Spike lit yet another cigarette. The ground around his feet was littered with cigarette butts. Since Buffy had come back this was where he spent most of his evenings. Watching over Buffy. Being sure he was available when she wanted to talk. Making sure he was available if and when she decided she wanted to do more than talk. He figured that was just a matter of time now.
He watched through the bedroom window, saw Giles and Buffy talking. Spike scowled. Granted his and Buffy’s first night out on the town hadn’t gone great. Still, he didn’t know why she was spending so much time with Giles. Not when he was out here, perfectly willing to spend time with her. After all, he was the only one who really knew what she was going through, he was the only one she had confided in. It irked Spike no end that she was up there with Giles instead of down here with him.
He took a long drag and blew out several smoke rings. He watched as they slowly dissipated in the night air. Then his eyes narrowed. Giles had his hand on Buffy’s shoulder. And he looked a little too comfortable touching her for Spike’s piece of mind. Spike watched the scene unfold, his jealousy filling in all the conversation he couldn’t hear. He watched as Buffy looked up at Giles with an adoring gaze, Giles smiling softly back. Giles hurrying to assist her up, his hands sliding up her arms. It was clear Buffy couldn’t get enough of him. She kept sending him loving looks. She left the bedroom and Giles just kept staring, standing still, clearly bereft at her absence.
“Bloody hell.” Spike threw his cigarette down and ground it into unrecognizable pulp, pretending it was Giles’ head under his boot. “There is no friggin’ way the two of them are getting together.” He kicked the nearest tree. “Not when I’m so close to making Buffy mine. No friggin’ way.”
Spike swung around, his leather duster swirling dramatically around his ankles. Spike wasn’t going to sit still for this. Riley had been bad enough. But Riley had been a kid, and a stupid one at that. Spike had easily found a way to help that fall apart. But Giles, that was a completely different story. If Buffy fell in love with Giles, Spike couldn’t hope to compete. That would be for real, and it would be forever, and Spike planned to make sure it never happened. He turned around, walking backwards for a moment, and flipped both middle fingers towards the house, specifically aimed at Giles. “Say goodbye, Watcher.” He grinned and turning around to face the direction he was walking in, he sauntered off, plans brewing in his mind.
Spike knew he was a little out of the loop these days. And he’d been threatened that very night at Willy’s. But he walked right back in as if he owned the place. Once they knew why he was there no one would be laughing at him, or thinking that he wasn’t good enough for them. Spike walked up to the bar and sat down, slapping his hand down loudly to get Willy’s attention. “I’d like some service. Now.”
Willy moved with some speed down to Spike, not overly pleased to see him. Thanks to Spike he already had a few angry clients who still hadn’t rounded up all their kittens. Willy decided to take the path of least resistance and he poured Spike a drink. Maybe Spike would just get drunk and be miserable in a corner somewhere.
Spike had other plans. He looked up at Willy. “I need an assassin. Any assassins in town? Anyone with the balls to take on an important assignment?” He drank his shot in a single swallow and slammed his glass down, signaling that he’d like another.
Willy filled his glass, thinking for a moment. “Funny you should mention that. My cousin Tony just called to let me know about something he’s pulled together.”
Spike rolled his eyes. “I’m not interested in anything your cousin or anyone even remotely related to you is doing. I need someone proficient.”
Willy raised both hands, as if to surrender. “No, really. This will be perfect for you. He’s put together, you know, sort of a union, for demons that can do magic. Bad magic.” He started wiping down the bar. “They’re all experienced at…whatever you want, but they’ve been having problems cuz nobody’s heard of them. So, my cousin came up with this idea, a way to band them all together so he can get the word out. If you work with him, you’ll get all these demons working for you. They’ll off anyone you want, for a fee.”
Spike pursed his lips. He liked the irony of using magic to get rid of Giles. “How many demons?”
“I think he said there were around fifty of them and they all do different stuff. Kind of like a magic whorehouse.” Willy let loose with a painfully loud and slightly desperate laugh. At the look on Spike’s face he shut up. “See, you go and check them all out and decide on the ones you want to use. They sort of individualize the plan based on what you want to get done and the way you want it done, you know, torture, killing, revenge.” Willy filled Spike’s glass again. “Personally, I think it’s an idea whose time has come. If I had someone I wanted dead, I’d use them in a heartbeat.” Willy realized his awkward choice of words. “Or whatever.”
Spike looked at Willy and narrowed his eyes. “If you’ve steered me wrong I’ll find my own assassin and send him after you. You know that, right?”
Willy put his hand to his chest in dismay. “Have I ever steered you wrong? It’s my cousin. I can vouch for him.”
Spike scowled. “Give me his number.” Willy wrote the number on a scrap piece of paper. As soon as Spike left Willy picked up the phone to call his cousin and give him a heads up.
Spike was grinning when he finished his meeting with Tony. He patted his pocket as he headed back into Sunnydale. The contract was all signed, signatures intact, the ruination of one Rupert Giles securely in hand. He hadn’t actually chosen any specific spells yet. Spike had to do a little research, figure out exactly where to jab and then turn the knife. He knew this thing between Buffy and Giles was new, and therefore it was vulnerable and there was no one better at taking advantage of vulnerable than William the Bloody.
Looking at his watch he realized that Buffy was probably already patrolling. He headed for her most likely spot. Sure enough, she was there. “Slayer.”
Buffy looked up from the vampire she was punching. “Hey Spike.” She went back to business with a couple of lefts and then a right. Then she finished him off with a good staking. “Poof.” She dusted her hands off. “I love that, how vampires go poof. I wish all the demons would go poof. It would make clean up so much easier.”
She started to stroll and Spike moved alongside her, keeping her company. Spike mentally tossed around a couple of ideas, trying to figure out where to start trying to find their weak points. He decided to go for the frontal attack. “So, you and Giles looked sort of tight last night.”
Buffy stopped and turned to Spike. “Oh my God, there is nothing I would not do for that man.” Spike scowled. Buffy continued. “He gave me so much money. I can’t even believe it.”
Spike’s jaw dropped. Giles was paying Buffy to have sex with him? Spike would never have believed that Giles would stoop to that, or that Buffy would agree to it. Spike mentally cursed. He wished he’d thought of it first. Damn. “A lot, hmmm?”
“He is like a god.” She started walking again. “I mean, yesterday, I’m thinking foreclosure. Today, redecorating. Except for a few things here and there, life is looking pretty okay today.”
Spike muttered under his breath. “Yeah, except for being a whore.” Actually Spike had no problem with Buffy being a whore. It meant there weren’t serious emotions involved. This time he spoke louder. “So, check’s in the bank, all nicely cashed?”
“Oh yeah. I was waiting at the door when the bank opened this morning.”
They walked in silence for a while. “What do you think about when you’re shagging your Watcher?”
Buffy stopped, her eyes wide. “What?”
“Your Watcher, shagging, your thoughts.”
“How about eewww.” Buffy made a face, and then she shivered. “Let’s go back to talking about the money.”
Spike grinned. That was his cue. First spell coming right up. A little honesty spell for Buffy. Spike wished he could be there when Giles made the moves on Buffy tomorrow night. He had to bite his upper lip to keep from laughing out loud. A few hours of Buffy telling the truth about how she really felt about shagging dear old Rupert would have him on the first plane home to England with his tail between his legs. This would be like taking candy from a baby. After patrol Spike headed off to Willy’s to put in his first order.
The next evening Buffy and Giles headed out to patrol. They picked a quiet cemetery to start with. They were enjoying the silence, not feeling the need to talk. Then Buffy suddenly stumbled. Giles reached out a hand to steady her. “Are you all right?”
Buffy nodded. “Yeah, I just felt way dizzy there for a second.”
Giles pointed to a nearby bench. “Would you like to sit for a minute?”
“Might be a good idea.” They both went and sat down, again in a companionable silence. Then Giles let out a sigh. Buffy flashed him a rueful smile. “Uh oh, my Watcher has something on his mind. What is it?”
