Chapter 1: Polestar
Giles could not turn away from her, could not look anywhere else. His Slayer was glorious in the nude. She probably worried that she was too muscled to be attractive, too obviously powerful. But Giles was drawn to that power, those muscles. He loved the sight of the hot water from the shower running down her lats and deltoids, the suds from his cocoa-vanilla soap melting away. He lathered her back again and set the soap on the dish. He ran his thumbs up along her spine. Buffy relaxed under him, with a soft exhalation of breath.
"Don't stop," she said.
"Mmm. You're very tight. And you've lost definition. Have you been training at all?"
"I do my step aerobics. And I've been doing some boxing with Riley and his buddies."
Giles grunted and worked his thumbs across her shoulders, using his full strength. Buffy was more than up to it. "You'll train with me, and only with me. We'll discuss exceptions for specialty skills as needed. I'll give you a workout plan."
"You mean, no more doing stuff with the Initiative?"
"No. Nothing. I don't want you so much as sparring with them."
"Why not? Riley likes it--"
"Because you will learn bad habits fighting humans. Because I doubt very much they use the weapons you'll need for demons. And because I forbid it, and you agreed to submit to my authority as your Watcher."
"Aha. The Watcher makes his demands."
"Just so. Trust me, Buffy."
"I do. I'll break the news to Riley. God, I missed this. You're so good at it."
He'd missed this too, this gentle contact with his Slayer. He used to massage her routinely after workouts, and sometimes when she felt more stressed than usual. But she'd been avoiding his touch entirely since he'd been fired. Since that thrice-damned Cruciamentum, and his ritual betrayal. No more. His loyalties were clear. He felt a little thrill of arousal shivering through him.
Giles reached for the shampoo and lathered up her hair. He massaged her scalp gently. She turned to rinse, throwing her head back under the spray. Her throat was magnificent; she was magnificent; she was his mistress; she was his Slayer again. He braced a hand on the wall of the shower, suddenly overcome with emotion.
He went to his knees before her, a trifle awkwardly in the little tub, and soaped her feet. He worked his way up to her knees, then paused. "May I touch you, my Slayer?" he said, looking up.
Buffy smiled down at him. "Go ahead."
Giles washed his way up her body, taking care not to touch her sex without invitation. They hadn't discussed that sort of submission, but he enjoyed it. And she seemed to appreciate it. So he would indulge himself, and not take liberties. Then she lifted a foot and rested it on the edge of the tub, giving him a clear view of her sex. And access. She meant it as an invitation, so he leaned in to worship her with his mouth again. He tasted soap and water and musk, the taste of her arousal slowly gaining ascendance as he licked and sucked. Her fingers gripped his hair, and he felt her shudder against him.
"You're good at that, too," she said, with an unsteady voice.
Giles smiled, and kissed her thighs. She tugged at his hair and pulled him to his feet.
"My turn," she said, and took the soap. "Turn around."
Giles braced himself against the wall and spread his legs as far as he could in the tub. She washed his backside and thighs. He felt her fingers moving on his welts again, pressing. He was sore, more sore than he'd realized earlier. Then her fingers moved to his arse. She'd played with him there only a little last night. Giles arched his back, hoping to entice her into playing more. And she gratified his wish immediately, sliding a soapy finger into him. She moved it slowly, exploring him. He sighed.
"You like this."
"You like being plugged?"
"Being taken by other men?"
Giles shook his head. "Not so much. For me... for me it's submission. And other men submit to me."
"I'd like to see that."
Giles opened his mouth to answer, but she chose that moment to push a second finger into him and he was unable.
"When's the last time someone took you this way?"
Her fingers found what she'd been seeking, and Giles gasped. "Oh. I-- Jenny. Two years now. God."
"When's the last time you were with another man?"
He could barely think, with her fingers caressing him like that. "Y-years. Before I came to the States. Six years? Longer. God, that feels so good, Buffy, please--"
"Hold still. Don't come unless I tell you you may."
A third finger, opening him further than he'd been opened in years. Giles leaned his head against his arms, angling himself so that his cock could not brush against the wall. Despite Buffy's warning he was in no danger of coming, not so soon after coming earlier, but he could enjoy it. And enjoy it he would. He gave himself over to the feeling of her fingers inside him, sliding in and out, claiming him. She had a hand on his hip, bracing herself.
"What's the most intense thing Jenny did to your ass?"
Giles shook himself and attempted to put his attention on her question instead of on those fingers. "She, ah. Oh, right. Made me wear a plug and the metal cock ring and sent me to school. I couldn't think about anything else all day. Had a raging erection. Had to hide in my office. You, ah, you told me I looked like I was coming down with something and should go home."
Buffy giggled. "Did you guys do that often?"
"I wore the cock ring many times, but not the plug. That night I requested that she not, because it interfered with training you. Then she, um, she whipped me for reminding her that she wasn't first in my life."
She'd understood, Jenny had, and yielded to necessity, but she'd also hated it. There had been a piece of Rupert Giles that had always faced away from her, pointing unerringly toward the true north of his life. And it hadn't been much later that he'd been forced to make it clear to everyone who had his loyalty.
"Poor baby. Fortunately, no conflicts of interest with your new mistress."
Her fingers were gone, and then she slapped him, hard, twice. He gasped from surprise, then groaned as the pain flooded through him a moment later. He held himself as still as he could, waiting for more. But apparently that was all she wanted, because next he felt the soap bar gliding over his bruised thighs. She washed his backside thoroughly, then turned him around to wash his front. She paid careful attention to his entire body. Inspecting him, satisfying her curiosity, he didn't know what. He was entirely hers now. She'd always owned his heart and mind, and now she owned his body as well. His loyalties and desires were at last one.
When she had satisfied herself, she wrapped her arms around his waist and leaned against him. Giles held his pole star tight.
Chapter 2: Tactics
Buffy brushed out her hair. Giles did not own a hair dryer. She'd forgotten that. It had been ages since she'd spent a night here and showered with Giles' funky soap. Funky soap, which had at least smelled chocolatey, and worse shampoo. And no conditioner. She'd have to bring some of her papaya stuff over, something that she could be sure wasn't making her split ends worse. And some clothes. She'd stashed some clean panties in her messenger bag, but it would be nice to have a fresh shirt. Something Saturday-morning perky.
She wandered out to the flat's main room, brushing thoughtfully. A drawer. She should take over one of his dresser drawers.
The front door rattled. Then somebody hammered on it. Giles leaned over the pass-through and looked at the door, then at Buffy. "May I ask you to answer that, Buffy?"
