And now I give you the results of my reading and wandering through all of the lovely recs made by some truly wonderful people interested in helping me out!
Observare (R) by Jeanne DeVore (jennetj) (Buffy + Giles friendship, with Giles/OC pairing)
A really really lovely friendship fic that focuses on their relationship in an AU moment of Season 2 where Giles gets a letter that his father is dying and that he needs to return to England... and Buffy goes with him. This fic focuses on the way Buffy and Giles could offer support to each other - they're both dealing with deaths (Giles the literal death of Jenny, Buffy in some sense mourning Angel), and really find their strength in themselves because they support each other.
(these others are actual B/G pairing fic, and are in no particular order, just FYI)
One Long Summer (NC17) by Tevye
One of the most successful ways that B/G can work, I think, is to shift the axis on which they rest. Tevye does this fantastically well. Set in a kind of AU where Buffy goes to her father's for the summer between Season 4 & 5, but Maggie Walsh and the Initiative were not destroyed by Adam. Instead Buffy was simply on the team. She and Giles have drifted apart and need to find a way to be Watcher and Slayer agian.
Property (G) by shalott
A short, and not terribly sweet, season 6 Buffy who sees, and then who understands.
To Rise Above (NC17) by Te
Dark. The summary reads Buffy needs. She doesn't want to. It's lovely as a fine red wine, but just as dark.
Paint It Black (G) by glossing
This lovely moment between them spins and shines, like a dust mote caught in an afternoon sunbeam.
Two from glimmergirl
This starts with the lines
This is what nobody knows, what they can't read underneath the daytime motions of walking through hallways and parking lots and graveyards together and talking amidst library books and styromfoam coffee cups. The small, secret text of their lives remains hidden, illegible beneath the broader, bolder strokes that the others choose to see.
Do I need to say more? Ok, fine, i will! Glim is the mistress of plumbing the emotional depths of the B/G relationship - the good ones. After reading some of the angst, some of the truly painful moments that this charged relationship can have, it's good to find a writer who is as joyful about them as she is talented.
Not Gentle (NC17)
You probably have never wondered if it was possible to do a character study AND do a PWP at the same time. And yet... Glim accomplishes it. Why could the watcher & slayer work together? Perhaps this is not the question that's answered, but HOW? This is more than Glim's musing...it's lovely.
Looking for more?
x check out this list by a2zmom although many of these are dark, they're worth it
x check out the original question post and comments with links
* this fandom squee brought to you because entrenous88 is right - we should be celebrating our fandoms!
** disclaimer: if you don't like reading b/g, it is doubtful that reading it will change your mind. but if you're open to the possibility, but feel that you haven't encountered fic that works for you... maybe that's what this list might be for. i am not on a mission to convert the unconverted, promise, just trying to hold a door open for those who might want to walk through it.