(I Wanna) Be There by Suzee

1. Chapter 1 by Suzee

2. Part II & Part III by Suzee

3. Part IV by Suzee

Chapter 1 by Suzee
Author's Notes:
sorry if that summary sucks, I'm feeling like crap and considering I can't evven write summaries well when I feel alright....I just hope you enjoy the story
You wouldn't know that I was there
'Cause I have been there all the time
And if I had my way I'd hold you in my arms
Leave this madness all behind
'Cause you got so much to give
But you throw it all away
And all you got to show for who you are is pain
Well I got so much to give
If you'd only let me in
I'm gonna take the time to show you I'm a friend
You'll believe in love again


PART I

"She doesn't see me."

"What are you talking about?" William's co-worker asked incredulously. "Buffy?"

"Yes, Buffy." He answered as if it were more obvious than an elephant in an elevator.

"Buffy doesn't see you?" She was really getting confused now. “She was just in here talking to you for nearly forty-five minutes."

"Right," he huffed. "She talks to me about her no good parents, her no good ex fiancé, her no good job and all the woes of being an unmarried mother trying to finish university.

“It's like I'm her bloody…girlfriend."

"Or her shrink," Melanie supplied.

"Exactly!" he exclaimed, "See, I can't even compare myself to one of her girlfriends because they at least get to do things with her outside of listen to her whine about all her poor me stuff”"

"Will”" she tried to warn.

"No! She's never going to get it. I sit here every day during my break, hold her kid for her and let her tell me what's wrong. She's never going to know that I want more, that I want her."

"Well, she won't if you don't ever tell her," a new voice interrupted.

"Why, thank you for the wonderful advice," he started before changing his tone completely. "Now mind telling me who the bloody hell you are?"

"Like it matters, blondie, but for your information, I'm Cordelia Chase," she stated haughtily. "And I just might be the answer to your every prayer."

"Little sure of yourself there, aren't you?"

"Not used to seeing it somewhere other than the mirror?"

"What's that supposed to”hey! I am not full of myself, I'm just confident."

"A girl tell you that?" She had a knowing smile on her face.

"Buffy did," he muttered, refusing to look at Cordelia.

"I figured as much. Now, what time do you get off work?"

"What are you on about?"

"I'm going to tell you how to get your girl. But I can't very well do that while you're working…so," she drew out the word dramatically, "what time do you get off work?"

"'Round five thirty," he begrudgingly told her.

"Around five thirty?" she asked. "What do you mean, 'around five thirty’? Either you're done at five thirty or you aren't. I can't just be waiting around all willy nilly."

"No one exactly asked you to be 'waiting around' at all. Sort of invited yourself…shouldn't be asking questions you don't want answers to, Your Highness. If you don't want to be doing it, don't do it."

"Now don't be like that," Cordy argued. "I just want to know when to be here."

"Like I said, I get off 'round five thirty."



Cordelia, despite her earlier protests, was there”sitting in the small coffee shop area”at five forty-two when he got off work.

"Guess you really meant 'around'," she huffed upon seeing him, rolling her eyes when he sat down and just looked at her expectantly.

"Don't look at me like that. You offered to help, now help."


He wasn't sure how they did it, but they talked for nearly two hours about what he needed to do to get his girl--with him asking numerous times just why he needed to do that. Cordelia just told him that she was a girl and he wasn't so he'd best listen to her.

Now, ten minutes after nine, sitting on his living room sofa, he couldn't help but reflect on the conversation.

He hadn't wanted to tell this Cordelia chit too much about his Buffy, but she seemed to know most of it already, somehow”not specifics, just all of the general stuff.

"No one's ever really been there for her," Cordelia explained. "Or if they have, they don't stick around. That's hard for a girl to deal with."

"But shouldn't she know by now that I'm not going anywhere?" William asked, confusion evident in both his tone and on his face.

"She's put you in this little box; you're her safe guy. You're the one who, as long as she doesn't let you in, as long as things stay just the way they are, won't leave. It's things changing that scares her."

"Change can be good," he felt the need to point out.

"Not to her, not so far. What you need to do is tell her, show her that things aren't going to change." She stopped his objections with an upraised hand. "Just hear me out here. You need to get it across to her that even if there's more to your relationship than there is right now, that what you two have right now won't change."

"That doesn't make any sense."

"Right now she can come to you whenever anything goes wrong, right? Vent all her frustration with everyone to you?"

"Well, yeah, but she knows that."

"And you need to show her that that's not going to change. That she can still tell you all of that. That it's not so much that things are changing as being added to. You're not really altering your relationship with each other, you're just adding something to it is all."