"No prob." Buffy slid the bolt open and twisted open the lock on the doorknob. She pulled the door back. Sunlight and an anxious Xander poured through.
"You okay? Giles okay? Never seen that door locked before. What?"
Buffy made a tilty-headed dumb-blonde expression at Xander. "Sorry, Xan. Didn't realize you were in the habit of walking in here."
Xander shrugged, and grinned, and his anxiety vanished. "See, I'd like to be. It smells nice in here. Like breakfast. I am digging that."
Giles' voice floated in from the kitchen. "Ah. I see. Should I be making more French toast, then?"
"Wouldn't say no," Xander said cheerfully. "You make good French toast."
Xander and Buffy installed themselves on the stools at Giles' kitchen counter. Giles handed a plate of French toast to Buffy, along with a fork. Xander watched the plate move from hand to hand closely. Butter and a shaker full of cinnamon and sugar were already set out. Buffy slathered both on. She ate a chunk of cinnamon-y egg-y bread. Seriously good stuff. Xander watched her with the air of a man who regretted every bite that wasn't going in his own mouth.
"Xan. Gilesy breakfast is a good reason to be here, I admit, but your urgency level seemed high for mere breakfast. Even for you."
"Oh, right! There was a reason. Yeah. Willow called, looking for you. Because Riley pounded on the dorm door at two AM wanting to know where you were."
Buffy rolled her eyes.
"Funny, that's exactly what Willow said to him, only much more politely and at much greater length with actual words, 'cause she's Willow. But he appeared again this morning still in a lather, so she called me. So here I am, about to eat Giles's delicious French toasties."
Xander took the plate Giles handed over. Giles turned back to the stove. Buffy watched him dip more bread into batter. It was so unreal, to look at him now, in baggy corduroy pants and one of those oversized shirts he was always wearing, and remember what he looked like naked and hard and dripping with sweat. What he looked like coming underneath her.
Giles turned and stuck another two pieces of toast on Xander's plate, then carried his own plate out of the kitchen to his desk. He caught her eye and held it while he sat. His face didn't change, but Buffy knew he was feeling every one of those ten stripes. She'd taken a good look at them earlier, and they were deep bruises. Buffy felt herself get a little excited, just thinking about what they looked like. How Giles had writhed. How thrilling it was to think that under his clothes, he had marks she'd given him.
Buffy gave him a tiny grin, then ate her last piece of French toast. Giles bent to his breakfast.
Xander kicked her. Buffy looked over at him. Xander pointed to his neck, then pointed over at Giles. The hickey was completely obvious over the loose neck of Giles's shirt. Xander made a wide-eyed comic face, then an impressed hand gesture. Then he stuffed more toast in. Buffy giggled. He'd make an even funnier face when he found out who'd bitten Giles.
The front door opened. Buffy was so going to get into the habit of bolting that thing. "Hey! Smells good in here."
Willow came in, followed by Tara. Tara ducked her head apologetically and shut the door behind them.
Giles waved his fork, then swallowed. "No more," he said.
"That's okay, we ate."
"Willow had a coupon for wheatgrass juice at the co-op, so we went there for something healthy. I think it was healthy. It tasted healthy. You know."
"Terrible," said Xander, with his mouth full.
"Exactly," said Tara. Buffy decided right then that she liked Tara about fifty times more than she'd expected to. There was something about the way the mischief was visible at the corners of her eyes.
"Anyway, we're here because Riley said there was a demon and he was worried about you. We weren't worried, but we thought you ought to know about this demon. It was standing--"
"The HST was standing in the intersection of MLK and Avenida de las Pulgas downtown," said somebody at the door. Buffy snapped around, on alert. Sunshine in the doorway, however, and the voice was Riley's. He took a step inside and shut the door behind him. "It was swinging this weird metal thing on a chain. Smoke everywhere. Smelled like church, only weirder. Dunno what it was."
"Thurible," said Giles, promptly. "Interesting. What did it look like?"
"Metal, silvery, chain less than one meter in length--"
"No, the demon, juggins." Giles stood and carried his plate to the kitchen, collecting Buffy's and Xander's along the way.
"Oh. Our report said two meters tall, a single back-swept horn and a tail."
"Hoofed feet?" said Giles, voice raised over dish clatter.
Giles came back from the kitchen. "Single horn, hoofs. The species was undoubtedly a Chuffer. Though what it was doing censing an intersection, I don't know. What time?"
"First report just past midnight."
"Oh ho!" said Willow.
"Was it asking to learn to play the guitar?" Xander said.
"Never mind," Buffy told Riley.
Giles was already burrowing in the shelves, pulling out books. This made Buffy nervous. She went over to him. "Scoop?"
"It's quite easy to kill. Use wood. A stake, a wooden knife. I have a couple you can use, in the weapons chest. You should have no trouble."
"So why the research?"
"Crossroads at midnight are mystically powerful. Might be up to something. Something more menacing than learning to play a musical instrument."
Giles handed Buffy a standard demonology and requested that she look up the Chuffer. He gave Xander the encyclopedia of demon religions that Buffy hated to look through, because it didn't have an index and was in order by some weird religion classification scheme the author had invented that was not alphabetical. Buffy flopped onto the couch with the book.
Riley sat next to her. "So where were you last night?"
Dammit. She and Giles hadn't had time for that talk on tactics he'd told her he wanted. He'd seemed to think there was something she wasn't thinking through with Riley. That was interesting. Giles, in saying that she needed to think tactically about her dealings with Riley, was implying that Riley was an enemy. Why?
Buffy considered Riley. He was smiling at her. A typical concerned boyfriend. "Why?" she said.
"I was worried when I couldn't find you," he said.
"I was here all night," Buffy said, which was the absolute truth. Something about what Riley had said irritated her. What? He didn't seem angry or annoyed. Just concerned.
"I didn't think to look for you here," Riley said, still the picture of the earnest boyfriend.
Buffy opened her demonology to the index. "Probably should get used to it."
"Giles and I had a long talk last night," Buffy said. She saw Giles color slightly and look down at the book in his lap. "We agreed some stuff needed to change. I need to start training again. So we made it official. He's my Watcher again."
"Cool," said Xander.
"That's really good news," Willow said.
"I'm very happy for both of you," Tara said. Buffy looked at her for a second, wondering if Tara had figured it out. She had the fewest preconceived notions about them, Buffy guessed.
"Wow. I'm really surprised."
