. Tara and I have to change clothes."
Riley’s face flushed an unbecoming red. "Of course, I’m sorry. I was just going." He hurried through the door and Willow slammed it behind him.
Shaken, Riley went into the common room of the dorm and sat on the couch. It was ridiculous, but he had actually felt afraid of Willow. Anger had been coming from her in almost visible waves. He racked his brain to try to think of what he had done to make her hate him. He looked up at a movement in the doorway. Willow and the girl she had called Tara were rushing out of the dorm.
Riley blinked in bewilderment. They were wearing the same clothes he had seen them in earlier, and they were both carrying overnight bags. He recognized one of them as being Buffy’s. If she was carrying Buffy’s bag, then maybe she hadn’t left town yet. Riley decided to follow them at a distance and see if they led him to Buffy.
It was easy trailing them across campus, there were so many people he could hide in the crowds. Also, they were deep in conversation while moving quickly, not looking around at anyone else. He had to fall further behind when they entered the surrounding neighborhood, just in case they did decide to look behind them. The girls appeared to be arguing. Willow made a decisive gesture and Tara shrugged then nodded. They walked in silence for a few blocks, then entered the parking lot of an apartment complex.
Riley hurried forward, not wanting to miss seeing which apartment they entered, then had to stop abruptly. He moved behind the bushes that bordered the entrance to the complex. The girls were standing between two cars in the parking lot, a sporty little red convertible and a tan four-door sedan, talking quietly to another couple. He remembered that Buffy had pointed them out one night at the Bronze. She said she had gone to high school with them. The boy's name was Xander and the girl was Anya.
Riley frowned. Something was going on. Xander appeared to be arguing with Willow also. They were keeping their voices low and Riley couldn't quite hear what was being said, just catching a word or two, but the body language was pretty explicit. Xander was talking rapidly, waving one hand in emphasis. Willow just let him talk himself out, then said one short sentence and folded her arms glaring at him. Xander flung his hands in the air and turned away. He took a few steps, then spun back and leaned against the sedan, glaring back at Willow. Tara and Anya exchanged looks and shrugged, but said nothing.
Riley stood in the bushes, wondering if he should leave or let the others know he was there. After another five minutes of watching the others stand in silence, he decided to leave. He had taken two steps when he heard a door open and saw the others look around. He followed their gaze and saw Buffy coming out of an apartment. She had the same stubborn, angry, look on her face as Willow. A man carrying a gym bag came out behind her, checking the door to make sure it was locked.
Buffy rushed down the steps and crossed the parking lot to where Willow was standing. The two traded defiant looks and Willow handed Buffy her overnight bag.
At the sound of the voice, Riley turned his attention back to the man. And ‘man’ was definitely the right word, not boy. From this distance it was hard to tell, but he looked like he was at least in his thirties, if not a little older. He was wearing casual clothes, blue jeans and a denim button up shirt, but there was an aura of power around the man. Riley had heard people described that way before, but had never believed that you could really feel power coming from someone. He believed now. Just looking at the man made him feel uneasy and threatened in some way. The man’s voice carried clearly across the parking lot.
"Buffy, this is a mistake. You don’t have to do this. We’ll find another way."
"That’s all that you’ve been saying for the past hour. There is no other way, Giles. You know that. And I gave my word, I promised, so forget it, we’re going."
Riley looked back at the man, shocked. This was Giles? When Buffy said she knew him in high school he had assumed it was someone in her class. This man was too old for that. He must have been one of her teachers. But, the way she had always spoke of him was as an equal. What the hell was going on? He turned his attention back to the others.
Giles turned to glare at Willow. "That promise was made under duress. Willow didn’t give you all the facts. I know you wouldn’t have agreed to this if you had known what was involved."
"They you don’t know me as well as you think you do. Even if Willow had told me everything first, I would still be doing this. You are important to me, Giles." Buffy looked at her wrist. "We don’t have time for this. Our plane leaves in less than an hour. We can argue when we get back."