Giles returned her rueful smile with a sheepish one. “Well, I know it’s really none of my business.” He paused and then rushed into the rest of it. “I’m just a little concerned because you’re not quite yourself and I think you’re feeling a little vulnerable and I would hate for you to do anything that would have dangerous repercussions.”
Buffy poked Giles on the arm. “Come on, I’m getting old here. Ask the question.”
Giles blew out a breath, and then he asked. “How did your meeting with Angel really go? What happened?”
Buffy opened her mouth intending to essentially blow the question off with some reassuring answer but instead found herself telling Giles the truth. “It was awful.” She looked up at Giles. “I mean, here is this guy I have loved, like forever. Handsome, strong, caring, I mean, not counting the Angelus part.” She sent an apologetic look at Giles. “I loved him so much I was blind to everything. Blind to how he was screwing up my life, even when he wasn’t Angelus. And then when he turned, I was blind to how much he was screwing up everybody’s life.” She blew out a big breath. “Especially yours.”
She stood, needing to move while she talked. “I so didn’t get it. I was young, I get that, and stupid, I get that too. But how many years has it been now?” She started counting off years on her fingers. “Four, five years? Five years of drama. Five years of shoving him in your face, shoving him in everyone’s face.” As Giles began to speak Buffy waved him off. “No, you don’t need to say anything. I know you don’t hate me for it. You never have, a fact that astonishes me by the way, but I know it’s true. I know that you just wanted what was best for me. You always have.”
“So, here we are, me and Angel, and I’m kind of feeling like my life is totally sucking right now. I’m hating being back, I’m hating being the Slayer, I’m hating Willow and the rest of them for what they did, I’m hating being so broke, I’m hating being responsible for Dawn, just plain hating everything. And then I go see Angel. And as we sat there looking at each other there’s only one thought going through my mind.”
Giles looked at her. “What thought?”
“That I need this like a hole in the head. Like my life doesn’t suck enough that I need to throw Angel in the mix and make it suck even more. It felt like a joke. I so don’t want that in my life anymore. So I got up and left. And that was that.” She grinned at Giles. “Feel better now?”
Giles tilted his head to the side. “Yes, I suppose I do, at least about Angel, but…”
Buffy wrinkled her nose. “But…?”
“Are you really that unhappy? Does everything in your life…well…suck that much?”
“Giles, the only thing in my life that doesn’t suck is you. You are the only person I feel comfortable with, that I want to be with, that I feel is truly looking out for my welfare without some hidden agenda. You make me happy. Having you here makes me happy. Being without you, having you be in England, that sucked.”
Giles went quite still and looked at Buffy, his eyes wide. He felt a warm glow at her words. “Really? You really feel that way?”
Buffy sat down next to him. “Giles, without you as my Watcher, I would have gone crazy. You are the single most important person in the world to me. You have been for a long time. There is no way I could do this without you. Please, don’t ever make me try.”
“I had no idea you…”
“That I felt that way? I know, I’m not big on the letting you know how much I love you thing. Sorry about that.”
Giles was momentarily speechless. So, he just hugged Buffy. And she hugged him back. When he pulled back he smiled at her. “Buffy, being your Watcher has been the most meaningful and amazing experience of my life, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I am so proud of you, I always have been, and it has been my pleasure to stand by your side as you have grown up from a teenager to this lovely young woman sitting here beside me. I consider myself to be the fortunate one.”
Buffy’s eyes got a little moist and she gave Giles a shaky smile. “Wow. Bunches of sentences strung together filled with goodness, about me. Wow.” Giles smiled back and in a moment they stood to start patrolling again. Both their spirits lighter, they spent the rest of the evening, in between battling vampires, discussing how Buffy planned to spend her money and how she was going to get Dawn to do her homework.
When Buffy and Giles got home that night, after a brief hug good night, they both slept better than they had for days, and they both fell asleep with a smile on their face.
After making sure that Anya had left and that no one else was in the store, Spike entered the Magic Box, wanting to speak with Giles. Giles was making himself a cup of tea. He looked up as he heard Spike’s footsteps. “Ah, good evening Spike.”
Giles held out a teacup. “Tea?” He grinned as he envisioned Spike drinking a cup of tea.
Spike snorted. “Not bloody likely, mate.”
Giles went back to his tea making. “Something I can do for you?”
A sardonic smile appeared on Spike’s face. “Anything interesting happen last night?” He sat and put his feet up on the table.
Giles walked back to the table with his tea and pushed Spike’s feet off the table. “Not particularly. Several new vampires, but nothing of earth shattering concern.”
This wasn’t the information Spike wanted. “And Buffy? How are the two of you getting along?”
Giles sat down and smiled. “She really is the most amazing girl.” He leaned back, musing on last night’s conversation.
Spike’s eyes narrowed. “What does that mean?”
Giles was lost in his musing, so he actually answered Spike’s question. “I know that Buffy and I have had our differences, and we certainly don’t see eye to eye on, well, practically anything. But, underneath it all, I always hoped…” He shook his head. “I saw it last night, so clearly, that she and I, we really are…” Giles suddenly remembered whom he was talking to. He stopped immediately. “I’m sure you didn’t come here to listen to me ramble on.”
Spike had to work to unclench his jaw. “You have no idea how right you are.” He stood and started to pace. “Don’t you think you’re a bit old for her?”
Giles’ eyes widened. “Spike, what on earth are you talking about? Age is of no account in this sort of thing. Besides, I think the fact that I’m a little older is a good thing for Buffy.”
“How do you figure that?”
“Well, I have a lot more experience. I’ve been around and can teach Buffy a few things. I’m older and therefore, hopefully wiser, and I think she needs that now. She needs someone who’s stable, who can help keep her balanced. I think I’m just what she needs.”
Spike barked out a laugh. “You think you’re just what Buffy needs?”
Giles started to look annoyed. “Yes, as a matter of fact, I do.” He stood as well. “And why is it any concern of yours?”
Spike put a hand up to placate Giles. “Hey, I’m not trying to rain on your parade, Watcher. I just find it a little hard to believe that you’re all she needs.”
“Well scoff all you want. Buffy made it quite clear to me last night that I do meet her needs.” Giles sat down again, lost in his happy memory of that conversation with Buffy. He hoped every Watcher had the opportunity to hear their Slayer say those words. It made every moment of his life as a Watcher worthwhile.
Spike sneered at the satisfied look on Giles’ face and he left without even saying goodbye. He headed right over to Willy’s. Time for the second spell. Giles thought that he met Buffy’s needs? Time for Giles to get a first hand look at just what Buffy needed, and it for damn sure wasn’t going to be Giles.
It was dark. Giles and Buffy had just finished a lengthy training session. They decided to do an early patrol on the way home and they headed off planning to cover the part of town over by the Bronze. Since the night of their conversation things had been so easy between the two of them. The bond between them was stronger than it had ever been.
As they turned the corner, Buffy didn’t know that she’d been hit by a spell, all she knew was that she saw a really, really cute boy and she wanted him, so she started following him. A few steps later Giles suddenly realized that Buffy wasn’t walking by his side anymore. He turned around and saw her arguing with the man collecting the cover charge for the Bronze. As she stamped her foot on the ground in vexation Giles approached. “What seems to be the matter? And why are you over here?”
Buffy turned to him in relief. “Giles, thank goodness you’re here. Can you loan me five bucks?”
“What do you mean thank goodness I’m here? Where else would I be? We were just…” Buffy rolled her eyes and held out her hand. Giles let out a sigh and pulled out his wallet. He paid for the both of them and he followed Buffy in. Buffy scanned the crowd for the guy she had seen. Her eyes lit up as she saw him.
She turned to Giles and gestured to the tables. “Hey, why don’t you get a table?”
Giles frowned. “I don’t want to get a…” But he stopped because she wasn’t listening to him. In fact she was gone. Giles blew out an annoyed breath and found a table. When a waitress stopped to get his order he asked for a scotch. He winced as the guitarist hit a bad note. Giles’ eyes perused the room and he saw Buffy talking to a tall good-looking young man over by the telephones. Giles smiled when he saw her.
