“I don’t understand why this always happens to me. I mean. It’s not as if I were a bad person, right?” She glanced up at Giles with tears in her eyes, waiting for him to confirm that she was indeed a good person.
With a blank look on his face, Giles stared back at her. For the last couple of hours, since Harmony had shown up at the Magic Box, Giles had been listening to Harmony go on and on about... well to be honest he couldn’t quite remember exactly what it was she had been saying to him. Harmony had been there only moments before she had broken down, began to sob uncontrollably and pour out her whole life story to him. And that’s when he had began to drink. A lot. He knew it probably wasn’t the smartest move on his part, especially since she was a vampire. But the minute Spike’s name had entered the conversation he had felt it prudent on his part to have a little bottled courage before he heard any intimate details about the two of them. The trouble was he had been too busy enjoying the taste of the scotch to pay any real attention to what Harmony had been saying.
Giles poured himself another glass of scotch, narrowed his eyes as if in reflection and pretended he had been paying rapt attention the whole time. He still didn’t understand why she had chosen him off all people to confide in but since he really didn’t have a choice in the matter he might as well wing it.
“Repeat that last part. I think you will find it was really pivotal.”
“I’m not a bad person?”
Giles shook his head. “No, not that one.”
“That I didn’t understand why this always happens to me?”
He almost groaned out loud. He had heard that part. At this rate he was going to be there all night. Giles took a deep breath. “The one before that.”
“Oh, I think I said that I give and give and give and still no one appreciates me.”
“That’s the one. I think you should....” Before he could finish speaking, Harmony continued.
“Like with Spike, I can never do enough to please him. I dress up as Buffy. I pretend to try and slay him and it’s still not enough.”
He quickly held up his hand to stop her. He really didn’t need to hear anymore about her and Spike’s sexual... Wait. What? “You dress up as Buffy?”
Harmony nodded her head, tears once more brimming towards the surface. It wasn’t something she was particularly proud of. More times than she could count she had been so tempted to really stake him but she had been unable to do that to her blondie bear.
“Good Lord, why?” The question slipped out before he could stop himself.
She shrugged her shoulders. “Spike asked me to. He said it would spice up our sex life. And he was right. He did things to me, things he had never wanted to do to me before. He even....”
A strangled noise slipped from Giles’ throat as he tried not to think about whatever the thing was Spike had never wanted to do to her. He was stunned Harmony would willingly pretend to be someone else. Especially when there was nothing wrong with who she was. Giles leaned slightly forward mesmerized by the tears sliding down her cheeks. He reached out with one hand to capture one but was brought back to his senses as she continued to speak.
“But then things went bad. No matter what I did, I wasn’t good enough. Why, Giles? Why can’t I be good enough?”
Giles grabbed the first bottle of scotch from the table and peered inside before he quickly grabbed the other one. He turned it upside down. Nothing. Where had it all gone? Surely, he hadn’t drunk both of the bottles all by himself. His head began to spin just a bit as he stood up and he knew the horrible truth but that was okay. He had another bottle hidden in his office.
At the sound of his name he paused in the doorway. “Hmmmmm?”
“Would you ask the girl that you were supposed to love to do those kinds of things?”
“I..uh... I.. uh..” Giles whipped his glasses off and began to clumsily clean them on his handkerchief before pushing them back up the bridge of his nose.
Harmony stood up and walked to stand in front of Giles. “Would you? Would you make her do things she didn’t want to do but did just because she was too scared of losing you?”
His breath caught in his throat as she moved closer. And for a brief moment he couldn’t answer. She was standing so close to him. So close in fact he would have sworn he could feel her nipples poking him through his tweed jacket. But of course he knew that was a drunken hallucination.
“Would you do that?” Her eyes bore into his as she repeated her question.
As he stared into her eyes he realized he had never noticed quite how pretty she was. No, that wasn’t quite right. Pretty was too tame a word to use to describe her. Harmony was beautiful. Why had he never noticed that before?
“No. I wouldn’t.”
“I would never ask you to be anyone other than who you are. A beautiful, passionate woman. And if Spike wasn’t smart enough to realize that then it’s his loss. I’m not that stupid.”
Her lips trembled at his words. It didn’t matter to her that part of his speech was slurred as he spoke or that he smelled of scotch. Or even that he was a lot older than she was, at least for the time being. There was only one thing that mattered to her. He had called her beautiful.
As Giles’ hands slid around her waist and pulled her even closer she thought it only fair to remind him. “Technically I’m not a woman. I’m a vampire.”
“Semantics.” He whispered as he lowered his mouth to hers. The kiss lasted only seconds but a whole conversation took place within it.
In the back of his scotch addled brain he knew there would probably be a price to pay for his lack of sanity. But as he let Harmony lead him further into his office and shut the door he decided...His thoughts trailed off and his eyes widened as Harmony unzipped the dress she was wearing and let it fall to the floor. For this, he would gladly give the devil his due.