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Helping the Aged

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“You take that back!” For a moment, Xander was convinced that the death grip Willow had on Buffy was going to fail. He hadn’t expected her to launch herself at him—it was only a question after all.

“I was just asking Giles to confirm that it was the correct usage of the word!”

“I don’t see why you had to drag me and Angel into it! It made everything sound gross and icky and disgusting, which was no doubt your intention!” Having settled down slightly, Buffy was finally being released by Willow. Xander didn’t give up his position by the door.

“Well, if it sounds gross and icky—“He meant to say that a little more quietly but Buffy obviously had Slayer hearing as well.

“You can talk!! At least Angel and I are over—you go home and sleep with the evil undead every night!”

“It’s not all sleep you know Slayer—a vampire has needs after all!” And that would be Spike chiming in as he arrived through the back entrance to the Magic Box. He could always be relied upon to turn up just as things were getting tense and make them worse. Always. “What’s all this about then?!”

Despite going the colour of a tomato with a sunburn, Willow actually piped up with the answer.

“Xander asked Giles if Buffy’s relationship with Angel came under the heading of gerontophilia! And obviously Buffy objected.”

“What exactly you objecting to Slayer?” Spike made himself comfortable on the stairs towards the back, rolling a cigarette as he faced Buffy. The way he spread his legs acted like a spoken invitation to Xander and he found himself leaving the safety of the door to sit two steps below Spike, resting his head on the warmth of his denim clad inner thigh.

“I just said—it sounds gross and disgusting.” Buffy looked discomforted and Xander realised that she didn’t know what the word meant—she was objecting on principle!

“Well, actually, regardless of whether you feel it sounds gross and disgusting Buffy, I think you’ll find that Xander was quite right in his definition. Unfortunately, you children do seem to insist on finding partners from people who are not stereotypically acceptable and in this case, most definitely from a different generation.”

“Huh?” Xander was grateful to Buffy showing her ignorance as he only followed half of what Giles said. So much for his word of the day toilet paper helping with his vocabulary—he’d liked the sound of this one but hadn’t thought it through particularly hard.

“You—Xander and yourself—have chosen to have liaisons with people who are from a different generation to yourselves. Therefore, yes, you have both practiced or are practising gerontophilia.” He could practically count in his head 1, 2, 3 and—


“But Buffy, it just means you like older men when you think about it really!” Good old Willow, trying her best to make Buffy feel better.

“There’s older and then there’s just this side of necrophilia—Peaches is damn near fully dead if you ask me! No idea how he managed to get it up the once, let alone ever again!” Spike’s sotto voce comment in Xander’s ear was enough to send him to fits of laughter which he tried to hide from Buffy with little success.

“Well, you can talk Xander!”

“Hey, I never said I had a problem with it. Besides, I can always call it doing my bit for the aged!”