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Story Notes:
Set around the end of Tabula Rasa, when Giles leaves Sunnydale.
Buffy curled up in the chair by the fire, blanket wrapped around her knees. The flames were warm, but Buffy still felt chilled. She couldn't believe he was gone. Not Giles, he was the only one who'd been there through all of it. She'd never have survived without him. How was she supposed to now? Buffy felt tears slipping silently down her cheeks.

"Buffy..." Dawn spoke quietly.

"Go to bed Dawnie," Buffy said.

"Do you want to talk?" Dawn asked.

Buffy sat quietly staring into the flames until she heard Dawn's soft footfalls heading up the stairs.

"Why did you have to leave Giles?" Buffy asked quietly. She was so wrapped up in her own pain, she didn't hear the door open, or notice the shadow falling over her.

"Buffy..." the rich accent was filled with uncertainty.

Buffy looked up shocked. "You..."

"I couldn't leave. Not without... Buffy, I need to know..." Giles paused, searching for words.

"Giles..." Buffy stood, reaching out to stroke his cheek tenderly, her hand trembling slightly.

"Buffy..." Giles murmured shakily.

Buffy smiled softly, dropping her hand to take his, leading him, up the stairs and into her room.

"Buffy..." Giles said.

"Hush," Buffy whispered, silencing him with a finger covering his lips.

Giles nodded, a silent promise. Buffy smiled, slowly unbuttoning his shirt, pushing it and his jacket off his shoulders. Giles shivered, from the chill of the night, or Buffy's touch, neither was quite sure.

Buffy moved to open his trousers, pushing them past his knees as she pushed him to sit on the bed. Dropping to remove his shoes, she left him in only his boxers.

"Lie back..." Buffy instructed. Giles moved, letting Buffy direct him under the covers, his eyes never leaving her as she removed her own clothes, down to just her underwear, her slim body illuminated by the moonlight as she climbed into the bed beside him, curling into his warmth.

"Buffy..." Giles spoke hoarsely, for the first time since she'd started removing his clothes.

"Please Giles, just hold me," Buffy said.

"And in the morning?" Giles asked.

Buffy never answered, already asleep, feeling safe and warm for the first time since she'd been torn from heaven. Giles pulled her closer and joined her in sleep.

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