"Now," he began after several thoughtful moments, "that just might make some sense."

"You have to have some faith in me, William."

He didn't point out that he had no reason to, that he didn't know her, that she didn't know them; instead, he just sat and listened.

"I'm sure that every time she comes in here to tell you something, you've thought of a way you could have made things better if only you were in her life more, am I right?" But she didn't wait for an answer, already knowing what it was. "You need to tell her that, tell her all of the times and ways you want to be there for her. Show her this isn't just some thing you decided on a whim”that you've thought about this. That you're not going to change your mind."


Now all he had to do was somehow get everything planned out so that the next time Buffy came to see him, whenever that might be, he'd be ready.

He thought of all the things that had happened to her in the last year, the amount of time he'd known her. Thought of her boyfriend leaving her”or rather her fiancé; her parents basically disowning her. Thought of how she was trying so hard to get herself through school and care for her baby girl as well.

He thought of everything she'd done on her own. Everything she shouldn't have had to do on her own. Everything he would help her with if only she gave him the chance.

Then he thought of everything she hadn't been able to do. She hadn't gone to any of the parties that were practically a requisite for a beautiful, young college girl like herself. She hadn't been on a date, that he knew of, since he had met her”not that he was objecting mind you, but it was the principle of the thing.

She was supposed to be out enjoying life from time to time, not always working on one thing or another. She needed someone to take care of her sometimes.

He could be that someone, he thought.



TBC.....
Part II & Part III by Suzee
Author's Notes:
at the bottom...oh, and the epilogue to Silently Broken was just posted
PART II

As it would turn out, he didn't have to wait long for Buffy to come to see him again; only about three days. Which still felt like an eternity to him”giving him plenty of time to second guess himself”but in the end, he was still going to do it.

And it wasn't only because she was currently sitting in one of the oversized chairs by the magazines, holding her daughter close to her and obviously trying to hold back tears.

His break didn't start for another fourteen minutes, but at the moment he didn't rightly care.

She didn't even wait for him to ask what was wrong after he sat in the chair across from her and pulled it closer to her, "I'm a big screw up, Will. Just a…a….a big freakin' failure."

"Not that I agree with you," he returned, reaching over to take Isabelle from her, bouncing the cooing baby on his knee, "but what makes you say that?"

"Riley is getting married," she whined. "Well not right away, but he's engaged!"

His first response would have been, 'That fucking git's engaged again?' But he wasn't too sure it would be appreciated at the moment.

"That doesn't make you a failure, love. Just makes”whoever the girl is--not too bright." That got the intended smile out of her, though it wasn't as bright as he would have liked.

"What's so wrong with me that he couldn't marry me but he can marry her? Am I just that screwed up? I know having a baby at my age isn't necessarily the top thing guys are looking for, but…is anyone ever going to love me?"

It would be so easy, oh it would be so easy to tell her he already did. But he had to remember what Cordelia said. He figured girls knew about things like this better than he ever could.

"Buffy, what I'm about to say will probably sound like I'm changing the topic, but I'm not, so can you just hear me out?"

In the last thirty seconds the conversation had taken a much more serious turn than she could have anticipated, but with the nervous, really almost scared, look he had on his face, there was nothing she could do but agree.

"Of course I will."

"I'd say we're friends," he started nervously. "I know we don't see each other except for when you come here, but…It's been a year Buffy." He tried changing tactics. "It's been a year…I know what Riley and you had, your side of it at least, I know how it ended. I know how he's been treating you, I know how your parents are treating you. I know how hard school is, how much time you spend taking care of Isabelle. And Buffy…

“Dammit Buffy, if every time you tell me something that someone's done to you I don't think of a way I could make it better if you'd just let me in."

She wasn't sure she understood him, it sure seemed like he was telling her that he couldn't help her, that she was making him feel bad, because she didn't give him enough of herself.

"I can't," she said tearfully.

Before she had a chance to elaborate, he tried to explain how he saw things. "I want to be there for you, love. I want to be there when you feel like shit, I want to be there when Isabelle needs looking after, I want to be there when you need someone to hold you. I want to show you how fun things can be, that you're worth so much more than all of these wankers have made you think.

“I know you don't think you have much to offer anyone, but you do. God, you do.

“I'm not going to stop being your friend; I'm still going to listen to you like I do now, no matter what. But I just…I want to add something to that." He tried using Cordelia's language.

Except she heard it as her not being enough for him.

"I can't," was all she said as she took Isabelle from him and stood up.

PART III

It had been two months. Two fucking months. Sixty days. Eighty six thousand four hundred minutes since he'd seen Buffy last.