Riley's voice was polite, and his face was carefully bland. Buffy kept her voice just as calm.
"We didn't discuss it," Riley said.
"Why would I discuss that with you?"
"Because I'm your boyfriend. I help you make decisions like that."
"No, you don't," said Buffy. "That's Watcher-Slayer business. I don't consult with you about this any more than you consulted with me about going for that parachute certification."
"But the Army is my job--" Riley seemed to realize what he'd said, because he stopped.
"Got it in one. You jump out of planes with guns for a living, and I Slay." Buffy gave him her perkiest smile. Then she didn't want to be sitting next to him any more. She picked up her book and carried it over to Giles' desk.
Giles had stood when she did, and was waiting beside his chair, which he pulled out to offer to her. He inclined his head to her, just enough for her to notice. He'd always been polite, with doors and chairs and so on, but this was a step further. This wasn't a game to him, she realized. He was demonstrating his respect, which was sincere and heartfelt and deep. She sat, and touched his hand in thanks. Giles went over to the kitchen pass-through with his book to stand and read.
Buffy held her hand over her mouth. She'd just figured something out.
She set it aside for now and opened the demonology. Time for work. For looking up this Chuffer thing, which had a name so silly that she was stumped trying to find a funny way to mispronounce it. That ought to be against the rules, as far as Buffy was concerned. She paged to the right section and started reading.
Five minutes later, Willow squeaked. "Ew! And yay me. I just found out what it's doing. It's trying to open a portal to Chufferland. So it can send back the dogs it collected. Which it eats. Last time it showed up in 1956 in New Jersey, it ate every single pet dog in town. Starting with the ones in the pound."
"I second your ew," said Buffy.
"Thirded," said Tara.
"Motion carried," said Xander.
Giles closed his book. "Well, then. Kill it and have done."
"How are you going to do that? Our bullets bounced right off."
"Oh, Giles already told me how to kill it."
Buffy didn't bother telling Riley how. He wouldn't believe her anyway. He was still not sure he bought that the Slayer wasn't a myth, even though Buffy had killed vamps right in front of his nose. He usually scoffed at the research stuff Giles did, and supplied his own reasons for why the tactics worked anyway. He said they were the rational ones, he and Professor Walsh and the Initiative. But didn't being rational mean taking in all the available information and reasoning about it? Okay, now he was sulking, and that was not what Buffy wanted. He was a nice guy, Riley was, maybe clueless sometimes, but he meant well. And he liked her. There was no point in hurting him.
Even if he didn't respect her calling and that meant the relationship was toast, eventually.
Think tactically. Buffy thought. Then she went over to Riley and popped up on her toes to kiss him.
"Don't fuss. The Slayer is on the job. We'll save the cute puppies."
She went over to Giles' weapons chest, where he kept the good stuff, and burrowed around until she came up with a wooden knife. She held it up to show Giles, and he nodded. She stuck it into her messenger bag.
"Hey, guys, I gotta hit the dorm soon. I have a paper to write for my lit class."
"Ooh, yeah, I have to work on my second draft for that one," Willow said. "Library time?"
"Yeah, think so," said Buffy. "Giles, I'll call ya when I've killed the Hufflepuff demon, okay?"
He smiled at her, just a brief flash, but for once refrained from correcting her. "I'll expect you tomorrow morning for our first session, Buffy. I'll give you a workout plan then. And some other material."
The gang packed up to head out together, the students back to campus and Xander to some place where he could watch Saturday morning cartoons in color. Or so he said. Buffy suspect him of heading off to find Anya for a session of whatever it was they did that left Xander looking so happy these days.
Giles saw them all off at his front door. Buffy watched the others head up the stairs to the street, then stepped close to Giles in the doorway.
"Hey. Giles. Watcher."
Giles inclined his head to her. "Yes, my Slayer?"
"I'm gonna come by after patrol. Not sure when. Maybe midnight or so. I want to find you naked except for the collar. In bed. And I want you to have your favorite plug ready."
She watched his throat work as he swallowed. Then he smiled at her, just a little quirk of his lips. "As you wish."
Beautiful. He was going to spend all day anticipating it.
Chapter 3: Lies
The gang headed up the sidewalk, away from Giles' flat. It was a January day, so cool and cloudy, but not rainy or windy: a good day for walking the two miles from Giles' place to campus. Buffy wished she could jog it. She was feeling good post Giles-massage, and wanting to stretch her legs. Though he'd told her in no uncertain terms that she wouldn't be slacking off on her workouts any more. And he'd given her a book to read on meditation.
Buffy liked that he was being pushy. It felt different now that she knew where it came from inside him, this urge to prepare her. To make her the best possible Slayer. She might have to rethink everything about her relationship with Giles. No, that was not a "might". That was a "definitely". You couldn't have sex like that with somebody and go on thinking of them as repressed. That had been seriously hot sex. Last night, and this morning when he'd--
"--hey! Earth to Buffy."
"What? Huh? Sorry, Xan, I was thinking about my paper. What was the question?"
Xander walked backwards in front of her for a second. "Can you believe the hickey Giles had?"
"It was kinda obvious," said Willow. "Is Olivia back?"
Xander said, thoughtfully, "No. He said she'd broken up for good. Couldn't cope with the creepies. He was kinda down about it."
Buffy said nothing. She hadn't asked Giles about Olivia. She hadn't known that her Watcher had been dumped. Xander knew more about what was going on with him. Or at least he had. Buffy set her jaw. She was going to make it up to her Watcher in a big way.
Xander continued. "Guess he's seeing somebody new, now. And having wild monkey sex with her."
"That would be the conclusion of nine out of ten people who saw him," Buffy said, drily.
"That thing was recent, too. He got his neck gnawed on in the last day."
Willow said, "How do you know that? Second thought, don't tell me. I already know too much."
Xander's face was red. "Can I help it if Anya likes, well, everything? At least to try it once."
Buffy laughed, but it was a cheerful laugh. "She likes a lot of stuff. It's refreshing. You know, to have somebody come right out and admit they like the things that everybody else likes but we're all too shy to say."
Now Tara was blushing, and Buffy hadn't quite figured out why. Something there.
"I like that idea," Xander was saying. "I feel liberated by it. I'm going to come out of the closet and say that I like oral sex. Sunnydale, I like oral sex!"
Buffy and Xander started giggling hard. Willow punched Xander in the shoulder, then gave in and laughed too. They staggered across the big street onto the campus grounds, laughing until Buffy's stomach hurt.