For the first time he felt that he really had a proprietary right to her. After all she’d told him he was like a second mother to her. Giles grinned. True, he’d told her he’d rather be an uncle, but just being claimed as family felt like quite an honor. Giles paid for his drink and took a sip. He shook his head. He never had and he still didn’t understand how Hank Summers could just absent himself from Buffy’s life. Dawn’s life as well, but then Dawn hadn’t really existed until this year. Why any man wouldn’t be proud to claim Buffy as his daughter and want to spend as much time with her as he could was beyond Giles.
He looked up and saw that Buffy was no longer standing by the phones. His brow furrowed as he began scouting for her, taking another swallow of his scotch. It was all he could do not to spit it out when he saw her. As it was he started coughing as a good bit of it went down the wrong way. Gasping for breath he could barely believe what he was seeing. Buffy was dancing, although that was a fairly loose term for the way she was moving. It was really more as if she was having sex with her clothes on.
Giles averted his eyes, feeling that he was intruding, as if he’d come home and found Buffy in a compromising position. And as her father figure, Giles would have immediately thrown the young man out the front door, harder than necessary, perhaps without opening it first. Against his volition his eyes strayed towards her again and once they were there, he couldn’t seem to pull them away. He ordered another scotch and when it arrived he drank it down in one long swallow and ordered another before the waiter had even left.
Her head was thrown back and her hands were running through her hair. Buffy’s upper torso was swaying from side to side and her nipples were hard, pushing through her shirt. She was grinding her pelvis against the young man’s groin and he had his hands on her butt, holding her tight against him. She licked her lips, her eyes heavy with desire. Giles thought he’d never seen anything more provocative, at least not in a long time. He was seeing a whole new side to his Slayer and it wasn’t one he particularly wanted to see. Nothing felt safe anymore and he wanted to crawl under the table. Instead he ordered another drink. And stared some more. Buffy was beautiful, and she was sexy, and he never felt less like a father than he did right now.
He had never in their time together, other than an objective observation that she looked quite lovely in this outfit, or with her hair done that certain way, he had never seen her like this. Like someone he could want. Badly. Giles groaned and downed another drink.
When the spell hit Spike was arguing with Tony at Willy’s. Spike had his game face on and Tony was trying very hard not to wet his pants. “Look, it’s not my fault. It’s on the contract.” He snapped it open in front of him and pointed at some really small print. “See, his spells only last for 30 minutes.”
“That’s not long enough. She’ll barely get started. Make it longer.”
“I can’t. He already cast the spell, and then he left, some sort of family reunion.”
“So have someone else recast it.”
“It was his specialty. He registered it. No one else can do it. Union rules.”
Spike let out a growl. He shoved Tony away. “Then I want another spell.”
Tony nodded. “Sure, sure, another spell. I can do that. Just let me know what you want. I mean you still got two left in your contract.”
“Yeah, well now I have three.” He leaned past Tony and picked up the contract, scratching out the number four and changing it to five spells. He flung the paper at Tony. “Sign it.”
Tony picked up a pen with a shaking hand and he signed his initials by the correction. “Sure, five spells. No problem.”
Spike growled again and then picking up the contract he shoved it in his pocket. After one more disgusted look at Tony he left the bar planning to get in some serious sulking before the night was through. One perfectly good spell, down the damn drain.
Giles was well on his way to being completely plastered when Buffy suddenly stepped back from the young man she’d been accosting out on the floor for close to half an hour. She sent him a confused look, shrugged her shoulders and looked around for Giles. When she found him she raced over to him. He looked ill. “Giles, are you all right?”
Giles shook his head and had to hold onto the table to keep from falling off his chair. He tried once again to not look at her. Buffy looked like she had just finished having sex. Her lips were wet, there were beads of sweat on her forehead, her skin was flushed, and her nipples were still hard. And Giles had a raging hardon. He covered his face and groaned. Buffy reached out and touched his arm. “I’m serious, are you okay? You look awful.”
Giles flinched away from her and he started to fall off his stool. Only Buffy’s hold on his arm kept him from hitting the floor. Buffy’s jaw dropped. “You’re drunk.” She let out a disgusted noise. “Sheesh, I only danced a couple of dances. How’d you get drunk so fast?”
Giles barked out a laugh. “A couple of dances? Is that what they’re calling it these days?” He focused on Buffy, a pained expression on his face. “Do you always dance like that?” He looked around for the boy she had been dancing with. There was no sign of him. Giles figured he was probably jerking off in the bathroom.
“Dance like what?”
Giles’ inebriated state loosened his tongue. “Like you’re having sex.” He flung a hand out towards the dance floor. “Right there, in front of everybody. Do you always dance like that?”
Buffy blushed. She had been pretty close to that guy. “No. I just…” She shook her head, she didn’t get what was going on. Putting an arm around Giles she helped him stand. “Hey, over eighteen, remember? Come on, dad, let me get you home.” She stressed the word dad, to remind him that he wasn’t her father.
Giles glared at her. “I am not your father.”
She mocked him with her smile. “I know. Oh, that’s right. You’re that rakish uncle of mine.”
He wasn’t done glaring. “I am not related to you in any way whatsoever.”
Buffy felt a little hurt. “Okay, okay.” She paused, not sure what to make of this Giles. “Are you still my Watcher? Can I call you that?”
With as much dignity as Giles could muster, he nodded. “I’ll always be your Watcher.” Suddenly he snorted.
Buffy looked at him, suspicion in her eyes. “What?”
Giles snorted again. “Well, I can’t say I ever expected to watch you doing that.”
Buffy blushed and started heading them out. “Look, whatever happened in there, just forget it, okay?”
Giles shook his head. “Can’t. It’s like it’s seared into my brain.” He stumbled and Buffy kept him from falling once again. He wrapped his arm loosely around her shoulder. “You know what happened to me the last time I got this drunk?” He clarified. “I mean, before you died?” He’d gotten drunk several times since he’d buried her.
“No, what happened?”
“Ethan turned me into that demon.”
Buffy’s eyes widened. She’d swear that was Giles’ hand on her butt. She reached down and pulled it back up to her shoulder. “Well, you seem to be doing that all on your own this time.” His hand started drifting again and she pushed away from him. “Giles, what’s going on? You’re totally freaking me out.”
Something in the tone of her voice penetrated Giles’ brain and part of him sobered up. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry. It’s been…” He ran a hand through his hair and let out a brief bitter laugh. “Never mind. Just help me get home. All I need is some sleep.”
Buffy eyed him, her face full of concern. She glanced around, wondering if Ethan was lurking in the shadows. Maybe he’d come back and put another spell on Giles. “No more wandering hands?”
Giles shook his head, mortified. “I’m so sorry, Buffy. I…” He had no words.
Buffy grinned. “Hey, you’re not the first drunk guy with frisky hands I’ve ever had to deal with. Just remind me not to leave you alone for so long next time we come here.” She pointed at him. “You need a Watcher.”
Giles got his hand over his mouth just in time to keep from replying to her comment. He was going to say that she could watch him anytime she wanted to. Buffy backed away, afraid he was going to throw up. When she realized he wasn’t she rolled her eyes and moved back to his side, arm around his waist again. “Come on, let’s get you home.”
Spike watched from the shadows as he saw Giles and Buffy arrive home, arms tight around each other, their bodies so close he didn’t think he could get a dollar bill between them. Spike cursed. Clearly he needed a new strategy. The first two spells had been directed at Buffy in hopes that she’d do something that would make Giles want to leave her but both had failed miserably. So, it was time to work some mojo on Giles and make Buffy leave him instead. All he needed to do was to pay attention, probe for a little information, then he’d rip that relationship apart and be around to pick up the pieces.
Giles took a long cold shower. When he got out Buffy had already gone to bed for which Giles was inestimably grateful. He crawled onto the couch. He sincerely hoped that when morning came that he wouldn’t remember anything that he’d done tonight but he knew it was a forlorn hope. Giles had never been one of those who was blessed with forgetfulness the morning after. He always remembered every foolish, humiliating thing he said or did. He covered his face with his hands and groaned. With his eyes closed, all he could see was Buffy, the way she had looked tonight, out on the dance floor. Giles groaned again. It was going to be a very long night.
