Giles was happy. He had a rare copy of the Dakenrabi Codex open on his desk, he had a stack of note cards ready at his hand to help with the Sumerian translation, and he even had a new pen. Best of all, Buffy was out of town for the weekend with her father, and as fond as he was of the Slayer, the notion of a few days of uninterrupted peace from her or her little gang was something he had been looking forward to for a very long time. He may have been living above the Hellmouth, but at this moment, Giles couldn’t imagine anything closer to bliss. Why he even—
—The library doors swung open and Ms. Calendar (“No, Jenny ,” he reminded himself, then, “No, Ms. Calendar —this is school property, best to keep things professional.”) breezed in. Her neck craned around to see through the door to his office, and then, catching his eye, she waved and leaned gracefully against the check-out desk.
Giles stood up. Her head was tilted to the side and she was smiling at him, loose hair just brushing at her shoulder. Something that smelled… nice, a less intelligent part of his brain decided on, while the rest scrambled to identify it, was floating in the air around her. Her lips parted. He tried not to stare.
“Hey, England, how’s it going?”
“Hello, erm, Ms-Jen-um… hello.” Giles sighed inwardly, and thought comforting thoughts like “ idiot ,” to himself.
She chuckled, gently, and leaned further across the counter, and the motion somehow caused Giles to step closer toward her, like a magnet exerting irresistible pull. His eyes did, however, stay carefully trained on her face.
“Listen Rupert—” (and he thought, “school hours are over anyway, professionalism be damned,”) “—I know the kids are away and you probably have some big exciting plans with a book to keep you occupied this weekend,” Giles shuffled subtly to the side, trying to disrupt her line of vision from the Codex, “but I was wondering, hoping , that you could maybe, um, give me a hand?”
“Oh?” Giles straightened, “With, er, what?”
“Well, there’s a coven in Oceanside who have unearthed… something. And they’ve asked me to come and take a look, but seeing as it’s not really my area of expertise, I thought I could bring you along.” Jenny smiled winningly. “Only if you’re interested, though.”
He blinked. “Er, did they give you any details of the…something’s origins, or, or—”
“—They couldn’t tell.” Jenny shrugged. “They said old.”
Giles took the glasses off his nose and began to polish them, not , he decided, excitedly. “And Oceanside, that’s not, um, close is it?”
“Three, four hour drive?” she shrugged, “I thought I’d stay over one night.” Her smile flashed wider, “Bring a toothbrush.”
The Codex was still open on his desk. The cards, the new pen, waiting ready beside it. Giles squared his shoulders.
“Right! Then let’s, er, hit the road!”
Jenny blinked. “Really?”
“Absolutely,” Giles took his jacket off the coat rack, his briefcase off the floor, “Even outside of Sunnydale, it’s best to keep tabs on all mystical occurrences, potential or otherwise. As, as a Watcher, it would be remiss of me not to go.”
He rounded the counter and held his arm out, ushering her out the door ahead of him, and tried not to dwell on the fact that she smiled when his hand touched hesitantly at her elbow.
Just as he was out the door, a thought occurred to him. “Oh, this isn’t some plot of Buffy and the others to, erm, get me out of the library for the weekend, is it?”
“Buffy and the others?” Jenny’s eyes looked into his, wide and innocent. “No, not at all. They’ve got nothing to do with this.”
“Oh.” Giles smiled, and his hand brushed not-quite-so cautiously against hers.