Riley wasn't laughing. He looked a little grim. It wasn't that he didn't like oral sex, as Buffy knew well. It was that he didn't think it was cool to talk about this stuff. Not even with her in private. Which was strange from a psychology grad student. Or maybe not: Freud had been pretty screwy.
She had a sudden idea, maybe a little bit wicked. She smacked Xander. "How much stuff do you guys try, anyway? How far do you go?"
Xander turned red again. "Well, uh, Anya is not particularly interested in, aware of, or at all concerned by convention. She has never met convention, and I think if she did she would ask it why it bothered. So, in answer to your question, Buff, I'd say, all the way. At least once in each direction."
Tara spoke up for the first time. "That's good. Exploration is, is, is important. In my opinion. You can't predict, sometimes."
Now Willow was blushing, but again, Buffy didn't know why. Maybe she'd done some kinky stuff with Oz?
Xander nodded. "Yeah. You can't know until you try it whether you're going to like the whipped cream."
"Or the corset," said Willow.
"Or the girl on top," Buffy said, watching Riley to see if he winced. He didn't.
"Tame!" said Xander. "Doggy style, sixty-nine, cross-legged bare-naked in a field in Breaker's Woods."
Tara giggled. "Ooh, a nature-lover."
"Or all tied up! Or with a bunch of people at once," Buffy said, again watching Riley. This time he reacted.
"You've never done that."
"No, but maybe I want to try it."
"You shouldn't want to."
"Exploration is healthy," Willow said, in one of those voices that meant she was about to launch into a lecture that demonstrated she'd read not just this year's text but the one for next year as well. Which was fine with Buffy if she was going to show up Riley. But she didn't get a chance, because Riley was now in full swing himself.
"Exploration is not about corsets and bondage and exhibitionism in Breaker's Woods."
Buffy muttered, "So says mister doesn't want the girl on top." Only it came out a little louder than she'd planned.
"Hoo boy." Riley had flushed red. Now Buffy felt guilty. Dirty laundry, aired in public. Not cool.
"I am sensing conflict," said Willow. "I am sensing the Buffy wanting things the Riley doesn't like."
"And now you all know," Riley said, half under his breath.
Xander, ever the peacemaker, stepped in and stuck his arm around Riley's shoulders. "Lemme give you some advice, confidentially, just from one guy to another. If she says she wants to try something different, say yes. If it doesn't work out, you can get your favorite thing from her later to make up. And if it does, hey! Maybe a new favorite thing!"
"Thanks, I'll keep that in mind, Harris." Riley's ears were still glowing.
"And with that parting shot, I say to you all, in a spirit of open and proud sharing, that it is my turn to pick up the porn vid today. Anya and I will be enjoying the experiences of some bi-curious co-eds, and I hope you all have as fine a day as I am planning on having. Ciao!"
And with that Xander was off, ambling toward downtown from the campus. Willow and Tara made their stumbling excuses and took off to Tara's dorm building. Buffy walked alongside Riley for a minute silently. She felt schmucky and grumpy at the same time.
"Sorry I said that in front of them," she said, eventually.
They'd reached the front entrance of her dorm. Buffy perched up on the back of the bench, booted feet on the seat part. She scanned the traffic, one part of her always keeping watch. Riley stood with his head down. He was looking at her engineer boots.
"You look different today," he said, eventually.
"You mean the boots and jeans look?"
"No, I mean... something else. More confident? I don't know. Maybe it is just those boots. They're not very feminine."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Buffy said, eyebrow quirked. She'd defy anybody to call her anything other than feminine. Or cute. Or dressed with perfect taste.
"They're just... not."
"They're practical. I've got a stake in one and a knife in the other. And two more stakes and a bottle of holy water in my bag in my makeup kit. I keep the axe in my dorm closet, though. I tied a pink ribbon around the handle once. Does that help?"
Riley was standing in what Buffy had learned to recognize as an "at ease" stance, relaxed. He rocked back on his heels, then forward again. "That is, wow. You never stop, do you? No vacations."
"Slaying. It's not just a job, it's a lifetime." There was less bitterness in that than there might have been a couple of years ago. The Slaying had compensations.
"So. Were you serious? About wanting, you know?"
Buffy teetered on the edge right then. Tell him or not? She took too long deciding, because Riley sighed and went on with, "Paraphilias aren't healthy, Buffy."
Annoyance won, and Buffy tumbled into an attack. "I don't think it's exactly a para-whatsit to want to try a different position now and then."
Riley surprised her again, by not fighting back. "No, it isn't. You're right. I'm just being, I don't know, nervous. The guys in my squad talk about girls like... Never mind how. They're just such animals. I want to treat you better than that."
He shrugged, and looked ashamed, of all things. Why? Buffy was full of questions about her friends today. They were all acting hinky about sex. She was really starting to appreciate Anya and Xander. No hink, all kink. But she was still annoyed.
"I don't get why me wanting something turns you into an animal."
Riley opened his mouth, shut it again, then shuffled. "This is way too soon. And I'm not pushing. But I was thinking longer-term. With you. You're the sort of girl I'd like to take home to meet my parents, you know? Things with you are not just about fun."
"Like I said, too soon. But I just wanted to let know how I'm thinking. You're not just somebody I'm sleeping with."
Buffy leaned forward on the bench. Riley took a step closer. "Riley. That's sweet. Really. But I gotta say, just 'cause you're serious doesn't mean we can't also have fun. You're the first nice person I've ever slept with, you know? I kinda want to find out. Explore. Try stuff. Maybe not quite as methodically as Xander and Anya, but--"
That was a lie, though, and she knew it as she said it. Everything she'd just said, sort of true but mostly a lie.
"Yeah. Okay. I can do that." Riley smiled at her, and Buffy remembered all the reasons why she liked him.
"So what do you want? What's your most secret wish, the thing you've never asked a girlfriend to do that you've always wanted?"
Riley was bright red again. He looked around to make sure nobody was walking nearby before he answered. "Talk about it right here?"
"Naw. Think about it, and tell me next time we're in bed. Then we'll do it." Buffy tried to make herself sound enthusiastic. But Riley didn't need that, apparently, because he'd already worked himself up.
"Oh, man, I'm going to spend all day-- Oh, jeez. Tonight? Dinner and then my place?"
"Can't tonight. I have too much work. Need to catch up on some studying." She did have work. Really she did. It was more an omission than a lie. "Tomorrow?"
Riley bit his lip. "I have special training all day. Something new Professor Walsh wants to show me. Tuesday?"