Buffy pulled out the stake she’d just slammed into the vampire’s chest. She turned away so she wouldn’t breathe in any of the dust. Flipping around she started working on the next one. Spike was fighting his own way through a couple of vampires. Buffy spun and kicked the vamp in the face. She frowned. She was a little worried about Giles. She did a jump kick and felt a moment’s satisfaction when the vamp went flying. Buffy ran to her before she could get up and rammed a stake in her chest.
The next morning after ‘The Bronze Incident’ as she was calling it in her mind, she had teased Giles about his hangover, and about his behavior, and once he’d gotten in a few sarcastic rejoinders she figured everything would go back to normal. But they hadn’t. Not really. He was doing a lot of blushing, and a certain amount of avoiding. She didn’t like it, at all. Buffy had been loving the closeness between them and she missed it now more than she could say.
She sat there crouched on the ground, in a blue funk. Spike yelled. “Slayer, behind you.” Buffy ducked and rolled just in time to avoid having her neck snapped. Spike rushed forward and ended yet another vampire’s reign. He looked at Buffy. “You seem distracted tonight. What’s got you in such a twist? Something wrong with your Watcher?”
Buffy looked at him surprised. “Yeah, actually.”
Spike’s eyes gleamed with delight. Maybe he’d already done it. Maybe he wouldn’t need to use any more spells. “Why, what’s up with lover boy?”
Buffy stood, defensive. “Why do you ask it like that? Were you there? Did you see?”
Now Spike was confused. “Back up Slayer. I just want to know what’s wrong.”
“It’s Giles. He’s just being, I don’t know, a little distant.” She scowled. “Something happened at the Bronze the other night and things just haven’t been the same.”
Spike practically crowed. He was so close. One more little piece of straw and this camel was going down. He tried to sound sincere. “I’m sure you two will work it out.” They both sat on tombstones, waiting to see if any more vamps might come strolling by. After a while Spike asked a question feeling the time had come for some information gathering. “So, if you had to name the one thing you liked about Giles best, what would it be?”
Buffy swung her legs. “Yikes, that’s a tough question.” She thought for a few minutes. A new vampire tried to rise, coincidentally out of the grave she was sitting on, and she staked him. She sat again. “Well, I guess, I guess it’s the fact that I know he’s mine.”
“Yours?” Spike needed more to work with.
She held up two fingers, crossed. “It’s like we’re two peas in a pod. We’ve gotten so close lately that I know he’ll always pick me, that I’ll always come first.” At least Buffy hoped that was true. With Giles being so weird lately, Buffy wasn’t as sure as she’d like to be.
Spike heard the little bit of hesitation in her voice and he grinned inside. With a little push from Spike, Giles wouldn’t be picking her at all. Spike needed to get to Willy’s. “Gotta go, luv.”
Buffy pouted. “Fine, leave me out here all alone.” She watched as he actually took off. Buffy let out her breath in a huff. “Great, he left me out here all alone.” She sighed, wishing Giles was with her. She decided to head for home.
Spike was looking at the spell menu. He remembered seeing something, something that he thought was just the ticket. And he wouldn’t even need to do anything to Giles. Just reintroduce a little of his past to him. And then watch him blow off Buffy just like that. He snapped his fingers.
Phone up to his ear, he spoke to Tony. “Okay, I want number 173.” He listened for a minute. “Yeah, all right, this is the laundry list. I want you to get me the woman in England that Giles had the most mind numbing sex with. I’m talking down and dirty, every fantasy coming true kind of sex. And make it someone he really cared about too.” He listened again. “How the hell do I know? He was quite the hoyden in his day. I’m sure there’s someone still around. Oh and Tony, she better be here within a week.” Spike hung up. This was gonna be good.
Buffy was feeling better. Giles seemed to be almost back to normal. She guessed his terminal case of embarrassment was finally fading. Buffy finished restocking the crystals and was half listening to Giles explain the meaning of an obscure piece of sculpture to a potential customer. The bell on the door rang, signaling the arrival of someone. Buffy frowned as Giles’ voice just cut off mid sentence. She turned to look at him and found him staring, his eyes wide, at whoever had just walked in the door.
Buffy turned her head to see who it might be and she frowned. It was a woman, and a quite attractive in an older and very put together, wearing expensive clothes, sexy smoldering kind of way. She was staring at Giles too. Giles put the sculpture back on the shelf in an absentminded way and just walked away from the woman he’d been speaking to. He ignored her complaints.
Giles took another step towards the stranger and she took one towards him. He spoke first. “Sally?” He couldn’t quite believe it was she. Here, in America, in Sunnydale, in his shop. Giles asked again. “Sally, is that you?”
Sally smiled and something about that smile made Buffy’s hackles rise on the back of her neck. It was a ‘you’re mine’ kind of smile and this woman was giving it to her Watcher. Sally walked the rest of the way to Giles and put her hand on his cheek. “It’s me.”
Giles got the biggest grin on his face and then he just grabbed her. He lifted her off the ground and actually spun her around. Buffy was riveted. Giles put her back down and released her. He touched her hair. “I can’t believe it’s you.” He pulled back and raked her from head to toe with a look that made Buffy’s eyes widen. “God, you look good.” Giles grinned again. “But, then, you always did.” He leaned forwards and kissed her.
When Sally didn’t demur, he kissed her again. And not just a quick smack. Granted it wasn’t a kiss that belonged on the Playboy channel but it was a lingering kind of kiss. The sort of kiss that made it clear that kisses like this had happened before and were probably going to happen again. Sally put her hands on Giles’ chest and laughed, in a purring kind of way. “You are just as sexy as I remember.” She licked her lips and Buffy’s jaw dropped.
The customer was tired of waiting. She tapped Giles on the shoulder. Giles looked over at Anya to see if she could step in but Anya had several customers at the cash register. Picking up one of Sally’s hand, Giles playfully placed a kiss on the palm of it. “Don’t go anywhere.” He grinned at her, his eyes filled with mischief. Sally grinned back, her eyes gleaming with the same light.
Sally walked over to a shelf and began to look at some of the merchandise. Buffy went over to join her. “Hi, I’m Buffy. And you are…?”
Sally let her eyes linger on Buffy for a moment, assessing her. “I’m an old friend of Rupert’s. My name’s Sally.”
Buffy pursed her lips. “I’m a friend of G…Rupert’s too.”
“Ah, are you two…?”
Buffy shook her head quickly. “No. We’re just friends.”
Sally smiled. “Lovely.” She turned until she was facing Giles. “He still looks amazing.”
Buffy followed her eyes. Giles was standing there still talking to the customer. “Amazing at what?”
Sally sighed. “He is just so good looking. Even after all these years.”
Buffy wrinkled her nose. “Okay, what are you seeing that I’m not seeing?”
Sally turned to Buffy in some surprise. “I thought you were his friend.”
Buffy looked affronted. “I am.”
“Then I’m disappointed. How can you say you’re his friend and be so blind? You look as if you’re a grown woman. But perhaps I’m mistaken. Maybe you’re just a young girl, and still locked behind some preconceived notion that beauty only comes in certain packages, or certain ages.”
Buffy got a pouty look on her face. “I’m not locked.” She didn’t like to think that somehow she hadn’t been a good friend.
Sally turned her until she was facing Giles. “Look at him. He’s so strong, his body is strong, and his face is strong. There’s so much character there. You see him and you know that he’s lived his life, and that he can weather any storm. His face is so expressive. It’s always been that way. Emotions like quicksilver running across it. He has the most beautiful eyes, and such a wonderful firm jaw. And his skin, I loved to touch him. He’s such an alluring mix of softness and hardness. And that smile.” Sally let out a little moan. “When he smiles at you, it always made me feel as if I’d won some prize, and when I could make him laugh, it was like Olympic Gold.” She smiled. “But what I liked best was making him purr.”
