His fingers were wrapped tightly around the teacup, knuckles over lapping in the middle. She watched him, her own cup abandoned in front of her.
There was part of him that was disappointed. He’d always hoped, although never gone so far as to admit to hoping, that one day she would prove that she was just as human as the rest of the world. She would stop taking everything that was thrown at her, and give up and walk away, preferably to him, and if she did that, she wouldn’t be so… heroic. She wouldn’t be so high away on a pedestals of morals that he wondered how she saw him at all.
But then, she wouldn’t really be Buffy.
And that led him to contemplations of the other part. The part that was not disappointed. She’d called. Finally. After years of carrying that bit of muggle plastic around, she’d called.
She needed his help. She needed him to save the day, and she was looking at him like… like if he did she’d share a bit of pedestal space with him. He wasn’t like her. He was selfish, and more than anything, he wanted to sweep in, rescue her and never have her stop looking at her like that.
“I know it’s a lot to ask.” She said quietly, breaking into his introspection. Her fingers twitched, as if stifling the urge to reach for him
It was a lot to ask. Madness. Had it been anyone else, he would have been gone by now, but it wasn’t. He loved her, even if she did her best not to let him, and love made idiots out of all men. And he was a man. And an idiot.
Her chair scraped against the floor as she stood, somehow looking smaller than when she had been sitting, body turning in on itself. “I’m sorry. This was a stupid idea. I shouldn’t have-“
He stopped her. “I’ll do it.”
He was an idiot. But she froze, her expression turning from surprise to something… He looked down at his cup. It was the expression he’d wanted to see, but he couldn’t bear to see it. There was such desperation mixed in with her gratitude.
He looked up again, and she was already more composed, but there was brightness to her again, that hadn’t been there in the time since he’d arrived. Some of the dimness had faded out of her eyes, and she was Buffy again. Ready to save the world, or at least lead him to saving part of it.