"Yeah, okay, I'll pencil you in. Joke!" Buffy stood up on the bench and pulled Riley over for a kiss.
In her dorm room, finally alone, Buffy kicked off her boots and flopped back onto her bed. For a few minutes she didn't think about anything. She just breathed, and let her muscles relax. It was a training exercise she'd learned from Giles. Centering and calming. Any activity could follow from that centered place. Honing, meditating, studying. She hadn't done it in ages. She did it now, and then tried to think about what she wanted.
She wondered what Riley's secret fantasy was. She suspected it would be sort of charming. Ward and June Cleaver get kinky. The height of exotica for Iowa. Or he could surprise her. But she was not betting on it.
Then there was the guy whose fantasies she already knew. Later tonight, after she'd killed a demon with a piece of wood, Buffy was going to go over to her Watcher's apartment and tie him up, which would probably make him wild all by itself. Then she was going to fuck him, and he was going to moan and beg and go even more wild. He wasn't going to try to protect her from anything, and would probably glare at anyone who suggested that was a good idea.
There was no contest which one of them turned her on more. Which one of them she wanted at her back. Which one she was going to spend primo Saturday night time with.
So why hadn't she broken up with Riley?
No clue. And she was starting to feel exhausted by the introspection.
Buffy sat up and pulled her lit notebook out of her bag. She had a metric ton of work to do, starting with that lit paper. And she was not going to think about how Giles had moaned while she whipped him. Not. Not even a little. He was the one who was supposed to spend the day in a frenzy, not her. She was going to read Ethan "Whiner" Frome and not fantasize. At all.
At midnight, she was waiting at the intersection with Giles' wooden knife in her hand, thinking that the sooner she got this over with, the sooner she could get into bed with her Watcher.
The Chuffer didn't live long enough to know what hit it. Buffy walked to Oakpark Street with six happy dogs dancing around her feet.
Chapter 4: Waiting
Giles spent his day alone, but content to be so for once. He wrote up a workout plan for Buffy, one that involved some distance running and weight work, as well as martial arts training with him. He did housework. He went to the shops for his week's groceries, aware of the bite on his neck every moment that he was out in public. He baked bread for the week. He wrote in his journal. After a moment of hesitation, he recorded last night's events fully. He'd written about Jenny in his private journal as well. Future generations of Watchers would be entertained, perhaps even scandalized. Or more likely indifferent; he could not flatter himself. Assuming he let the bastards have his materials.
Always, as he moved around his flat, he was aware that she had laid a heavy hand on him. He avoided sitting down unless he must.
He was floating. Happy. It was absurd, but he was not going to stop to analyze it. Drink deep of the pleasure when it was offered to him.
Giles prepared for bed at eleven. He took another shower and washed himself thoroughly, taking care that Buffy would find nothing unpleasant when she used his body. He shaved again. He didn't bother to dress afterward. He walked around the house with a towel around his waist, shutting everything up for the night. He left the door unlocked and two lights on, to ease Buffy's way from door to bed.
In the bedroom, he shed the towel. Best to prepare the rest of the way nude, to help himself get into the right state of mind. Not that he needed much help. He'd spent the day in a frenzy like a teenaged boy, wondering what she'd choose to do to him. Anticipating. Speculating.
Giles set out candles, in case she wished to light them. He changed the sheets. Why not use the satin sheets? Indulgent, sensual. Buffy would love them.
He emptied the toy box onto the bed and considered what to do with everything. Buffy would want them ready to hand, he thought. Prepared and organized, as he prepared and organized her swords and crossbows. The smaller items he put into the nightstand drawer. Condoms, cockrings, clamps. The plugs he left on the bed for the moment, so he could choose. The whips... he considered carefully before hanging them up on the inside of his closet door. Neckties next to floggers. He slowly hardened while he worked, from anticipation. Wondering which she would choose to use on him first. When he healed and was ready for more marks, which whip would she prefer?
Finally, he put the collar on. He'd never done it himself before. Always his lover had done it for him. He pulled the buckle tight around his own neck.
Giles slid to his knees next to his bed, alone in his flat.
"My clever Slayer," he whispered. "You own me. Utterly." She'd coaxed him into putting himself in chains, binding himself and handing himself over.
It was almost too much for him. Twenty-four hours before, he'd been sulking, convinced he'd never be able to taste release again, that fantasy was all that was left to him. And now he was offered everything. Everything he'd dreamed.
He rolled his shoulders and stretched, deliberately calming himself and slowing his breath. When he had control of himself again, he pushed himself to his feet to obey the second of her commands. He turned his attention to the toys ranged across his bed. He had to choose his favorite plug.
He had several. A couple of them were functional silicone things. They served to open him up and keep him open. There was a metal plug that could be worn for long periods, the one Jenny had made him wear to school that once. But Buffy had asked for his favorite. And that had to be the glass plug Jenny had bought for him, on a stolen weekend in San Francisco. He remembered flushing bright red when she'd paraded him around the shop, asking out loud if he'd like this item or the other used on him. It had been all very cheerful and friendly and brightly-lit, the shop, but he'd never get used to the idea of talking about these desires openly. Jenny had made it worth his while that night in their hotel room, at least. Giles sighed, and stroked his fingers over the glass. Poor Jenny. It wouldn't have lasted, even if she had lived, not with his Slayer in his life.
But she'd taught him many things, in their few months together, and one of them was that he liked feeling this inside him. It was heavy, and wide enough that he felt himself opened when his lover slid it into him, but narrow near the base, so it could be worn for as long as he liked. Or as long as his mistress liked him to. The heavy bulb rested in just the right place to drive him mad. And it was lovely to to look at, all those purple swirls deep inside the glass.
He set it out on its velvet bag, along with a bottle of lubricant, and tucked the others away in the nightstand.
Giles stretched himself out on the soft blankets, nude save for his collar as his Slayer had commanded. He waited. He had a mystery novel to read, but he couldn't settle. Too excited and nervous about what Buffy would want to do when she arrived. He shifted uneasily on the bed, unable to make himself comfortable. He turned to lie on his stomach, to give his sore thighs and backside a rest.
She wanted to penetrate him tonight. Open him. It had been a long time.
Giles remembered other times he'd waited like this, face down, for a lover to take him. Rarely, since Ethan. Most often it had been the other way around. At least with men.
But with Ethan, he'd given himself over. Bound face-down on the bed, trembling, unsure whether Ethan would strike him or stroke him. Then feeling Ethan settle himself between his thighs, and slide his oil-slick cock in the furrow of Giles' buttocks. How innocent they'd been! No condoms, just sweet almond oil, for massage and magic ritual. And for sex, for their explorations, slowly growing more expert with each other.