Buffy listened to Sally speak as she watched Giles. Her eyes narrowed to slits at Sally’s last comment. Sally wasn’t done. She didn’t know why she was even talking to this young woman, but she felt strangely compelled to speak, just as she’d felt compelled to fly across the Atlantic Ocean in search of him. “He was the best lover I ever had. Ever.”
Buffy turned very wide eyes to Sally, one hand gesturing to Giles. “Him?”
Sally nodded. “Oh yes, him. Those hands of his, those lips, that tongue. God he knew just how to use it all. He made me wild.” Sally fanned herself. “I’m getting hot just thinking about it.” She leaned towards Buffy. “You know, he has those lovely large hands, and his feet are quite large too. You know what they say…”
Buffy started to cough. This was information overload about her Watcher. Sally continued, her voice merciless. “He liked to try new things, experiment. Anything I wanted, he was willing to try it out.”
Buffy’s voice squeaked. “Like what?”
“If you can think of it, we did it. He was, hands down, the most amazing man in bed, and out of it, for that matter.” Sally grinned. Many of their adventures had taken place in the most unlikely of spots. Giles leaned down to pick up a different piece of sculpture from the bottom shelf. Sally let out a groan. “God, he has the nicest butt.” She put her hands out as if she was touching it. “He always did.” Her eyebrows wiggled at Buffy. “I can see he’s been keeping in shape.”
Buffy wasn’t really paying attention. She was somewhat captivated by Giles’ butt. And she almost let out a gasp when Giles turned her way and smiled at her. It did make her feel like she’d won a prize. But then, with a sinking feeling, she realized that Giles wasn’t smiling at her. He was smiling at Sally. Buffy looked up to glare at Sally but Sally only had eyes for Giles and Buffy hated her for it. She needed more information. “So, how long ago were you and Giles…?”
“The last time I saw him was when I drove him to the airport to come here, to America.”
Buffy’s eyebrows rose. That wasn’t very long ago. Somehow she was thinking it had been years and years ago, when Giles was still young. Young and Ripperish. But this was a little over four years ago. Sally was talking about a Giles just like the one in front of her. Older and all knowledge guy and dedicated. And apparently pretty damn good in bed. Which meant he was probably like that now. That thought made Buffy’s body flush with heat. She couldn’t seem to stop watching Giles’ hands.
Giles finally finished with the woman and escorted her over to the cash register. He walked over to Sally and Buffy, smiling at them both this time. “Have you met?”
Buffy nodded. “Oh yes, we’ve been just chatting away.” She moved a little closer to Giles.
Sally moved a little closer too. “Yes, Buffy tells me that you’re friends.”
Giles smiled at Buffy. “Yes, we are. Good friends.”
“She also tells me that you, that the two of you aren’t…involved.”
Giles blushed. “No, no we’re not.” He moved a little closer to Sally, Buffy’s nearness suddenly flustering him.
Sally linked her arm though Giles’. “Think you could sneak away for a while?” She grinned at him. Giles’ body remembered being with Sally. He grinned back. Maybe this would help him get over his inappropriate longings for Buffy.
Buffy felt excluded and she didn’t like it. She could feel the sexual tension between the two of them and she didn’t like that either. She wracked her brain trying to come up with an excuse to keep him here. Some way to claim him as hers, which he was, if he could manage to remember that. After all, he was her Watcher. “Gi…Rupert. Shouldn’t we be…?” She pointed back to the training room.
Giles’ eyebrows rose. “Rupert?” He followed her pointing finger and he shook his head. “Oh, I think we can skip that for today.” He turned to Anya. “Will you watch the shop?” Anya nodded, grinning wide. She wasn’t about to stand in the way of orgasms and she could recognize another woman with orgasms on her mind.
Giles reached for Sally’s hand. As one, they headed out the door, leaving Buffy behind. Buffy couldn’t believe he was leaving. That he was leaving her standing there. That he was leaving and not even saying goodbye. She thought her heart might break. Buffy listened to the bell as it rang out their exit. Putting a hand up to warn Anya not to say a word Buffy just went into the back room and started hitting the punching bag.
As soon as they got to Sally’s hotel room she jumped him. Giles allowed himself to enjoy being jumped for a little while until suddenly, even for his life, it all seemed a bit too surreal to him. He pushed her away and sat her down in a chair, sitting across from her on the bed. When she made as if to get up Giles put his hand up. “Please, not that I’m not delighted to see you, but, why exactly are you here?”
“I wanted to see you. I want to have sex with you.”
“So, you just flew in from London for no other reason?”
Sally nodded her head.
Giles took off his glasses and ran his hand over his face. “What happened to Todd?”
“Oh, I married him.”
“Are things not working out?”
“No, things are great. I adore him. We have two children. Want to see their pictures?” Sally reached for her purse and rifled through it for her wallet. After opening it she moved to sit next to Giles on the bed to show him pictures of her children.
Giles forced himself to make appropriate cooing noises. Then he turned to Sally. “Sally, don’t you find this a bit odd?”
“What do you mean?”
He gestured to her wallet. “You’re a happily married woman, with two lovely children, I haven’t heard from you for years, and suddenly, here you are, wanting to have sex with me. Just like that?”
Sally pursed her lips. “Now that you put it like that I guess it is a bit odd.”
“What did you tell Todd you were doing?”
“I told him I had a business trip.” Giles just watched her. She opened her eyes wide. “I lied to him. I lied to Todd. Why would I do that?” She paused for a minute and then looked at Giles. “We’re not going to have sex are we?”
Giles sighed but he shook his head. “No, Sally, we’re not.”
Sally sighed back. “You always did have more integrity than any man I’ve ever known.” She grinned at him. “So, what do we do now?”
“How about I take you out for dinner.”
“And then maybe we can paint the town red.”
Giles laughed. “We’re not in London. There’s not much of a town to paint, here in Sunnydale.”
“Well, we could give it our best shot. What do you say?”
“Go out and about, with you on my arm? I can’t think of anything I’d rather do.”
She tilted her head at him and leaned in to give him a kiss on the cheek. “You always did know just what to say.”
Giles stood. “Let’s be on our way then. You can tell me all about your life.”
“Yes, and you can tell me about that young blond woman.”
“I’d like to know why she never seems to have even thought of you as a man until today but she was ready to rip my head off the minute I walked in the store."
Giles frowned. Then he softly laughed. “She’s why I came here.”
Sally’s jaw dropped. “She’s your Slayer?” Giles nodded. Sally laughed. “Oh, my dear Rupert. I bet she’s led you a merry chase.”
Giles smiled ruefully at her. “You don’t know the half of it.”
Sally linked her arm through his as they headed out. “So, when did you start lusting after her?”
Giles’ eyes widened and he opened his mouth to protest. Then he just barked out a laugh. “You always could read me like a book, Sally.”
“Yes, I could. So how long?”
“Would you believe five days?”
Sally laughed merrily. “Oh, I cannot wait to hear this story. Do you love her?”
“She’s my Slayer.”
Sally pursed her lips. “I’m thinking that means you’re sort of hardwired to love her. Would I be right?”
Giles ran a hand through his hair. He laughed a little, at himself. “Not that it makes any difference, but yes, I suppose I am.”
“Why doesn’t it make any difference?”
“You said it yourself, she doesn’t even know I’m a man. I’m only her Watcher, through and through.”
Sally shook her head. “I think you may be in for a surprise when you see her next.” Sally hadn’t missed that speculative gaze in Buffy’s eyes when she was looking at Rupert’s butt.
Giles looked confused. “What on earth are you talking about?”
Sally just grinned. “Never mind, I think I’ll let you figure this one out for yourself. I’d hate to spoil the fun.”
Giles put his hand over hers as they reached the sidewalk and he looked at her fondly. “It really is good to see you. I’ve missed you.”
“I’ve missed you too.” Smiling at each other they headed towards his car, arm in arm.
Buffy was sulking and Spike was having a hard time keeping a grin off his face. “So, what’s got you all testy?”