"Giles, if you’re not in the drivers seat in 30 seconds, I’m driving us to the airport."
Riley saw a panicked look cross Giles’ face. Riley got another shock when, instead of getting in the sedan that Xander was leaning against, Giles rushed around to the drivers' side of the little red convertible. Buffy threw her bag into the back and jumped over the door into the passenger seat. Giles glared at her before exchanging his glasses for sunglasses. He started the car and pulled out of the parking lot. The others scrambled into the sedan and quickly followed.
Riley walked slowly back to his dorm, reviewing everything that had happened in the past hour. Even though Willow had lied to him about Buffy being gone, somehow the statement that it was a family emergency had felt true. Buffy had said that Giles was important to her, but how? Was he a relative? Buffy had never spoke of him as such, you would think she would have said, my Uncle Giles or my cousin, instead of just Giles. And what about his accent? He had sounded English. Buffy had never mentioned having English relatives.
Although, now that he thought about it, Buffy had never said much about herself at all. He knew her parents were divorced and that she and her mother had moved to Sunnydale when Buffy was 16. He didn’t ever remember Buffy saying what her father’s name was, or what he did, just that she hadn’t seen him in over two years. Buffy hadn’t even told him her mothers' name. She just always said ‘Mom’. So just who exactly was Giles, and why was he so important to her?
Riley thought back to the image of the two together. There was a definite dynamic going on there, and it wasn’t that of a niece with her uncle. They had been speaking as equals. In fact, Buffy had appeared to be in charge, telling Giles to get in the car and drive her to the airport. And she had said ‘our’ flight and that they would argue when they got back, so he was clearly going with her, wherever that was.
Riley sighed. He didn’t know how he knew, but he had the feeling that Buffy wouldn’t be going out with him again.
Chapter 4 - Mama Mia!
Buffy sat quietly in her seat; face turned to the window, watching the ground slip away under the plane. By just moving her eyes, she could see the sun glinting off the gold band on her left hand. If she moved her head slightly she could see the gold band on Giles’ hand as well. She sighed. It hadn’t been the kind of wedding she had dreamed of having when she had been a little girl. And it most certainly hadn’t been the wedding night she had started imagining when she found out about sex.
Buffy turned her head to look directly at Giles. He appeared to be asleep, his seat was tilted back slightly and his eyes were closed, but he was too still. No one who was asleep could be that still for that long. Even as she watched, the muscles in his jaw twitched slightly, an indication of the tension he was experiencing. She knew the feeling. Since she had read that note yesterday, her body felt like a giant clenched fist. It was impossible to relax. Neither of them had slept last night, although they had laid on the bed in the honeymoon suite that Willow had reserved for them. When Giles had started to protest not only the expense, but also the mockery of choosing that room, Willow had pointed out that Immigration might check, and things had to appear normal. She had smirked at Buffy while saying that. No doubt about it, Willow was enjoying this way too much.
Buffy took the opportunity to study Giles’ face more closely. Lines of fatigue were cut deeply into the corners of his eyes and mouth. He was thinner, his hair was a little grayer, and there appeared to be a little less of it in the front. Apparently these last few months hadn’t been easy on him either. Was she responsible for that? She hadn't gone to see him over the summer because she had wanted to give him time, time to stop thinking of her as a high school student. To see that she was no longer the child who believed she was tied to Angel by guilt. To start their relationship over as man and woman, not mentor and student. To show him that she had matured.
Matured, right. Instead she had proven how childish she still was when she had uttered that stupid ‘old and gross’ line. Then she had compounded that mistake by staying away. What she should have done was gone with her instincts and thrown that shirt-wearing hussy out of his apartment. Then she should have knocked him on his ass, ripped that robe off him, and done all those things she had been dreaming about since the Prom.