Ethan's fingers, teasing him, moving inside him, just enough to set Giles whimpering. Then the sweet burn of Ethan entering him. Total surrender of himself to Ethan's body and Ethan's will. Complete submission. When Giles had been penetrated, he had trouble concentrating on anything else, any sensation other than the demand of the penis inside him. It was his master.
Giles had once asked Jenny what it felt like to her, to have another person's body inside hers. She'd tilted her head, then answered that it depended on context: who it was, and how it was done. It was like being completed, she'd said, like welcoming her lover home. And for her, it hadn't been submissive at all. She'd owned Giles every time he'd penetrated her, whether she'd been on top or not.
Not the same, then, for men and for women. Though there was no way to know what the other sex felt, truly. Or what any other human being felt inside. What did Buffy feel when she struck the crop across his legs? What had Ethan felt, when he'd brought the flogger down on Giles' back even as he thrust inside him? Giles knew what he'd felt: a sort of wild joy, freedom, all the burdens of his mind rolled away. He was so grateful that he'd found someone willing to grant him that gift.
Giles had never struck another human being save in anger. Never used a whip with love in his heart. When he beat Ethan, as so often happened when he saw the bastard these days, it was with fists and feet in anger and fear. Fear that Ethan would hurt the ones Giles loved, as he had in the past. Ethan's betrayal, the moment he had turned to the demon and shown where his loyalty was: that moment Giles could not forget.
But it had once been sweet, between them. Ethan had been his best friend, his closest mate, the man to whom Giles gave himself. Completely. Nothing held back, when he was stretched out on the bed, face down, with Ethan hard and insistent inside him. Ethan, striking and stroking him at once, the first lover who'd shown him how far he could be taken, how much he could feel, how free he could float. How much he could hurt, for good and for ill. Crying out from pain, crying out from pleasure, both building until he could no longer tell the difference and had completely lost himself to sensation.
Would Buffy take him that far?
The door handle rattled, and the door opened. His Slayer had arrived.
Chapter 5: Knife
Giles tensed. He was immediately fully awake and alert, nerves on edge. He didn't get up, however. She had told him to wait in bed for her, so he would remain there. Should he kneel up and wait that way, hands clasped behind his neck? Perhaps she would like that. He remained where he was, listening. She was doing something just outside the door, however, snapping out orders to somebody. Or something. Finally the door closed.
Giles lay back and rested his hands at his sides. He attempted to relax. It was difficult. His breath was coming short. The sound of her footsteps moved below, into his kitchen for a moment; she was wearing boots. Then the lightswitch snapping, the flat sinking into deeper darkness, and the creak of the steps. She appeared, rising from the staircase. She wore a red tank top under her leather jacket, jeans, and yes, the boots. She was carrying a bag, which she slung down next to his dresser. She looked pleased with herself for some reason.
"I killed the Huffer thing. Piece of cake--" Then she stopped and took stock of the room. She turned a brilliant smile on him, and Giles grinned in relief.
"This is sweet! My Watcher is a closet romantic. Ooh! Satin! Black satin. Sexy." She ran her hands over a pillow.
"Oh! Shiny! Pretty."
She'd found the plug, and was turning it over and over. He passed along warnings about glass in a few words, and then shifted himself on the bed in anticipation, spreading his legs further. But she put the plug down, and looked under his bed.
"Where's the box?"
"Unpacked. Nightstand drawers. And the, uh, the whips are, um, inside the closet door."
She sat on the bed next to him. He pushed himself up onto an elbow and reached for her, but she casually pressed him back down with a hand flat on his chest.
"Stay where you are. Eyes up on the ceiling." She craned around and looked up at his ceiling. "Okay, it's boring up there, but I'll give you plenty to think about in a minute."
"I-I'm sure," Giles said. He swallowed. Fear trickled down the small of his back. It was odd. He sought this out so eagerly, begged for it, but it still made him shake. And in the moments before it began, whatever it was, he fought urges to flee.
She bent over him and kissed him. He'd no sooner opened his mouth to welcome her when she was gone again, standing and moving to his closet. He listened, attempting in desperation to guess what she was doing. Had she taken anything down? He had a blindfold. Surely she could use it on him and take choice away from him. Now the dresser drawer opening, the rattle of metal as she rummaged inside. Something heavy and metallic was set down on his dresser. The flare of matches, and the light in the room changed. Shadows danced on the ceiling from candle flame. The bedside light went out. Then her slight weight rested on his bed again, shifting the mattress. Boots hit the floor, one, two. He was shaking, hands trembling against the slick sheets.
Then she was on top of him, sitting on his chest, knees tucked against his ribs. She caressed his face. He turned his head just enough to kiss her palm. She slipped two fingers into his mouth. He sucked obediently. It calmed him, which was probably why she'd done it. Buffy had insight into people when she paid attention to them, when she could drag her attention away from self-pity. Giles thought perhaps this experience would be good for more than just the sex, for her. No time for self-pity while she was watching him writhe. Giles shivered.
Buffy took her fingers away and hooked them into the ring at the front of his collar. She tugged it. He'd buckled it tight around his neck, the way he liked it. Snug enough to feel her grip on his throat even when her hands were busy elsewhere.
"Do you have any requests?"
Giles cleared his throat. "The plug, I was hoping--"
"If you're very good, and bear what happens first well, you'll get that. And something even nicer. I've been planning this all day."
"I... Lord, Buffy."
"Do you want to know what's going to happen tonight?"
Giles weighed one sweet terror against another, then shook his head. "Anything. Please. Just... just so you're happy."
Buffy leaned over him and looked into his eyes. "I will tell you one thing. I've decided that every time we get together like this, every time you wear this--" she pulled at the collar, lifting his head from the bed and holding him up-- "I'm going to hurt you at least a little. You want that, I think."
Giles' mouth had gone dry. "God, I-- yes."
She let him drop back. "Ask me for it."
"Please, my Slayer. Please."
For a moment he couldn't speak, then it poured out of him. "Hurt me. Whip me. Make me scream. Please. Take me there. Take me out of myself. Please please please. Oh, God--"
He trailed off, afraid he'd said too much, but she had leaned down to drape herself over his chest. She kissed him and this time lingered. Giles kept his hands by his sides and kissed her in return with all the intensity he could gather. His wonderful Slayer, who tasted like lip gloss and mochas and honey. Then he could not contain himself. He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her tight. She allowed him for a moment, then sat up again.