Buffy glared at Spike. “Nothing.”
Spike nodded. “Everything okay with your Watcher?”
Buffy’s answer was defiant. “Yes. No. Maybe.” She let out a disgusted noise.
Spike turned away for a moment and allowed himself a victory smile. “Well, that sounds clear as mud.”
“I’m sure it’s nothing. He’s just visiting with an old friend. A very attractive old friend that he used to have sex with, a lot.” She whined. “I’m sure they’re just talking. You know, catching up on news.”
Spike nodded. “Sure. That’s the attitude, Slayer. I mean, what else would he be doing?”
Buffy whined again. “Nothing. I’m sure he’s doing lots of the nothing variety of things.” She sent pleading eyes Spike’s way. “Right?”
Spike nodded again. “Absolutely.” They strolled a bit. “So when did he leave the shop?”
“And he still wasn’t home when you got there?” Buffy shook her head. Spike spoke again. “It does seem a bit odd that he didn’t just bring her home. Where would they have gone?” Buffy had been wondering about that herself for the past couple of hours. Spike continued, trying to help. “I suppose he might have gone to her hotel room.”
Buffy got nervous. “Right. Her hotel room. A room with mostly just a bed in it.”
“And a TV.”
“Yeah, a TV. So, maybe they’re watching TV.”
“Well, I’m sure he’s home by now. I mean you can only catch up on news for so long. Let’s head there and see if he’s back. Then you guys can kiss and make up.”
Buffy didn’t want to think about Giles and kissing. Because every time she did she kept seeing Sally and Giles kissing and for some reason that was making her crazy. She’d headed for home shortly after Giles had left. Buffy had told herself she just wanted to get to know Sally better, seeing as she was such an important part of Giles’ past. It had nothing to do with Buffy wanting to make sure that she was sitting in between them on the couch. But, when she had gotten home, Giles wasn’t there. She’d sat there and waited for him for three hours, but he hadn’t shown. Finally she’d gone out patrolling. Now, afraid of what she’d find she reluctantly followed Spike and they headed for her home.
He still wasn’t there. Spike was actually surprised. He never figured Giles for a two-timer, and he hadn’t been sure that this spell would work, but all the evidence seemed to be pointing in that direction. This tart must have been quite the piece of work. He grinned. Finally, a spell that seemed to be working. Spike decided that as it was almost midnight that Giles must be planning to make it an all-nighter. And that gave Spike an idea. One more nail to drive in the coffin. Buffy would never forgive Giles after this, or ever believe him again for that matter. He looked at Buffy. “So, what’s this tart’s name?”
“Sally.” Buffy managed to imbue her name with a healthy dose of venom.
“Well, I’m sure he’ll be home soon. I’ll just see myself out.”
Buffy barely acknowledged him. She sat on the couch. Giles’ sheets, blanket and pillow were piled on one end. Buffy grabbed his pillow and held it to her chest. She let out a sigh and just sat there in the darkness.
Spike handed the demon the script. “You got it?” The demon nodded. Spike slapped him on the arm. “Right then, off you go.” The demon started in response to the slap, then he nodded again, the script in one hand, and a picture of Giles in the other.
Buffy heard the door open and she sat up. She looked at the clock. It was one in the morning. She turned on a light and watched as Giles walked in. He sent her a tentative smile. “Buffy.”
Giles stood there behind the chair. “We need to talk.”
Giles looked down at something in his hand. It was hidden behind the chair so Buffy couldn’t see what it was. “It’s time to call it quits.”
“You and me. It’s over.”
Buffy gasped. “You’re leaving me? You’re going back to England?” This was too horrible for words. “You’re not going to be my Watcher anymore?”
Giles frowned and looked down again. “No, I mean the sex part.”
Buffy’s eyes widened. “What…how…?”
Giles pressed on. “It’s been fun. But, it just won’t last. Now that Sally’s back I realize that I need someone older and more mature. I just don’t love you that way. You’re too young.”
“I am not too young, if you…if you figure my age in Slayer years. I mean, there’s got to be some sort of conversion factor, like there is for dogs. I’m probably older than you.”
“I need someone more experienced. Someone who can be more exciting in bed, more creative. I love Sally.”
Buffy felt like Giles had plunged a knife in her chest. “You love…?” She couldn’t even finish that unbearable sentence. Buffy switched tactics. “Hey, I’m creative.” Buffy winced. “What do you mean, exactly, by creative?”
The script didn’t lend itself to extemporaneous banter. “Let’s just be adults about this and move on. It just won’t work between us.”
Buffy was about to argue some more when she finally realized what she was arguing about. She waved her hand to try and start over. “So, let me get this straight, you’re breaking up with me?”
“And we can’t have sex anymore?”
Buffy leaned back against the couch, flummoxed. She’d missed a few chapters somewhere along the way. The front door opened and her eyes widened as Giles walked in. His jaw dropped as he saw himself standing there. “Buffy, what’s going on?” He warily started making his way over to the couch.
“You got me.” She pointed at the Giles standing behind the chair. “This Giles isn’t quite dealing with a full deck.”
This the demon hadn’t counted on. Spike had told him that the man would be gone all night. He bolted. Giles lunged for him but he eluded him and was out the door slamming it shut behind him.
Giles opened it back up but he was gone from sight. Giles took off his glasses. “What the…?” He turned back to Buffy. “What did he want? What were you talking about?” Buffy shifted uncomfortably. Giles waited and when no answer was forthcoming he moved to sit next to her. “Buffy, what did he say?” He laid a hand on his chest. “You know I’m me, right?”
Buffy nodded. “Yeah, I got that.”
“Well, what did he say?”
Buffy took a deep breath. “He said that he wanted to break up with me and that we couldn’t have sex anymore.”
Giles’ jaw dropped. “Good Lord.” He looked at the door where his other self had run out. “Why on earth would someone that looks like me come here and say that to you?”
“Good question. In fact, I have a few more questions.”
Giles pinched the bridge of his nose. “As do I.”
Buffy meant that she had questions to ask Giles. So she started to ask them. And once she started she couldn’t stop. “Where have you been? What have you been doing? Did you have sex with Sally? Would you rather have sex with Sally than with me? Do you love her? If we were dating would you be breaking up with me now that Sally’s back? Do you really think I’m too young and boring? Don’t you think I could be exciting in bed?” When she took in Giles’ stunned look Buffy snapped her mouth shut.
Giles answered her the only way he could. “Would you like some tea?” He stood and headed for the kitchen.
Buffy padded after him. “Now that I’ve totally embarrassed myself asking all those questions, I want you to answer them.”
“Yes, well, perhaps we could take them one by one. I’d hate to answer the wrong question with the wrong answer.” He grimaced. “And perhaps we could skip over a few of them.” He looked at Buffy. “What exactly did I say to you?”
Buffy blushed. “You said that I was young and you wanted someone older and more mature. Someone experienced, more exciting and creative. Creative? What the hell is that supposed to mean?” She practically spit the question out. “You said it’d been fun, but it wouldn’t last. That you didn’t love me like that.” Giles had to strain to hear her next sentence. “You said you loved Sally.” She raised stricken eyes to him. “Do you? Do you love her?”
Giles returned her gaze with puzzled eyes. “I’m not sure why you’re so upset. That wasn’t me. I didn’t say those things. You and I are not involved that way.”
Buffy didn’t want to be distracted. “Just answer the question.”
“You’re the only one allowed to ask questions?” At Buffy’s glare he acquiesced. “Yes, I love Sally.” He paused. “As a friend.”
“Where is she now?”
“Back at her hotel.”
The mention of her hotel made Buffy wince. “Did you sleep with her?”
“Why do you care?”
“I just do.”
Giles looked at her carefully. It was quite clear that it did matter to her, it mattered a lot. He smiled softly at her. “No, no I didn’t.”
Buffy had to fight the urge to get up and dance around the kitchen. Instead she turned unbelieving eyes up to Giles. “You didn’t? You didn’t have sex?” Giles shook his head. Buffy persisted. “But she wanted to. I know she did.”