God, he had looked so sexy that night. There had been a look in his eyes, a look that said he was seeing her, not the Slayer, and that he liked what he was seeing. She had been sure he was going to ask her to dance, then his gaze had moved to something behind her. For just an instant his expression had been sad, then it was as if a mask had fallen over his face. He had taken that silly little umbrella out of her hands and turned her around to show her that Angel had arrived.
Angel. Her first thought had been that Angel in a tuxedo had looked like a boy trying to play grown-up. Not like Giles, who looked like he had been born to wear a tux. Then the guilt had kicked in and she had gone a little overboard in her attention to Angel to make up for the fact that she had resented that he had shown up after all. By the end of the dance she had been sure that she had imagined the look on Giles' face.
Until a few days later, when he had stuck the sword in the mayor. There had been no mistaking that look, pure Ripper. Ripper. Buffy felt a shiver run up her spine and she thought about the memories she seen in her Mother's mind. She could almost, almost, feel Giles kissing her, his hot tongue probing her mouth. Almost feel the weight of him pressing her down, the heat of him filling her.
She had to be honest, at least with herself. That was when the dreams had really started. And that summer hadn't been to give him time, it had been to give her time. It had taken all summer, each night filled with dreams of Giles, before she had worked up her courage to go see him.
Only to find him with that woman. Buffy had wanted to scream and yell at him. How dare he have sex with another woman! He wasn't supposed to be having sex with anyone else because he belonged to her.
Belonged to her. If only. She knew he cared about her, but only as his Slayer, not as Buffy, not as a woman. Her eyes stung with unexpected tears. If wasn’t fair. Loving him as she did, this was going to be hell. A hell she had condemned herself to for two years. A lump rose in her throat and she closed her eyes, fighting the tears. For Giles to attain resident status through marriage to an American citizen, the marriage had to last at least two years. Willow had certainly enjoyed dropping that bomb on them after the ceremony.
Just what was her problem? Willow had hardly spoke to her yesterday, and when she did she was either angry or mocking. So she was upset that Giles was being forced to leave. They were all upset. Buffy gave a small huff, but it came out as a sob. One lone tear escaped, sliding down her cheek. A callused finger gently wiped it away.
"Buffy, please don’t cry. I’ll make this right, I promise."
Giles sat in his seat, eyes closed, hoping that everyone would think he was asleep and leave him alone. Yesterday should have been the happiest day of his life; he had married the woman he loved. But happy would have been the last word anyone would possibly use to describe yesterday.
Giles was filled with a helpless rage when he thought about the events of yesterday. Buffy had been cheated out of so much. The months of happy planning with her mother. No reception, no cake, no gifts. No beautiful white gown. They had married in the clothes they had worn to Vegas. The ceremony had been performed at the first chapel they found after buying the rings.
His jaw clenched. The rings. Buffy wouldn't let him buy her an engagement ring, saying that it would be a hindrance when she was fighting. She wouldn't even let him buy her a scrolled band, saying that a plain gold band was fine with her. He moved his hand slightly, feeling the unaccustomed weight of the ring on his finger. Buffy had seemed surprised when he had bought matching bands. She said that her father had never worn a wedding band during his marriage to Joyce. Well, he wasn’t her bloody father; he didn't mind letting the single women of the world know that he was married.
Joyce. Giles had called her to enlist her aid in talking Buffy out of this, but had gotten an answering machine message saying that she was out of town on a buying trip. She would never understand. To anyone else, the idea that a 19-year-old could force a man in his forties to do something like this was absurd. No one who hadn’t lived his life could understand the training that had conditioned him to serve his Slayer. To do whatever it took to give her whatever she needed. Even though he had continued to argue, his fate was sealed from the moment she told him that she had felt incomplete when they were apart, that she needed him.
