Disclaimer: No permission has been granted to use the characters. They are owned by their creator, Joss Whedon, Twentieth Century Fox, UPN, WB, and Mutant Enemy. This story is non-profit and is intended solely as entertainment. No copyright infringement is intended.
Giles had been depressed and moody all day. Buffy was angry that the stupid Council had planned a retreat and hadn’t bothered to invite him. He was more important than all the rest of the Watchers combined. He was the one with a Slayer, after all. She had seen how his eyes had lit up at the talk of camping under the stars, of kayaking and hiking and horseback riding and it infuriated her that he had to miss something so simple and basic for no good reason. She thought about it and by the end of the school day, she had an idea.
“Giles? I’m going to be late for training tonight. I’m sorry. I’ll make up the time next week, OK?”
He frowned. “Buffy, your training is very important. I hate to see you miss it.”
“This is important, Giles. I won’t be very late anyhow. Just wait for me, OK?”
He sighed. “I suppose so. It’s not like I have other pressing engagements.”
She tore out of the library before he could offer further commentary.
She let herself into his apartment with the key he had given her and going to the small closet underneath the loft steps, pulled out a stepladder. Carrying it awkwardly upstairs she entered his bedroom and sat a small sack down on his bed.
Forty minutes later his ceiling was covered in a veritable galaxy of stars, comets, suns, moons, and ringed planets that glowed in the dark. She had purchased three packs and had used all of them to give him his place to sleep under the stars. Their glow, she hoped, would cheer him. Replacing the stepladder, she locked his home and ran back to the library.
He was still cranky but she said nothing as he snapped at her several times to raise her shoulder or to pay more attention. She worked extra hard because she wanted to please him. Finally, he tossed a towel at her and pronounced them finished. “Don’t forget to patrol this evening.”
“I won’t,” she promised.
He headed home, depressed and tired. He was never going to be accepted by the Council, he knew. He had too thoroughly burned his bridges as a young man and the Council never forgot. He read for an hour before fixing himself a sandwich and a pot of tea. Finally, he took his shower and headed off to his bedroom.
He got into bed and felt so defeated. Nothing he did could make Buffy care more about her duty and she blew off training without a thought. He sighed. He would make her work harder tomorrow. He reached over and turned out his light. Suddenly, the ceiling of his room lit up before his eyes. Stars twinkled, galaxies shimmered, planets shone and moons glowed. It was beautiful. He knew at once who had done this for him and why and felt tears in his eyes at her care of him. He lay in bed and watched the night sky for over an hour before falling into a deeply contented sleep.
When Buffy came into the library the next morning he was there already. He still looked stern and she sighed. He wasn’t over his thing with the Council. She had hoped the star-scape she made for him would cheer him up, but apparently it hadn’t been enough. She just smiled when he asked if she had finished her homework and how patrol had been. Business as usual.
Willow and Xander stuck their heads in the door just before the first bell to say good morning. Buffy was going to leave with them when Giles called her back.
“Run along you two, I need to speak to Buffy about something. She’ll be along in a few minutes.”
They nodded, waved at Buffy and left. She turned to him.
“Is there a problem, Giles?”
“Only the problem of a cranky old man who let himself be distracted for a bit from his real purpose.” He walked over to her and enveloped her in a huge hug, lifting her off her feet and twirling her around the room before setting her down again. “Thank you for my stars, Buffy.”
She grinned and looked at him shyly. “I just want you to be happy, Giles, and those stupid Council guys don’t have a clue as to how much you mean to me.”
Giles grinned down at her happily, a sight so foreign that she felt her heart do a little flutter at how handsome he looked. She pushed the thought aside. This wasn’t about those sorts of feelings.
“I was feeling very alone and angry and then you do this marvelous thing for me. I can’t thank you enough, Buffy. It was very sweet of you to care.”
“You’re the second most important person in my life, Giles. Only my mom gets a higher rating. I want you to be happy. I love you.”
“I love you too, Buffy.” The bell rang and she had to go. He patted her on the shoulder. “Come by for training after school, dear. I want to show you a new trick for pummeling your opponent.”
She grinned, knowing it was a reward. “I will. Gotta go now! Bye.” She raced out of the Library and down the hall.
Giles smiled the rest of the day and if the retreat in the Cotswolds occasionally arose in his mind, it was overlaid by the thought of his dear Slayer and her generous deed. She was a very sweet girl and made him terribly proud. He realized that even if his life wasn’t taking the path he had thought he wanted, what he had was enough. She was in his life and her presence warmed him. She may have given him the stars but she truly was his sunshine.
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