By Maquis Leader
Author’s note: set mid third season Buffy. Inspired by Diamond Rio’s song I Believe. Lyrics are at the end of the story. Never fear, not a song fic!
“Do you believe in ghosts?”
Setting his teacup down, Rupert Giles looked questioningly at his companion. “Just yes?”
“Well, there’s demons and vampires – so ghosts aren’t much of a stretch.”
“I suppose not.”
“Why?” Giles took a sip from his cup. “Sometimes there’s, well, a presence.”
“And you think it’s a ghost?”
“For lack of a better word, yes.” Seeing the alarmed look, he shook his head. “It’s not a harmful spirit.”
“Good, we’ve had too many of those.”
“True. This is more like – “ Fiddling with his cup, Giles hesitated.
“Like?” It was a gentle prompting.
“It feels like Jenny is with me.”
There was an awkward and pained silence. Jenny’s death was something they had never discussed.
“I’m sorry – “
“No.” With a sharp gesture, Giles cut off the apology. “I’ve dealt with my feelings about Jenny’s death.”
“Her murder, you mean.” It was almost a whisper.
“It’s not your fault. No one’s fault, unless you count the gypsies and their sloppy curse.”
“Yes. Well…” Pulling off his glasses, Giles folded them and tucked them into his shirt pocket. “Angelus is a demon and he is the way he is.”
“He’s – “
“Many things. However, he is not Angel.” He held up a hand to stop the protest. “He is not Angel.”
There was another silence before Giles continued. “I feel her sometimes. A whisper of breath across my cheek or a touch on my shoulder.”
“Like she’s come back?”
“It’s almost as if she’s never left. I feel surrounded and comforted by her – this presence.”
“If it is her ghost, shouldn’t we try to free her or send her on her way?”
“I’m not sure.” Laughing softly, Giles brought up something that had been on his mind. “We use the words spirit, ghost, or presence – isn’t it possible that a ghost is a soul?”
“You believe in the soul?” A smile crossed Giles’ face. “Silly question, of course you do.”
“You think that it’s the soul that stays after death? Not just a manifestation of the person?”
“What if it isn’t death?” He leaned forward and looked into the intense eyes. “What if your life goes on? What if the soul continues to live?”
“And you think that Jenny’s life is continuing?”
“That she’s here with me.” A flush covered Giles’ cheeks. “Not all the time, but – sometimes – I – I sound quite mad, don’t I?”
“Not at all.” The laugh was soft. “Considering all the things we’ve seen together, I’d think you were crazy if you didn’t believe in ghosts.”
“I’d like to think that the soul lives on after the body dies. It’s a comforting thought.”
“It makes living on the Hellmouth easier to deal with, at any rate.” Pulling his glasses out of his pocket, he slipped them back on. “I feel, in a way, as if she’s watching over me.”
“A guardian angel?” There was a sardonic twist in the smile.
“I’m not sure I believe in angels.”
“Now I think you’re crazy.”
Chuckling, Giles picked up the teapot and poured more hot tea into both cups. “I suppose I should add angels to my list then – but I’m drawing the line at Santa Claus.”
“Oh, no, he’s fake. But the Easter Bunny? Vicious little monster.”
Buffy stopped just inside the library doors. “Santa’s fake?” Angel and Giles turned to look at her. The hazel eyes were wide. “No Santa?”
“Ah… I believe I have books to shelve.” Giles hid a smile as he got up from the table.
Angel got to his feet and walked over to where Buffy stood. “Aren’t you a little old to believe in Santa?”
“Never.” She stood on tiptoe to brush a kiss over his cool lips. “Just a grownup’s way of weaseling out of presents.”
From his office, Giles watched Angel brush Buffy's hair back from her face before leaning down to give her another kiss. Barely a kiss, a mere whisper of his lips across hers.
Sadly, he turned away. Buffy and Angel would never again be allowed the true closeness of love. Not in this lifetime. Small wonder that Angel wanted to believe as he did that their souls would continue on after they died.
With a sigh, he sat down and opened Tobin’s Spirit Guide. A soft floral scent teased his nose, and he smiled as the warm presence surrounded him once again. “I believe.” He whispered.
Thank you Ralkana for the beautiful icon to go with this story!
I Believe: Diamond Rio.
now and then,
with all my heart I'm sure,
when you die your life goes on.
you're a part of me.
Oh I believe.
are more than angels watching over me.
now and then,
Written by Skip Ewing and Donni Kees.
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