Needed him. As Buffy was fond of saying, 'as if'. Oh, he was sure that she did need him on some level, just not the way he wanted her to need him. He thought back to the look in her eyes at the end of the all too brief ceremony yesterday. When the minister said to kiss his bride, Buffy's eyes had widened and filled with a look of panic. Then her face had flushed red. Obviously she had forgotten about that part of a marriage ceremony. He had framed her face in his hands and brushed his lips against hers in the most chaste kiss he had ever given a woman. He had thought, for just an instant, that she started to respond, but her head had jerked back and she had looked quickly away.
He had to be honest with himself; that had hurt. But, really, what else could he expect. She had never thought of him as a potential lover. And while he was being honest, he couldn't blame his capitulation on his Watcher training. His heart belonged to her. Whatever she wanted, he would do. Even though that meant that the next two years would be the most exquisite form of torture.
Dear God, two years. Willow had kept that little bit of information from them until it was too late. Giles frowned. Willow was acting very strange. She was so angry with Buffy that she wasn't taking into consideration how her actions were affecting others. Tara was upset and Xander was confused.
Case in point was the honeymoon suite that she reserved for them last night. Willow had ignored what the room would cost him. She only had been interested in mocking Buffy with that parody of a wedding night. Buffy had been very upset and hadn't talked to him all evening. Later, she had lain stiffly on her side of that huge bed, awake and unmoving. Lying next to her, feeling the heat of her body, enveloped in her unique scent, he had fought to keep awake, afraid that if he slept he would say or do something that would betray his feelings for her.
Bloody hell, two years.
Next to him he heard a choked sob. He opened his eyes to see Buffy, eyes closed, her face a mask of pain. Even as he watched, one lone tear slid down her cheek. Without thought, he reached and gently wiped the tear away.
"Buffy, please don’t cry. I’ll make this right, I promise."
Buffy turned her head away, back towards the window, and drew several deep breaths, trying to regain control. His large hand cupped her face and turned it back. "Buffy?" Giles asked softly. She opened her eyes, not realizing that all her feelings were there for him to see. Giles drew in a sharp breath. His thumb caressed her cheek, his eyes full of questions. "Buffy?" he asked again, unconsciously leaning towards her.
Xander’s head popped up over the back of the seat. "It’s good to see you two talking. I don’t think the person from Immigration would believe newlyweds who didn’t speak to each other."
Giles jerked back, glaring at Xander. "Thank you so much for that advice. You've kept us from making a fatal mistake."
Xander quickly sat back down, looking at Anya wide-eyed. "Somebody got up on the wrong side of the honeymoon suite."
Anya nodded wisely. "Lack of orgasms. Makes men cranky." Their voices carried clearly to the couple sitting in front of them. Buffy moaned and turned back to the window, her face a bright red. Giles muttered Latin curse words as he settled back in his seat, facing forward. The remainder of the flight to Sunnydale was spent in silence.
The group disembarked from the plane and walked down the corridor to the main terminal. As they passed the restrooms, Giles lightly touched Buffy's arm. "Excuse me, I need to…" his voice trailed off and he gestured to the sign. Buffy nodded and propped herself against the wall to wait for him. The others, who had been ahead of the couple, continued on not having noticed the stop. She didn't call to them, wanting a few moments alone.
Buffy stared blankly into space, trying to come to terms with what had almost happened on the airplane. It had to have been her imagination. Giles hadn't been going to kiss her, had he? And that look in his eyes, so caring, so loving. No, it was her mind playing tricks on her. Giles would never look at her like that.
Her thoughts were interrupted by the last voice she expected to hear. "Buffy, you came to pick me up! How sweet. How did you know I was flying in early?" Buffy gazed in horror at her mother.
"Wait a minute, you can't be here to pick me up, they don't let anyone past the security barriers to pick people up anymore." Joyce spotted the overnight bag on the floor by Buffy's feet. "Are you going somewhere? No, this is Sunday, you have school tomorrow, you must be coming back." Her face broke into a smile. "And you are waiting outside the men's restroom. You must have gone with that young man you told me about, Riley was it, to meet his parents. I didn't realize it had become so serious. Well, I can't wait to meet him."
