Giles slammed the door of his flat behind him, dumping his jacket and briefcase beside the door and heading straight for the kitchen to pour himself a drink and find the aspirin. He stood at the counter, staring, for a long moment before shaking himself out of his thoughtful daze.
He hadn't ever thought about why he'd taken care of Wesley. They'd gone to LA with the intention of stopping an apocalypse . . . just another day, though one that required a long flight. The world had been his first concern, and then his Slayers and Watchers, only he'd always counted Wesley among them. He still thought of him as one of his Watchers, even then when Wesley had been sacked for so long.
During the clean up, and god had there been a lot of that. After all, when a dragon carcass is lying on an LA street, it isn't as if people don't notice. The Council had paid so many filming fines he'd thought it might bankrupt them. It hadn't of course, but the clean up had been hell. Still, his first concern had been his people. When they finally found Wesley, and he couldn't say he hadn't been worried about the man then either, that had taken over all else.
Giles took his scotch and aspirin into the living room to collapse on his couch and turning on some music just to have sound in the place. He went over, in his mind, ever moment of that time. They'd all been stunned at Wesley's condition. Alive, but . . . child-like. He hadn't been able to do much for himself, which meant they'd had to. No one had complained. Willow, Spike, Buffy, even Xander, had had to pitch in. Faith . . . god, Faith had tried, but . . . she didn't seem to be able to be near Wesley, as if it hurt her to see him that way. Giles didn't know if the two of them had ever come to terms with the issues between them, he thought, perhaps, that was the reason she'd run back to Cleveland.
Regardless, after the incident with the razor, which he had so foolishly caused . . . Wesley wouldn't let anyone else near him. The much talked about 'jelly incident' was likely the least embarrassing of the things he'd done. Which was probably why everyone chose that. It was something Wes could possibly laugh at.
And, because no one else was allowed near him, Giles had taken over. There wasn't a choice. Forcing anyone else on him might have hurt what stability Wesley had gained, might have broken whatever was left to break.
Nodding, Giles could honestly say his motives, going into those two weeks had been pure. He'd done what needed to be done. Nothing less, nothing more. It was during the two weeks that things became confused. Wesley hadn't been himself, but in some ways he had. They'd talked, some of the discussions had even been fairly rational, at least enough that he could see what Wesley would have been saying.
He'd laughed then, and might have now, that Wesley's insight showed through even when he was delirious with that bloody fever. He couldn't, however, pinpoint the exact moment when the attraction had begun. Physically, he'd thought Wes attractive since they'd met so many years ago. That wasn't the issue. Somewhere along the line he'd let himself become . . . attached to Wesley, to his companionship, to their similarities, to the fact that someone else understood or at least seemed to in those more lucid moments.
Perhaps he'd been fooling himself, been seeing things that weren't there, or were only present in his delirium . . .
Regardless, Giles found himself quite attracted to Wesley, which was a foolish thing to have allowed.
You got in under his skin, I think, just as same as 'e's got under yours.
For some reason, he couldn't get Spike's words out of his head.