"Enough. Hands at your sides."
Giles obeyed instantly. "Forgive me."
"S'okay. I'm not going to tie you up tonight. You're going to keep yourself in place."
Giles nodded. She likely did not know how difficult this was for him, holding himself in place, every moment having to make the choice to stay still, to experience whatever it was his mistress was doing to him. He clenched his hands into the sheets, then made himself let go.
"God, you look amazing like that. That hickey is fantastic."
With no warning, she had leaned forward and was biting his neck again, but more gently than before, more kiss than bite. As in the morning, he tilted his head to bare his throat for her, to make his submission obvious. He dug his fingers into the sheets. Then she had moved away again. Her weight came off his stomach for a moment as she reached over to the nightstand for something. He stopped himself from looking over just in time. Then she resettled herself on him, one hand on his chest, one hand holding a knife against his throat, just over the collar. Giles froze, afraid to breathe, to twitch lest the blade slip.
Then it was gone and her fingers were tugging at his collar again. She held the blade in front of his face. It was her folding knife, German steel, his own gift to her on her eighteenth birthday. Giles lifted his head to kiss the blade, and she smiled. A frightening smile, a smile he'd seen on other faces in his life. The smile of a mistress who was about to do something new to him.
Giles closed his eyes.
The tip of the blade grazed his lips. He opened his mouth and felt it slide inside, brushing his tongue. He went very still and tense. The blade was withdrawn, and her weight moved away from him again. She was between his knees, moving them further apart.
Her hand stroked down his chest, and the flat of the blade followed in its path. Sweat trickled down his ribs.
Buffy knew what to do with a knife. He'd taught her himself. How to throw it. How to fight with it in close quarters. How to defend against it when your opponent had one and you did not. How to keep it sharp. She was demonstrating to him now how well she'd learned that lesson, flicking away the hair on his belly, just above where his erection rested.
He was beyond aroused. He was out of his mind with lust and fear and craving, hands digging into the sheets to keep himself still underneath her. She slid the flat of the blade up his stomach, sharp edge trailing, up to his chest. More delicate scraping around his nipples, soft scratching, the edge barely grazing his skin, then away.
He let out a breath he hadn't realized he was holding. He opened his eyes and met hers, dark with excitement, entirely focused on him.
What was she to him? She was everything. He'd been dedicated to her service before she'd even been born; raised and trained and prepared and sent here thousands of miles from his home for no one but her. And she deserved it. Who killed that demon tonight? Not the soldiers with their guns and sensors, their armor and radios.
Buffy, alone, with his knife in her hand. Buffy, alone, with the fate of the world in her hand. Buffy, with his life in her hand.
"Yes, oh yes," he said. "I'm yours."
Giles let go of the sheets and turned his palms up, and let himself melt.
The knife moved everywhere over him. Down his arms and over his upturned palms. Along his sides. Along his thighs, down and up. Between his legs, the blunt edge scraping over sensitized skin. Then sliding over his erection, cold against heat, while he groaned. A strange massage over his entire body, trailing sparks over his skin. His breathing slowed and deepened. He was sliding down into trance, breathing with her, breathing with each slow sweep of the blade across flesh. He was floating free, mind silenced.
She ended where she began, with the blade at his throat, the sharp edge resting against the leather of his collar. The fear was gone. In its place was surrender.
Chapter 6: Touch
Buffy held the knife to his lips for one last kiss, then it was gone. Giles heard it snick closed, then the heavy metallic sound of it returning to the nightstand. Her weight lifted from his waist. More sounds from the side of the bed; he couldn't determine what. He remained where he was, still far gone in trance state, eyes half-closed.
Giles felt Buffy's hand under his back, urging him to roll over. He pulled himself together enough to cooperate. She had pillows ready to slip under his hips, raising his arse for her convenience. He settled himself and spread his legs wide for her. He was a puddle, completely relaxed and pliant under her hands. Whatever she would do to him, he would accept.
She knelt between his legs again.
"Mmm. You look so good like this. All marked up. Fantastic." Her hands stroked over his sore thighs, pressing on the welts she'd granted him. "Don't move."
More sounds. A plastic cap snicking open. The sound of a bottle being squeezed. Giles sighed and let himself relax further against the satin sheets. At last she was going to take him. The glass nudged at his body, stroking over the skin. A sensitive place, the anus. The first time he'd been touched there he'd nearly jumped out of bed, so surprised he'd been. The first time he'd been licked. The first time he'd been penetrated. The first time he'd slid fingers into another man's body and caressed. All these touches were good. This had always felt good to Giles, the push and slide and stroke. Sweet invasion. Surrender. The gift of his body to his possessor.
He strove to let himself open for her. She was moving slowly, demanding patience from him. He wanted to writhe under her, to thrust back and impale himself, to entice her into going faster. But he held still out of fear of what she would do to him if he disobeyed and moved.
But why disobey? Obedience was sweet. He was her toy, her willing servant, the instrument of her will. He had a vision of Buffy standing on a dais, in shining mail, armed with sword and shield. He knelt at her right hand, her most trusted advisor, her liegeman, wearing her livery, all silks and satins. Her collar around his neck, steel links welded together that he could never remove. And secretly, under the bright silk, her steel cock inside him, thick and hard and demanding. Everyone knew he was hers, everyone knew his condition, and he was the envy of them all. She was the Slayer, and he was her cherished Watcher.
Giles moaned aloud, and let the fantasy spin a while longer, while she held the head of the plug inside him at its widest point, stretching him.
She spoke. "This looks amazing. To see this inside you, opening you wide. The glass is gorgeous. I can see everything."
Giles could only groan in response.
"We're going to get more toys like this."
"As, as you wish."
She let the glass slide all the way in and settle. He clenched and felt it move inside him. It drove him mad, just as it always used to. The head was perfectly placed. He let himself writhe and gasp. She laughed above him, then laid a hand on his back and pressed him flat.
"Stay very still."
He opened his mouth to tell her that of course he would, but instead her hand came down on him hard and he cried out. She slapped him once on each buttock. The pain grew and spread, then settled into heat. He knew from experience how exquisitely sensitive his welted backside was. She slapped him again, on each thigh this time, not pulling her blows. Then respite, while he trembled beneath her and let the burn wash over him.
Don't fight the pain, he reminded himself. Welcome the pain. Flow with it. Let it take him far away. The pain was her gift to him.
He lay on his belly and awaited his mistress's pleasure.