Buffy stared, stunned. Oh, god, Giles was going to come out any minute now. This is not how she wanted her mother to find out. She was going to go ballistic. Joyce was still babbling away, but Buffy wasn't really listening. She spotted an empty departure area and decided to take her mother there to talk. Buffy picked up her overnight bag and slung the strap over her left shoulder.
Joyce cut off in mid word, her face shocked. Her hand reached out and grabbed Buffy's left hand. "What is this?"
Buffy looked back at her in panic. The gold band gleamed in the light. "Uh, Mom, it's not what it looks like." she started, but Joyce interrupted.
"It looks like you got married."
Buffy gave her a weak smile. "Well, maybe it's sort of what it looks like."
Joyce stared angrily at her. "You got married without telling me! And to a boy I've never met! Buffy how could you do this? Couldn't you have waited until I got back?" The anger turned to horror. "Oh, no, you're pregnant. You had to get married."
"MOM! I'm not pregnant. Please, just calm down. Give me a couple of minutes and I'll explain. Why don't we go sit down." Buffy indicated the empty area. Joyce started to walk that way.
Giles emerged from the restroom, and not seeing Joyce, began, "Buffy, I'm sorry I kept you waiting." Two sets of eyes swung around to look at him, one filled with panic, the other with rage.
Before he could react, Joyce grabbed his left hand and examined the gold band on his finger. "You," she growled, "she married you." She flung his hand away as if it had burned her. Her gaze cut between the two until it settled on Buffy. "I want no part of this insanity. When you come to your senses and want the name of a good divorce lawyer, we'll talk." She turned and stalked down the corridor towards the baggage claim area.
"Mom, wait." Buffy started after her, but Giles stopped her.
"This isn't the place to go into this discussion. Let her go home and have a chance to collect her thoughts. We'll talk to her later."
Buffy shook her head in despair. "The more time she has, the madder she'll get. She won't listen to us later." Her eyes filled with tears.
Giles pulled her into a gentle embrace. "I will make her listen. Your mother deserves to know why we felt compelled to take this action. Due to the circumstances, I'm sure the person from Immigration will wish to speak with her. We need to know that she will back up our claims." He pulled back. "Let's get your things from the dorm and take them to my flat. We'll go talk to Joyce after that." Buffy nodded, eyes downcast. They turned and walked down the corridor.
Five hours later Joyce was storming around her kitchen, her mind still in a turmoil. The same thought kept going round and round, Buffy got married without telling her. Got married to THAT MAN. How could she? How could he? No doubt they would try to explain it away by saying it was some common Watcher/Slayer thing, but she could not accept this.
A soft knock on the back door interrupted her musings. Opening the door, she saw them standing there. She slammed the door shut. Or rather she tried to slam the door shut. Buffy grabbed the edge of the door and prevented Joyce from closing it.
"Mom, we have to talk."
"I said all I intend to say at the airport. Please leave."
Buffy stared at her resolutely. "Mom, I need you to read this. It's important." She handed Joyce the letter from Immigration that Giles had received on Friday. Joyce took the letter. She read it through once, frowned, then read it through again. She looked at Giles.
"A green card marriage?"
"There wasn't another alternative?"
"Not in the time allotted."
"Getting married just to stay in the country is illegal. They might not just deport you, they might send you to prison if they don't believe this marriage is real."
"Then you need to help us make sure they think it is real." Buffy said. "Giles is my Watcher, I need him. I need him here, in Sunnydale with me, to help me stay alive. Will you help us?"
Joyce looked at the two of them for a long moment. "I assume you have a story already made up?" At their nod she sighed. "Come into the living room. We might as well be comfortable while you tell me what lies I'm going to be telling the government."
As Buffy and Giles went into the other room, Joyce closed and locked the back door. She leaned against it for a moment. I wonder, she thought, if I had been home Friday, would he have asked me? She shook her head at her foolishness and followed the pair into the living room.