Giles and Anya were sitting in her car in front of 1630 Revello Drive. The grimace on his face was a mixture apprehension and physical pain, though Anya was nervous that there was a tinge of regret in it. Regret that he was leaving her so soon, she hoped, not regret for those things they’d said to each other in the hospital, those things that changed everything between them.
“I’ll call you in a few days, Darling. Let me concentrate on getting Willow settled and allow the coven to heal my injuries. And then, that is, if your powers allow you to, you might want to teleport to Devon? That is, if you’re interested,” and the shy fear she saw on his face almost made her laugh. So he didn’t regret what he said, but he was nervous that she regretted it. Well that did explain why it had taken them so long to get together.
“That sounds fantastic, Rupert,” she said, his given name still feeling awkward on her lips. “And you can stop being so bashful around me. I told you that I love you. Of course I want to see you.”
“I’m glad of it.” And he gently leaned in toward her, and she met his lips most of the way to give him a long but gentle kiss. But with a little extra pressure of hers toward him, he moaned a pain-moan, not a pleasure-moan.
She drew away from him. “I’m sorry. I keep hurting you.”
“It’s all right, Darling. It’s worth it.”
“Are you sure you want to fly? I could probably figure out how to teleport you there one at a time...”
“I think Willow needs the time in the air to process. But thank you.” He reached for the door handle, but then paused. “And Anya?”
“Hmmm?” she said, wrinkling her forehead to mask the tears she had been about to let go once he stepped out of the car.
One tear slid out of her eye, and he brushes it away with his hand. “I love you, and I’ll miss you.”
“Yeah?” she sniffled.
“Very much so.”
“Everything’s terrible, but you make me happy.”
“Well said, Darling. I think...and this isn’t my attempting to keep you a secret for any shame oriented reason, but I think we should keep this to ourselves, at least for a little while.”
“Oh, I agree. They’re all juveniles, and they’d make fun of it.”
“Ironically Dawn is the only one I’d be comfortable knowing about us.”
“Yes, the annoying teenager is surprisingly respectful of the romantic lives of the people around her.”
“Don’t tell Dawn, though.”
“No, Rupert. I’m prepared to be your dirty little secret as long as you promise that it will be wonderfully dirty.”
Giles swallowed a lump in his throat as he felt his blood flow orient itself in a direction that was not helpful in their immediate situation. He closed his eyes for a second and attempted to slow his breathing.
“Don’t tease, Darling. I can’t do anything about it right now. I’ll see you in a few days once I’m all healed up.”
He kissed his fingertips and then placed those fingertips on her cheek, cradling it in his hand, and then got out of her car.