She smiled and snuggled back against the warmth behind her. "Mmmmm, I don't wanna get up." She mumbled, her feet resting on top of his to warm up, they had been sticking out from under the covers for most of the night. She felt the arms around her tighten.
He smiled and kissed behind her ear. "As tempting as that sounds, everyone will be here soon." He said quietly, nuzzling her neck. "Besides, I remember a certain Slayer becoming inordinately excited about the prospect of opening presents."
She grumbled. "I wasn't in ordinately," She argued. "I was ordinately, no in for this Slayer." She said.
His eyes opened and he stared at the back of her head, trying to detangle that sentence. Four years spent with her and her friends and he still couldn't decipher some of what they said. He smiled and kissed the back of her neck, she challenged him, and it was one of the things he loved most about her.
It took some cajoling, but thirty minutes later they were both out of bed, she was showered and ready for the day. But first she was going to leave until the others arrived. Xander and Willow still didn't know, and most importantly, neither did her mother. And they planned to keep it that way, at least for a while longer. It had only been a few months, and they didn't want to say anything while it was still so new.
She walked over to her boyfriend and pulled his head down for a kiss. It was meant to be chaste, but one second became two, then ten became twenty, by the time they pulled apart they were out of breath. He rested his forehead against hers, cupping her cheek.
"I should go." She said. "An early Buffy would be more suspicious than…" She thought for a moment, coming up blank. "Something really suspicious, this would be more than that."
He chuckled lightly and kissed her forehead. "You're right, it would be somewhat unprecedented."
She pulled back from the embrace to put her shoes on. "Besides, Willow is already suspicious. Someone dropped a condom on the floor the other night when he was trying to fish it out of the nightstand." She said accusingly.
He blushed in response. "A-as I recall, I wanted to wait until we got back to my apartment to-to shag." He stammered, unable to really find a suitable word to describe what they had done. It hadn't been their usual gentle lovemaking, but fuck sounded far too crass. "You were the one that wanted to risk being exposed in the heat of the moment."
She smiled and stood back up. "Giles, I'm kidding." She loved getting him riled up. "Not about Willow being suspicious, because she definitely is, but I'm not upset about it, she has no idea that it's you I'm playing 52 condom pickup with in our dorm."
He raised an eyebrow, not fully understanding the reference. "Er… right." He said eventually, moving to take his glasses off for a solid cleaning, remembering too late that he had yet to put them on that morning. "I'll see you in a bit then." He said, walking her to the door, looking around to make sure they were alone before leaning down to give her a soft kiss goodbye.
She walked around town for a little while, enjoying all the Christmas decorations on all the houses and shops. She'd spent more than one Christmas in Sunnydale over the years, but this was the first time she could remember actually getting into the Christmas spirit. The last two were filled with Angel angst and she hadn't really gotten into the mood to be jolly.
Before she knew it she actually was running late for the festivities. She broke off at a run toward Giles' apartment. At least nobody was actually expecting her to be there on time. Sure enough, by the time she arrived her mom's jeep was out front, as was Xander's car.
She didn't bother to knock, walking right inside. She smiled and greeted all of her friends. "Sorry I'm late." She said, giving her mom a hug.
"Hey, Buff, isn't it illegal to show up to Christmas late? You're delaying all the gift giving and the annual exchange of paper cuts." Xander commented, his smile a little wider than usual.
"Yes, if I had known we could arrive late, I would have kept Xander in bed longer." Anya said, before making her way nonchalantly toward the bowl of eggnog Giles had set out.
"Sorry, late night." She said as her explanation, expanding on it when she saw their wide-eyed looks. "Uhhh, slaying. Obviously. Slaying. With the stick, and the poking… not poking. Staking." Her eyes darted toward Giles who was trying his hardest not to laugh. "I have to keep the Hellmouth hassle free for the holidays." She said finally.
Giles finally came to her rescue when it remained quiet; Willow was looking at Buffy with suspicious eyes. "Y-yes, well, it's greatly appreciated. Perhaps, however, it might be a good time to, uh, start the festivities." He said, herding everyone toward the Christmas tree.
Willow, though having recently been through a painful breakup with Oz, seemed positively chipper, bordering on delirious. "Willow, I thought we agreed no caffeine this Christmas." Xander chided teasingly. "You remember what happened to my Charlie Brown Christmas mug at the great caffeine Christmas of '95'." He reminded with a joking glare. "No more coffee for you, missy. Drink the nog, it has the much less harmful rum in it." He said, taking a seat on the couch, Anya sitting in front of him with her back against his legs.
Willow sat by the tree, designating herself to pass out all the gifts. Joyce sat at the other end of the couch from Xander and Giles sat in his usual chair. Buffy looked around, debating on where she should sit, the couch would be cramped, but she figured it might look weird to sit on her Watcher's lap. She shrugged and opted for the more subtle seat and perched herself on the arm of Giles' chair.
They exchanged a glance before looking back at the others. They knew it would be a challenge to keep their hands to themselves, more so for Buffy. Giles wasn't big with the public displays of coupleness. His pinky did, however, brush against the outside of her thigh, almost as if by accident, but Buffy knew better.
She thanked Willow as she was passed her first gift. It had started out nice and orderly, one person opening at a time, but it eventually led to chaos, ending in giant piles of wrapping paper and minimal paper cuts for all except Anya, who had been a bit over exuberant in opening her gifts.