“Yes, she did.”
“Didn’t you want to have sex with her?”
Giles sat at the kitchen table and took his glasses off. He threw them on the table. “Yes, I did.”
That wasn’t the answer Buffy wanted to hear. She tried to keep the quiver out of her voice. “So why didn’t you?”
Giles shook his head. “It’s not our time anymore.”
“Whose time is it?”
Giles couldn’t stop the quick glance he sent Buffy’s way. But Buffy saw it, and she saw something in his eyes that made her heart start to beat faster. Giles shook his head. “It doesn’t matter.”
“Why didn’t it work between you, back in England? Was it because of me?”
Giles reached out and gently touched her hand. “No, not exactly anyway. Sally wanted a home in London, a dependable husband, and children. She knew my calling could take me away and that I would allow it to. We’d already gone our separate ways when I found out I was to be sent here to be your Watcher.”
“I think you’re dependable.” She felt like she needed to defend him.
Giles let out a short laugh. “I suppose I seem that way to you. But, I’m committed to you, in a way I never could be to Sally.”
“She seemed to think you were quite the stud muffin.” Giles tried to let that comment pass by but Buffy was relentless. “She said you guys had the best sex ever, like in recorded history.”
Giles thought about Sally and he couldn’t help but grin. He nodded. “She…we…it was rather extraordinary.”
“You don’t think we could have extraordinary sex?”
Giles’ eyebrows almost rose off his forehead. “I…I have no idea how to answer that question.”
“Do you think I’d be boring in bed?”
Giles let out another half laugh. “Don’t be absurd. You’re a lovely, passionate woman. Nothing about you is remotely boring. I think…I’m sure…I’ve no doubt you’d be…” The kettle whistled and Giles sprang up to take care of it as if his chair had been spring-loaded. He hung around the stove for a minute, willing his body to calm down. He turned to Buffy. “Would you like some tea?”
Buffy nodded. Giles reached for a second cup. He carried the two mugs over to the table. Buffy wasn’t done. “How long is she going to be here?”
“Sally?” Buffy nodded. “She’s going back tomorrow.”
“Jeez. She came all this way just for one night with you?”
Giles let out a rueful laugh. “Actually, yes she did.” He shook his head. It still didn’t make any sense to him. “Speaking of which…I’m beginning to think that there’s something going on.”
“What gave it away? The fact that there are two of you?”
“Ha, ha.” Giles took a sip of his tea. “No, I think that Sally was compelled to come here, by a spell.” He looked at Buffy. “What Sally and I had was quite special but I don’t think it warrants an unexpected trip across the Atlantic Ocean. Plus she knew exactly where I was. We lost touch once I moved here.”
Buffy frowned. “And then a second Giles shows up, saying you’re in love with her so you’re dumping me.” She looked thoughtful. “And then there was that night at the Bronze when you got all weird.”
Giles glared at her. “I wasn’t the one acting oddly that night. I was drunk. I had an excuse.”
Buffy stuck her tongue out at him. “Still, weirdness happened.”
“I’ll grant you that.”
Buffy took a sip of her tea. “What’s the point? I don’t see how it all adds up.”
Giles shook his head. “No, nor do I. But we’d best be alert. Perhaps we should have some sort of code word so you can tell whether it’s me or not.”
Buffy grinned. “Cool. What should we use?” Buffy took a sip of tea at the same time Giles did.
Giles grinned back. They both spoke at the same time. “Would you like a cup of tea?”
Buffy saluted him with her teacup. Buffy pointed into the living room. “Want to go watch some TV?”
Giles stood. “I’d like that.” He held out his hand and she placed hers in his. He pulled her hand through his arm and covered it with his own. Giles escorted her into the living room and they situated themselves on the couch. Buffy sat quite close to him, and Giles was glad she did. Buffy reached for the remote and flicked the television on.
When Spike looked in the window a couple of hours later, he couldn’t believe his eyes. There they were, Giles and Buffy, snug as a couple of bugs, asleep on the couch. They were lying down and Giles was spooned behind her, her head resting on one of his arms, his other wrapped around her. Spike cursed. “Fine. That’s it. No more Mister Nice Guy. The Watcher is going down.” Spike flicked his cigarette away with an angry gesture and then stomped off. Buffy and Giles slept on, unaware.
Buffy stretched on the couch. Giles had already left but she could still remember what it felt like to wake up in his arms. She sighed. It had felt so nice to lie next to him all night. She hadn’t wanted the morning to come. She frowned. Of course he’d been the perfect gentleman. She should have made him drink some scotch. A lot of scotch. Who knew when they’d have another quiet night. Willow, Tara and Dawn would all be back home tonight and it would be the usual zoo. Buffy grabbed Giles’ pillow again and buried her face in it.
Later that night, while Buffy started to clear the dinner plates, she cast a nervous eye on the clock. Giles was late. Very late. Buffy had called Anya and Anya had told her that Giles had left a few hours ago. Buffy couldn’t imagine where he might be. Well, actually she could but she was trying hard not to think of that. Besides, Giles had told her that Sally was going home today. Buffy bit her lip. No one noticed Buffy’s nervousness. They were all getting caught up on their various adventures.
Buffy heard Giles’ car pull up. She dropped the casserole dish on the counter and ran to the front door. Buffy yanked it open just as Giles reached the front door. Giles tried to walk in but he wasn’t able to. Spike was standing in the shadows; his final spell-casting demon skulking behind him. He grinned at the look on Giles’ face. Spike waited for the perfect moment to have the demon say the second part of the spell.
Buffy took an involuntary step back. Giles tried again, but it was as if there was an invisible wall keeping him out. Giles sent her a confused look. “I can’t seem to come in.” He put up a hand and felt the barrier.
Buffy was starting to feel a black hole growing around her heart. “Giles, where have you been?”
“I took Sally to the airport, down to LA. I just got back.” Giles finally took in the sound of Buffy’s voice, and the look on her face, and he put two and two together. “Buffy, I’m not…” Spike prodded the demon and the second part of the spell was cast. Spike grinned again. God, he loved irony. He couldn’t imagine a more fitting end for the Watcher.
Buffy gasped as Giles’ face changed to one of a vampire. She started to shake her head and her eyes filled with tears. “Oh, God, Giles.”
Giles tried to get in again, concerned about her tears, wanting to console her. His eyes widened in alarm as he watched her pull a stake out of her pocket. Giles put his hands up. “Buffy, I’m not a vampire.”
Buffy angrily brushed the tears off her face. “Right. Tell that to your face.”
Giles started backing down the steps towards the front path. “Buffy, stop, think this through.” He ran a hand over his face but it felt completely normal to him.
Buffy let out a sob. “What were you going to do? Get me to invite you in so you could kill me, kill us all?”
Giles’ heart was starting to pound. He backed up some more. Buffy walked outside, slowly but inexorably heading his way, stake poised for the kill. Giles looked up as he heard a scream. Dawn was in the doorway, her face aghast. “Is that Giles? Is he a vampire?” She crumpled to the ground, crying.
Buffy nodded grimly, answering her sister. “Yes. He is.”
Giles kept backing up. He was to the sidewalk now. “Buffy, I’m not. It’s a spell. Someone’s making you think I’m a vampire.”
Buffy hesitated for a second then she kept coming. “That’s just what you’d say to get me to trust you.”
Giles saw his death in her eyes. “Buffy, please…don’t do this.”
Buffy started to cry. She tried to harden her heart. She kept up a mental litany. It’s not him, it’s not him, it’s not him. The problem was that it sounded just like him. She tried to think of Angel. Tried to think of everything that had happened because she had hesitated to do her duty. She couldn’t let that happen again. She couldn’t. She closed her eyes and then she realized what a mistake that was. His voice crooned to her.
“Buffy, just come to me. Feel my heartbeat. I won’t hurt you. I would never hurt you. Please, I love you.”
