“Open your eyes, Giles. You have to realize that he sees you as more than a mentor,” Willow said.
“Or a boss,” Buffy contributed.
“Exactly,” echoed Xander.
“Or as the only person that still laughs when he recites the ‘witch interrogation scene’ from Holy Grail,” Buffy pointed out.
“Oh, that’s wonderfully funny,” remarked Giles, chuckling softly.
“I’ll give you once, maybe twice. But after twenty times, even I’ve reached my limit,” Xander stated.
“At least he’s stopped quoting ‘Star Wars’,” said Giles.
Willow sighed. “No, he still does that. You just don’t notice.”
“He’s proven to be a very capable assistant. He’s invaluable with the research, can speak numerous demon languages, including some dialects that I’ve never even heard of, and is the only one of you lot that can make a decent cup of tea.”
“He knows that much about demons because he used to summon them,” supplied Xander.
“As did I, lest we forget. But what does...?”
“But you never conspired with a group of geeks against Buffy,” argued Xander.
Willow hissed “You’re not helping,” at Xander, at the same time that Buffy coughed and whispered the word “Cruciamentum” to Giles under her breath.
“I cannot believe you’re bringing that up.”
Buffy shrugged. “It was a parallel. I went with it.”
“Be that as it may, I’m still not sure what any of this has to do with Andrew having an interest in me that is anything other than platonic.”
“Well, it’s nice to know there’s common ground. If you were to pursue this, that is,” Willow said.
“Common demon-y and Slayer-betraying ground, but common ground nonetheless,” Xander reasoned.
“And this is what you lot are basing relationships on these days?”
“Helps you cut right through the small talk,” answered Buffy with a smile.
“Are you saying that you want me to pursue Andrew?”
“The thing is—" Xander began.
“It’s just that—" Willow attempted.
Buffy gave an exasperated sigh. “You haven’t pursued anyone since we’ve been here.”
“And we know you aren’t comfortable with bringing anyone in from the outside,” said Willow.
“And the slayers are off-limits,” said Buffy.
“Really? To all of us or just Giles?” asked Xander.
“Well, considering I’ve already broken that rule, it should probably be just Giles,” replied Willow.
“You want me to date someone and yet—"
Buffy interrupted, “That also includes Dawn.”
“Dawn can’t date slayers?” Xander said, confused.
Giles rubbed the bridge of his nose. Andrew would need to bring him a bottle of Paracetamol by the time this conversation was over.
“Giles can’t date Dawn. I had a hard enough time when he was with mom. If he takes up with my sister, there’s going to be serious psychological damage.”
“And I’m a Kinsey six. Rules me out,” Xander said confidently. Willow leaned over and whispered something in his ear which caused him to blush and stammer. “One! One! I meant one. The straight one. That’s me.”
“Technically, you’d be a Kinsey zero. Whereas I am still gay and happily committed. Rules me out.”
“Which leaves us with Slayer moms,” Xander said.
“No,” said Buffy emphatically.
“What makes you think I’m not a Kinsey zero? Not every Brit is a ponce like Wesley.”
“Wesley was gay?” Xander asked.
“To answer your question, Giles, two words,” Buffy began.
“Ethan,” Willow supplied.
“Rayne,” Buffy finished.
“How did you know Wesley was gay?” Xander was still stuck on that revelation.
“Well, he...” Giles started, a blush tinting his cheeks at the memory.
“Ooh, watcher-love,” Willow giggled.
“Oh, that’s just wrong,” sighed Buffy.
“And kinda hot,” Xander admitted.
Willow clapped him on the shoulder. “Now you’re a Kinsey one.”
Andrew entered the room, books in hand, heading directly for Giles’ desk.
“I found that--“ Andrew stopped as he noticed the faces of the people that were seated around the conference table. Giles looked annoyed and everyone else looked guilty. “Oh, sorry for the interruption. I didn’t think there was a Scooby meeting on schedule for today.”
“There wasn’t. This was an unplanned ambush,” Giles muttered.
“We were just heading out,” explained Willow.
“The thing,” said Buffy.
“Right. What thing was that exactly?”
“The one that’s further away. See you later.” Buffy leaned close to Giles and whispered, “Give him a chance.” She drew back and smiled at him.
Buffy gave Andrew a wave and closed the door behind her.
“I found the data on the Taesikian demon and you’ve got an e-mail from that weapons supplier.” Andrew set the volume on the desk and opened it up to a book-marked page. “Do you need anything before we get started? Tea? Paracetamol?”
Giles stood where he was, looking from the door to Andrew. “You set that up,” he said, his voice deadly quiet.
Even though Giles didn’t move, Andrew took a step back. “I didn’t summon the demon. It was already here.”
“Not that. The intervention or whatever it was.”
“What intervention? What’s going on, Rupert?”
“My advisors have just suggested that I date you.”
“’Hmm?’ That’s all you have to say?”
“Would ‘yippee’ be more appropriate?”
“You don’t understand.”
“I understand that, after the past eighteen months of sneaking around, I’m not going to have to leave your bedroom at four in the morning anymore. I understand that I’m going to be able to touch you in public and not just those moments when you use me as a training demonstration. I understand that the two of us may actually be able to get away from this compound every so often and not necessarily when it involves official council business. I understand that the three people you love most in the world have just put the seal of approval on me and for once in my life, I am the chosen one.”
Giles came around the desk to stand next to Andrew. As he gently touched Andrew’s face, he whispered. “You’ve been the chosen one for eighteen months, Andrew.”
“And it’s not just because I can speak Mendrosi.”
“No,” Giles chuckled. “Although that is an asset.”
“Do you want to see what I’ve found out about the Taesikian?”
“In a moment. I was wondering...”
“If you would care to go out on a date with me. Tonight, perhaps?”
Andrew consulted his ever-present electronic scheduler. “You have that meeting with Christianne’s parents.”
“You’re free the Tuesday after next.”
“I’ve waited a year and a half. A couple more weeks won’t kill me.”
Giles gave Andrew an odd look. “Tonight. After the meeting.”
Andrew jotted a note in the planner as Giles sat down and tapped a few keys to get into his e-mail program. “Date with Andrew. There. It’s scheduled.”
“I’m not going to forget.”
“Even if you do, you’ll have me to remind you.”
Giles glanced at the screen. “Andrew, can you take a look at this?”
Leaning over Giles' shoulder, Andrew spotted it immediately. The subject line read GILES + ANDREW: IT’S ABOUT TIME!!!!. Dawn must have sent the e-mail after he checked the system. “The four exclamation points make a nice touch.”
“How long has she known?”
“Seven... teen and a half months.”
“It just slipped out. And everybody knows so it shouldn’t make any difference, should it?”
“It doesn’t. Could you wire one hundred American dollars from my personal account to Faith? We… had a bit of a friendly wager.”
“You told Faith?!”
“She guessed. When she came here with Talia, she figured it out.”
“You cracked under pressure.”
“I can’t help it that the girl has a sixth sense about these things.”
“She sees dead people?”
“Never mind. Now, about that demon...”