He could have gone to the college to find her, probably could have looked her up in the phonebook, but he kept hoping she'd forgive him”or whatever it was that needed to be done”on her own.

But that hope was growing slim now.

"You do realize you can't be Oscar the Grouch forever, don't you?" When Melanie's only answer was a withering look she decided to give up, but not before throwing in her parting shot. "You're trying to prove to her you won't leave right? Then what exactly is it you're doing?"

"She left me," he snapped.

"You let her," she said simply before walking off to work somewhere that wasn't near him.

And just like that he realized she was right. Here he'd been trying to argue with her that he'd never leave her and then, when she'd gotten scared, he'd let her go. He knew there was a fine line between smothering her and letting her know he wasn't going anywhere.

Apparently he'd been so scared of falling onto the first side that he'd completely given up on even trying for the second.

He needed to go find her if he was ever going to convince her. He could do that, he could find her and explain things again, prove to her he meant it.

He could do it.

TBC......and please review :)



So I know I said that this was a four chapter fic, but I wrote it long enough ago that I apparently forgot that it was a four part fic but that parts two and three were short and to be posted together as a chapter.....sorry about that.

Part IV, the final part and final chapter, will be posted a week from Saturday (it would be Saturday, my usual posting day, but I'm going to be out of town).

Thank you to those that reviewed the first chapter and I hope you enjoyed this part as well.....
Part IV by Suzee
Author's Notes:
it's my birthday! (sorry, I just felt like sharing)....I posted an alternate version to Panta_rei's Bridging the Gap a few minutes ago (Don't worry, she not only knows but sort of made me) and the first chapter of Interpretations will be up in just a few more mins :)
PART IV

Apparently she wasn't as easy to find as he'd thought she would be. She wasn't in the phonebook and he didn't really want to call her parents and inquire about her whereabouts; and the college was quite a bit bigger than he'd remembered”it could have been just because he was trying to find her, but he chose to think not.

He guessed it was time for Plan B”which currently consisted of simply asking numerous people if they knew Buffy Summers and knew where she was. Not the best plan, he knew, but it was all he could think of at the moment.

So he spent several hours wandering around campus asking random people if they knew where he could find Buffy. Several of them just looked at him strangely and quickly walked away, while a few others muttered a quick 'no, sorry' before leaving.

But he did finally find one person, after two hours of asking, who didn't just say 'no' or walk away. "Why are you looking for Buffy?" the young man asked.
William couldn't help but notice that he looked fairly irritated with him. But he didn't want to examine that one. "Need to talk to her, mate," he replied shortly.

"Not sure that's a good enough reason for me to tell you where she is; how do I know you're not going to hurt her?"

William had been looking at the man intently while he spoke. "You Finn?"
"Why do you want to know?"

"Sure do like to ask 'why'. Just tell me."

"Yeah, I'm Riley."

"Good, now tell me where Buffy is so I can get going."

When he saw that he wasn't anything he could do, Riley just told him. "She's in the library. Or she was ten minutes ago."

"Thanks." And now that he had his information, William did something he had wanted to do for a year: he hit Riley as hard as he could, knocking the other man to the ground. Shaking his hand out, he simply walked away, leaving the other man nearly unconscious on the ground.

It was time for him to get some things across to Buffy.
He found the library easily--he was a man on a mission after all”but according to the librarian she'd left just a few minutes earlier.

He found which way she'd gone and set out. He wasn't going to let a few obstacles get in his way.

"Buffy!" Well, that hadn't taken nearly as long as he'd prepared himself for. "Buffy, please wait." She didn't stop right away so he walked quickly to where she was, managing to get in front of her. "Buffy, come on, stop. I need to talk to you."

"No, William, I have to go."

"I get that you want to go; that you don't want to take a chance. But," he wasn't going to let her give up--not on them, "Look, I've thought of a way to stop that."

"What?" She asked incredulously. "You've found out a way to stop this from being 'taking a chance'? There's nothing you can do about that, William. There's nothing you can do to show me that this....that....God, William, don't you see that if this screws up...you'll hate me, you'll finally see how pathetic I really am."
"You're not pathetic, love. You're the strongest woman”hell, the strongest person I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. And I know that you think this is some sort of fleeting fancy on my part…that I'm going to give up on you after a while, have my fill of you and move on. But don't you get it, pet? I'm never, never going to have my fill of you. I love you," he said vehemently, making sure she was looking into her eyes.

"Right! I'm sure. How exactly do you know that? How am I supposed to know that?" She started to walk away from him again, but continued talking to him when she realized he was following her. "Don't you see? You're a young guy, William. You're good looking, you're smart. You're all the things women want…don't you see that?

