When they had first met, her eyes had been the color of storm clouds, just before it rained. They had been the first thing he'd noticed about her. The blue had been bright and beguiling, quickly turning a stormy gray-green when she'd realized he was there to turn her fresh start upside down. He had thought them pretty at the time – the same way one would think a flower was pretty – and had promptly put them from his mind. He hadn't been sent across an ocean to admire her eyes. Quite frankly, he hadn't been sent across the ocean to admire anything about her. His duties had been to watch, teach, support and record. Nowhere, in all his trainings, had it even been suggested that he would also befriend, admire and love.
She had befuddled him from the start.
The second thing he had noticed about her had been her size. She was so delicate-looking; however, her tiny frame belied her strength. He realized how strong and agile she was only after they had started training together, and then he had marveled. He had thought her a kitten when they had first met, but had quickly come to realize she was a lioness – from the tips of her toes to her blonde mane of hair. She had quickly become his pride.
The third thing he had noticed about her was her mouth. Her smile, when it was genuine, lit up his universe. Her pout, which she used with regular and stunning effect, could turn him into her slave. And that mouth, when she spoke his name…She had a myriad way she said it – "Giles" - and each variation meant a different thing. When she said his name sharply and her forehead creased into a little divot just above the bridge of her nose, it meant she was frustrated with him. When she rolled her eyes and drew his name out, it meant she was exasperated with him. Sometimes, his name falling from her lips was the most beautiful sound in the whole world. Sometimes, it was the loneliest.
Before he had left her, that first time, every time she looked at him, he had seen only the shadows in her eyes. They had been gray as death; grey as a shroud; leeched of color the way his life had been when she had died. Every time he looked at her, he saw her body as it had been, bent and broken after her fall from the tower. And every time she had spoken his name it had been a plea – "Look after me, take care of me, live for me, Giles…"
When he had returned to her to help her fight the First, her eyes had been as tempestuous as a thunderstorm, shooting lightning bolts at him. Her body had been tight and brittle; as if she couldn't be bothered to look after it. She was so skinny, he had feared even the gentlest of touches would shatter her, and his name had been an accusation – "You left me, you hurt me, I don't need you, Giles…"
After Sunnydale was gone and she was no longer so alone, her eyes had slowly changed again. The flecks of color had returned to them, bringing them back to life. And if they did not hold the innocence of before, at least they reflected his image back at him when he looked at her. Her body had regained its healthy suppleness, her hair its glossy shine. The broken thing that had been living in her was being routed out by the woman she had become: the survivor, the warrior, no longer the only. But the best had been when his name had changed again, as if she had just made a new discovery or was welcoming back an old friend – "You stayed, you're here, I missed you, Giles…"
It has taken them months to reach the stage they are at now. Her eyes are blue and turbulent as the ocean he has traversed so many times already just to stand by her side, and he is drowning in them. Her lithe young body is straining against his, her fingers clawing him as their limbs tangle, causing his blood to roar in his veins. She is smiling against his neck, branding him with her lips, and his name…he has never heard anything so glorious.
"Giles ,"she is sighing.
"Giles,"she is moaning.
"Giles," she gasps.
Giles, who has made it his life's work to understand her, answers her in kind:
"Buffy…" I won't ever leave you again.
"Buffy…" You're all I've ever wanted.
"Buffy…" I love you, too.