Buffy found Giles where she’d expected to find him, in the cemetery at Miss Calendar’s grave. He was sitting on a bench set along the path, head down. Buffy sat next to him on the bench and pulled her feet up. She wrapped her arms around her knees. It was a sunny afternoon, with a hint of chill in the wind from off-shore. He’d been blue for days but silent about what the matter was, though Buffy had known all along.
Buffy closed her eyes and let the sun shine on her face. Cemeteries were peaceful in day time. Pretty places. In some ways.
Giles shifted closer to her, close enough that his arm and thigh brushed hers. Buffy opened her eyes.
“Hey,” she said.
“You know, you can talk to me if you want to. About Jenny.”
Giles sighed, and shifted himself a little closer. “I was afraid you’d take it amiss.”
“Nah, I get it. We can be all Poe together, you and me.”
“Poe? Ah. Yes. I am feeling a bit Poe today.”
She leaned her head against his shoulder and they sat like that for a while. Sunshine, green grass. The dogwoods on the other side of the path were starting to bloom already.
Giles was holding something in his right hand, she noticed. A gold chain trailed away across his pant leg. Buffy turned his hand over and he opened his fingers for her. The gold chain was a woman’s necklace. Attached to it was a lump of translucent pink stone. Buffy took it and turned it over in her fingers. It was polished glassy-smooth.
“She used to wear it. Willow found it, in her desk after— afterwards. I carry it in my pocket sometimes. Whenever I’m feeling—”
Whenever he was feeling like he missed her, he meant. Missed her and couldn’t talk about her with anybody.
“You taught me what this one means.” Giles looked up at her and she saw panic in his face. He’d taught her about crystals as a pretext during the week of her birthday. Buffy continued on. “Rose quartz is the stone of love. Also forgiveness. And self-worth.”
It was a fine chain, a woman’s necklace not a man’s. But she’d be the only one who saw it. She undid the catch and stretched up to put it around his neck. She tucked the stone into his collar, behind his tie, and let it slip under his shirt. Then she kissed his forehead, then his lips, stealing a kiss right there in the cemetery in the sunshine.
“There. It’ll work better now.”
Giles smiled at her, faintly, and touched his forehead to hers. Just for an instant, and then he sat back on the bench again, but it said as much to Buffy as a long speech would have. More.