“And me? I'm a single mother. I'm not done with school, I'm not all that smart, Lord knows I could be prettier…don't you see, I'm not good enou”"

He didn't even let her finish that sentence.

He'd wanted to do this right, wanted to make it something grand and romantic and loving and symbolic.

But she...he couldn't stand her saying that and he didn't think she was going to believe him otherwise.

"You want to see how much I mean it?" He pulled a black velvet box out of his jacket pocket.

“Oh, that’s just rich!” Buffy laughed as soon as she saw it. When he just looked hurt by her quick rebuff, Buffy felt the inexplicable urge to explain herself. “Have you just forgotten everything that’s happened to me since you met me? Before you met me?”

“Of course I haven’t!” It hurt him to know that she could even think that.

“Then you should know full well that I’m the last girl to take a proposal as a sign of security. Come on, William. What exactly makes you think that you asking me to marry you will make me sure of everything”will take away the ‘taking a chance’ aspect?”

When he didn’t answer her for several moments and wouldn’t even meet her eyes, she thought she’d finally won and started to prepare some sort of reply.

But he was not giving up…rather, he was just having a hard time giving her his answer.

“It’s me,” he answered quietly, still staring at the ground.

“What?” Buffy asked him, confusion clouding her mind.

“Why…you asked why you should think that this is a sure thing…why I expected you to see it as some sort of security,” William explained.

“And?”

“It’s me, Buffy. Maybe to Riley, marriage wasn’t something to put much stock in…maybe it didn’t mean anything to him. But this is me, luv.”

“That doesn’t mean”“

“Don’t you dare tell me that it doesn’t mean anything,” he warned her. “Or that it doesn’t mean I won’t leave you. You should know me by now, Buffy. Have I ever given you any reason to believe I’d leave you? To believe that asking someone to marry me is something I’d take lightly? That asking you to marry me is something I’d take lightly?”

It was on the tip of her tongue to agree with him, to tell him that no, he hadn’t ever given her any reason to believe that. But she couldn’t say it”a part of her was still too scared too.

“Yeah, well I thought I knew Riley too. Wouldn’t exactly have said I’d marry him if I thought he’d just throw it away like he did.” She was trying for snark and sarcasm, but he could hear the hurt”the pain.

“Some day, Buffy,” he began, “you’re going to have to realize that not every man is like Riley. You’re going to end up alone if you don’t. And if you have to…if you’re ever going to give someone a chance again, why can’t it be me? Haven’t I at least given you reason to believe I won’t leave you?”

“I’m just scared, William,” she finally admitted in a small voice full of tears.

“Then just tell me what I can do to change that,” he practically begged.

“I’m not sure you can.”

“Let me try, Buffy. Please.” Now he was begging and he didn’t care.

“What do you have in mind?” Buffy asked a full minute later.

“I know that I can’t just make you not be scared”that’s something that you’re going to have to come to on your own. But I also know that I can do everything in my power to show you that you don’t need to be scared.” William pulled the ring box back into view and opened it. “You don’t have to give me any sort of answer, not just yet at least. But I want you to know…” he took the ring out of the box and held it carefully between his fingers, putting the box back in his pocket with his other hand. “I want you to know that I’m serious about this.”

When he tried to put the ring on her finger, Buffy snatched her hand back and demanded to know what he was doing.

“This ring, luv, is something to represent how much I love you, right? I want you to have the ring so that every time you look at it you can remember how very much I love you. You don’t have to say you’ll be my wife to wear it…can you just accept it as a token of my love? Will you wear it, Buffy?”

“It hardly seems fair to wear an engagement ring when we’re not engaged.”

“The day that you can say for sure that you won’t marry me…then you don’t have to wear it anymore.”

“You seem to have a lot of faith in yourself.”

”Not in me; in you. I have a lot of faith in you, Buffy.”

“So this is my ring to wear unless I decide that I absolutely will not marry you?”

“And you can even then…just don’t have to then.”

”And if I decide that I want to?”

”Marry me?”

“Yeah.”

”Then you just let me know.” Buffy thought he sounded a little too hopeful, but didn’t know what to say to him about it.

“Is there any more to this plan of yours?” she asked instead.

“Was hoping, actually, that you’d have dinner with me on Friday.”

“I’m not going to be able to get anyone to watch Isabelle and you know that,” Buffy told him, somewhat and to her surprise, regretfully.

“I’ll make the three of us dinner. You can come over to my place round six and we’ll have dinner…maybe watch some telly too.”

“You’re not giving up on me, are you?”

“Never.” He was going to show her how to love again.



THE END


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