Buffy opened her last gift; it was from Giles. He'd given her a card with a gift certificate for the Espresso Pump. The card said not to worry; her real gift would be given to her later. She smiled and looked over at him, mouthing a silent 'thank you'. Even if it was only a cover gift, it would definitely be useful. Her coffee habit wasn't cheap after all.
Giles smiled back, his hand brushing against hers.
"So Buffy, what about Riley? Did he get you anything?" Willow asked curiously, moving to sit next to her best friend so the others wouldn't listen in to the conversation, having missed the look shared between Watcher and Slayer.
"Hmmm?" Buffy asked, looking back at her friend. "Riley? Uh, no. Why?" She asked. She and Riley had hit it off, and for about two minutes it seemed like they could have gotten together, but then the commando thing came out, and she and Giles had started getting their flirt on, it never took off. Then it hit her, that's who Willow suspected her new boyfriend to be.
"Oh, I just thought… you two seem to be spending a lot of time together." Willow said.
"What? Oh, yeah, uh, no. I think he's back in Iowa with his family. No biggie." She said, shrugging. "We need cookies, I'll go get the cookies." She said, shuffling to the kitchen quickly.
She yawned, it was somewhat late, and she'd had more eggnog than she probably should have. Everyone had left a few minutes earlier. She walked over to where Giles was sitting in his chair and sat down, curling up in his lap. "Merry Christmas." She said, giving him a small smile.
He kissed her softly. "Merry Christmas, Buffy." He said, resting his forehead against hers.
"Now where's my present?" She asked, grinning.
He rolled his eyes and pulled an envelope out of his pocket. She smiled and opened it, her eyes widening.
"I know June is a ways off, but that's really the best time with the Hellmouth. And by then I figure our friends would know about us, so a trip for two to Europe wouldn't seem out of sorts." He said nervously. "And-"
He was cut off by Buffy's lips covering his in a searing kiss. He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her body closer to his.
"I think this deserves some kind of thank you." She mumbled against his lips. "We should go upstairs."
He pulled back enough to nod and pushed them up and out of the chair. He started to walk, Buffy in his arms. Her arms were around his neck as she nibbled on his ear. He groaned and started walking toward the staircase.
"Sorry, I forgot my jack—ahhh." Willow shrieked, pausing in the doorway, her eyes wide. Giles dropped Buffy and looked up at Willow.
Buffy landed on her ass with a grunt. "Thanks, Giles." She said, getting up and rubbing her bruised backside. She looked up to find Giles slack jawed and staring across the room. She'd been so distracted she hadn't noticed Willow, until now.
"Will… what are you doing here?" She asked, biting her lip, standing next to Giles.
"I forgot my jacket… so I'm just going to grab it and try to forget what I just saw." She said, grabbing her jacket from the back of the couch.
"Willow…" She said, walking up to her friend.
"It's okay, Buffy." She said, giving her friend a small smile. "I get it… I mean, I don't get it, but I do. You'll tell us when you're ready."
She bit her lip and nodded. "Yeah, I mean. It's still new. I was going to tell you." She said. She glanced back at Giles who was now in the kitchen cleaning up, letting them have a moment to talk.
"Like I said, no judging here. Giles is a nice guy. But between you and me, I'm not so good with the secret keeping thing. You should probably think about telling Xander. Does your mom know?" Willow asked.
"No, she's gonna freak when I tell her." She said. "But I'll tell them, soon." She said. "I promise."
Willow nodded and hugged her best friend. "I'm happy for you Buffy, having a slight case of the wiggins, but happy about it."
Buffy chuckled nervously, "I just hope everyone takes it as well."
Willow smiled and pulled back. "I'll get going before Xander comes looking for me, he and Anya were kind of anxious to get back to the basement." She said, wrinkling her nose.
"Yeah, you better get back out there before you walk in on something else." She said.
"Yikes, I didn't think about that. I'll see you at the dorm in the morning?" She asked.
Buffy nodded in confirmation before Willow left, calling goodbye to Giles before shutting the door behind her.
Buffy walked into the kitchen and wrapped her arms around him from behind. "We can finish the dishes in the morning." She said, leaning up to kiss his neck. "Right now I have something a little more fun on the agenda."
He smiled and shut off the water, wiping his hands on a dishtowel before turning in her arms. "Willow?"
"She'll keep our secret for now, but I think it's time we tell the others, Willow isn't great with the 'mum’s the word' concept." She pointed out. "But we still have tonight."
He leaned down, kissing her hard. "Alright. The dishes can wait." He agreed. "Go on up to bed, I'll join you in a moment."
She kissed his neck. "Don't keep me waiting, or I might be finished by the time you get up there."
"I won't." He assured her. He waited until she was upstairs before walking to the door, making sure to lock the deadbolt, he didn't want anyone walking in on them again. He looked up toward the sleeping loft and smiled as he thought of the woman in his bed.
"Giles?" He heard her call down from the loft.
"Yes, I'm coming." He said, heading back across the room.
"Hey, no starting without me." She teased.
He chuckled and made his way up the stairs, shucking his shirt on the way. He still didn't know how he'd gotten so lucky to have Buffy in his life. He just hoped this Christmas would be the first of many they'd spend together.