Buffy let out a wrenching sob and fell to her knees. She couldn’t do it. Giles ran to her and wrapped his arms around her. Buffy bared her neck. She gritted out the words, just loud enough for Giles to hear. “Just do it. Bite me. Turn me. I’d rather be a vampire with you than have to live without you.” She closed her eyes tightly, waiting for the fangs to puncture her skin.
Giles just held her more tightly. “Oh, Buffy. I can’t live without you either.”
Buffy’s eyes opened again when she realized that Giles wasn’t biting her. In fact, he was…he was kissing her. Kissing her neck, kissing her jaw, kissing her lips. He took one of her hands and he put it on his chest. His heart was pounding. She sat back and looked at him. Looked at his vampire face. Giles then raised her hands and put them on his face. She could see the ridges, but her hands only felt his face. His wonderful, wonderful human face. Her thumb grazed his lips and he let out a moan. Buffy pulled his face towards hers and this time she kissed him. They were both on their knees, arms around each other, bodies pressed tightly together, their lips exploring, tasting, their true feelings for each other finally coming out.
Spike’s jaw dropped. Putting a hand up to keep the demon from leaving, Spike ran over to Buffy and Giles, pulling Buffy away. “What the hell are you doing, Slayer? He’s a bloody vampire. Stake him.”
Buffy was laughing and crying at the same time. “No, no he’s not. His heart is beating; he’s warm. It’s a spell.” She reached for Spike’s hand and tried to put it on Giles’ face. Spike pulled his hand back as if he’d been burned. He cursed under his breath.
Tara, Willow and Dawn had come out of the house by now and were approaching, Dawn still with tears falling down her cheeks. Giles looked at them. “I’m really not a vampire.”
Knowing her Slayer sister was right there, Dawn bravely but warily walked up to Giles and put her hand on his chest. She let out a huge sigh of relief when she felt his heartbeat. She turned to Willow and Tara. “He does have a heartbeat.”
Willow came over next, looking at Buffy. “So, why does he look like one? And why were you kissing him?”
Buffy faced Giles. She leaned forwards and kissed him again. “Because I love him. I never realized how much until right now, when I almost lost him.”
Giles looked at her with wonder. “Oh, Buffy, I love you too.” They started kissing again.
Buffy kissed her way to his ear. “I can’t believe how good you feel.”
Giles couldn’t agree more. “I can’t believe I never did this before.”
No one else heard that comment, except for Spike. He pulled them apart again, glaring at Giles. “What do you mean, never did this before?” He shifted his glare to Buffy. “You’ve been shagging all week, remember? After he paid you all that money.”
Buffy’s eyes widened. Giles protested on their behalf, or he tried, Spike’s comments about the two of them shagging causing a heated sensation to flow through his body. “No…we…I…”
Buffy interrupted. “Spike, what are you talking about? I never even kissed Giles until tonight, until right now.” She turned to look at Giles and grinned. “Although now that I’ve started…” She sent an inviting look Giles’ way that created an answering grin on his face.
Willow went back to the matter at hand. “I don’t understand. Why would someone want to make Giles look like a vampire?”
Buffy frowned and looked up at Spike who was still hovering over her and Giles. Her frown deepened. “What do you know about this?”
Spike swallowed. “Nothing. Why do you think I had anything to do with it?” As Buffy’s eyes developed a dangerous glint Spike looked around, eyeing the demon still skulking behind the tree. He pointed. “Look, there’s a demon, it must have been him. Let’s get him.” Spike started to move towards him. The demon’s eyes grew wide with alarm and he ran for it, eluding Spike’s hastily thrown punch.
As soon as he ran down the street the effects of the spell dissipated. Buffy let out a gasp of relief as she ran her hands down Giles’ now visually unvamped face. “Okay, that’s better. That’s much, much better.” His face looked so good to her. She moved in to kiss him again.
Giles stopped her. The look he sent her was full of love. “Buffy, while I’m very, very grateful that your feelings for me stopped you from killing me, you know that you must never allow me to bite you if I become a vampire. You know that, right?” The thought that she had so willingly bared her neck to him both thrilled and terrified Giles.
Buffy put her hand on his face. “Giles, I told you the other night that you were the most important person in the world to me. I meant it then, and I mean it even more now. You’re the other half of me. I can’t do this without you. I can’t. I won’t.”
Giles pulled her to him and hugged her tightly. “Oh Buffy.”
Willow, Tara and Dawn watched the romantic storyline play out in front of them, their mouths open. The three of them could feel the genuine love and affection emanating from both Buffy and Giles. It was the only thing keeping an expression of disgust off of Dawn’s face. Willow and Tara were enraptured. They both sighed.
Spike, on the other hand, was appalled. He yanked them apart one more time. Giles stood, pulling Buffy up with him. He grabbed Spike by the lapels of his coat. “If you do that one more time, I’m staking you.” Giles shook Spike. “Are we clear?” The dangerous gleam in his eyes was very clear.
Spike nodded. He was confused. “You haven’t been shagging all week?”
Giles shook his head. “Not that it’s any of your business, but in all honesty, I never even thought of Buffy that way until…” He looked at Buffy. “…until that night at the Bronze.”
Buffy’s jaw dropped. “Is that what was going on that night?”
Giles let go of Spike and turned to face Buffy, frowning. “You mean when you were practically having sex out on the dance floor?”
Buffy waved her hand dismissing that fact as unimportant. “You were really wanting me that night? It wasn’t just cuz you were drunk?”
Giles groaned. “God, I never wanted anyone more in my life. That’s why I got drunk.”
“You wanted me even more than Sally?”
Grinning, Giles replied, “More than anyone.”
Spike stepped in, looking at Buffy but pointing at Giles. “But you wanted him, right?”
Buffy shook her head. “No, I mean now I do, but no. Not until Sally showed up, you know, Giles’ friend from England.” She spoke to them all, but to no one in particular while she gazed at Giles. “Boy, all she could talk about was how good Giles was…” She remembered that Dawn was there so she cut that sentence off. “Well, she just kept pointing out all of the goodness that was my Watcher. By the time she left with him it was all I could do not to jump him myself, after I clawed her eyes out.”
Giles leaned in to give her a quick kiss. “All quite unnecessary, I assure you.” He clarified. “The eye clawing bit that is. Feel free to do whatever jumping you feel is required.”
Buffy was practically humming. “I think I feel the need for a lot of jumping.”
Spike was biting his lips to keep from screaming. Every conversation he’d had with Buffy and Giles this week was taking on an entirely new slant. He’d done this. He’d brought them together. He’d made them fall in love with each other. Spike stood up straight. No, Tony had done this, him and his magic challenged group of deficient demons. Time to go do some punching and maiming. He threw a disgusted look at Buffy and Giles and stomped off.
Giles and Buffy stood there, looking at each other, loving each other. Willow was shaking her head. “ “I still don’t understand why Giles looked like a vampire.”
Tara looked over at Buffy and Giles. “We can figure it out tomorrow.” She reached for Willow’s hand and after a quick glance at Buffy and Giles, Willow grinned and followed Tara and Dawn into the house.
Buffy put her hands on Giles’ chest. “Feel like getting jumped now?”
Giles grinned back and nuzzled her neck. “In a house full of people? I think not.”
Buffy drew back, surprise on her face. “No jumping?”
“Buffy, I fully expect our first time to be quite a noisy and long lasting affair. I don’t really want an audience.”
Buffy pouted. “Well, when…?”
Giles started nuzzling her again. “Won’t they all be gone all day tomorrow?”
Buffy started nuzzling him back. “We’ll have the house to ourselves for hours.”
Giles kissed her. “That will get us started, at any rate.”
Buffy groaned. “Tomorrow seems so far away.”
Giles looked at her tenderly. “I’m already yours, Buffy. And tomorrow will just be the first of all the rest of our tomorrows. We’ve found each other, and I’m never letting you go.”
Buffy sighed. “God, talented lips, wonderful hands, gorgeous and now he’s romantic to boot.”
Giles softly laughed. “Keep that up and there might be jumping tonight after all.”
Buffy’s eyes lit up. As they headed towards the house she kept talking. She never could resist a challenge.