The sound of a plastic cap again, and liquid, and this time something pooled warm in the small of his back. Her hands smoothed it over his skin, and he caught the scent: sandalwood and musk. His massage oil. She seemed to know what she was doing, to his surprise. Her fingers found all the knotted places in his shoulders and back.
She spread the oil over his buttocks and thighs as well, and dug deep into his muscles there while he moaned. Pain and pleasure at once, her fingers on the base of the plug moving it inside him, her hands on sore skin.
Then she slapped him again, no warning, just the sudden explosion of sound and pain. He struggled for a moment and found himself pinned flat by Slayer strength while she spanked him harder. He begged her forgiveness and let himself go limp under her hand, let himself cry out and sob.
Then the plug thrusting inside him again, building the pleasure while the pain eased. Then her hands gliding up his back, across his shoulders, her slight weight leaning on him.
She worked him for some time like that, refusing to settle into a rhythm with him, not letting him relax. Sometimes a slap on his backside or thighs, sometimes a caress, sometimes her hands stroking up and down his back, sometimes her fingers moving the plug inside him. Every touch sent him further into his body, soothed his ever-restless mind into quiet. A fusillade of blows brought him to tears that she then soothed away with oiled fingers kneading his shoulders and neck. She gradually eased down into steady massage, up and down his back, firm hands on his burning buttocks, his abused thighs. Fingers teasing at his balls.
Then her touches slowed, softened, and stopped. A towel, rough on his back. She turned him over again and propped him up half-sitting against the pillow. The slick sheets smooth and soothing to his heated flesh. He let her arrange his body as she willed. The wire-tight tension that had him trembling under the knife earlier in the evening was entirely gone. Only one part of him remained tense, straining, and eager. Perhaps she would allow him release. He was nearly at the end of what he could bear, overloaded with sensation and emotion and strain.
She was between his legs again, which promised well. She rested her hands on his thighs. "Watch. Make noise. Talk. I want to hear you. But don't move. And don't come until I say you can."
"Yes, my Slayer. Oh, God, please, yes."
She hovered over his cock, intent, blowing breath over him, thumbs stroking the soft skin inside his thighs. Then touch: the tip of her tongue circling the head of his cock, inside the foreskin, across the slit. Giles begged her for more, begged her to finish him. Wet, messy licks, kisses up and down his cock. He watched her, so focused, so solemn. Concentrating on him, on his cock.
"Suck me," he said. "Please. Take me. Do it."
She smiled. Her hand on his balls, gripping almost to the point of pain but riding the edge. Her fingers moving the plug inside him, sending shivers through him.
Giles watched her mouth stretch around him, watched himself slide in. She closed her lips around him and sucked. He shouted and drove his hips up. She pinned him with a hand gripping his hip, hard enough to leave bruises. It was so difficult not to buck up, not to drive himself into that hot mouth.
She wrapped a hand around him and let him thrust through it, into her mouth. Let him do the work. He could feel it starting inside, the tightening. He faltered, and gasped and begged her to stop, he couldn't take it. Buffy had mercy on him and pulled away. She sat up and stroked him everywhere but his cock, petting him down, until his breathing slowed and the strain on his face eased.
She stretched herself over his chest and kissed him. Giles kissed her eagerly in return. He hadn't kissed her nearly enough. Hadn't done nearly enough of anything. She pulled back and rubbed his nose with hers.
"What would you say if I bound you and left you like this all night?"
Giles closed his eyes for a moment. God, to spend all night with this thing hard inside him. It would take ages for his erection to subside enough to let him sleep. How long had he been aroused this evening? How much would he ache? His voice was husky when he answered at last.
"I would thank my mistress for her gracious attention."
She closed her hand around his collar and shook him gently. "What would you really say?"
He managed a smile. "I would swear at you, probably, then hold my wrists out for you to bind."
He followed word with deed. She gripped his wrists hard. Her hands weren't large enough to circle his wrists, but her strength awed him as always. Not that he fought her. He let her stretch his arms up over his head. She pinned him there, against the wall above the headboard.
"Why what, my Slayer?"
"Why would you let me do that to you?"
"Because you are my mistress," he said, puzzled. "I suffer for your pleasure."
She smiled at him and kissed him again, insistent, her tongue forcing itself inside. He submitted gracefully. And then she had released him, had slid down between his legs again.
"Come when you're ready to," she said.
Her mouth was on him again, hot and wet and soft and slick and so sweet, so sweet, her lips wrapped around him, her hands taking what her lips and tongue could not. Giles would not, could not, hold back any longer.
It rose in him, spreading and breaking outward, inevitable, huge. The image of her armed and shining again, this time on her knees before him, worshipping him-- he was bound and naked and penetrated and splayed out before her, but she knelt and took him in her mouth-- Giles cried out and thrust deep and came and gave her what he was, his life and service and blood and sweat and semen, everything in long pulsing waves.
Giles lay almost insensate, completely limp. He felt her slide the plug from his body, and moaned in protest. She shushed him, and he let his head loll back. When he could see again, think again, however weakly, she was sprawled over his chest, peering intently at his face. She reached up and wiped sweat from his forehead.
"Buffy... I... Lord. That was..."
Buffy grinned at him, one of the purest expressions of happiness he'd seen on her face in the entire time he'd known her. "You deserved it. My amazing Watcher."
She kissed him again and he opened his mouth eagerly. The taste of his own semen in her mouth was marvelous. He thrust his tongue deep, seeking more of it. It had been too long since he'd tasted any man but himself. Perhaps she would let him-- a thought for another day. Giles was beyond exhausted.
She released him and he fell backwards onto the pillows. He was dimly aware of her moving around his flat, of water running downstairs. He was on the edge of sleep when she returned. He blinked himself to wakefulness and watched her move around the bedroom. Blowing night's candles out, filling the room with the scent of smoke and hot wax. Unbuckling his collar. Undressing herself at last. She made him move and slide under the sheets, then slipped in next to him. Bare skin, Slayer-hot. He moved close to her and rested his head on her shoulder. She stroked his hair.
"May I do something for you?" he said.
"Nah. I'm good. This was all about you tonight. Making up for all the badness of the last two years."
"You have nothing to make up for."
"Oh yes, I do," she said.
"Nonsense. Be my Slayer. Be my magnificent warrior. That's all I want."
"Show me how."
"As you wish," he said, into her neck. He mumbled a kiss against her, and was asleep.
Chapter 7: Ally
Stretches. Just stretches, Giles had said. Buffy had thought it would be a piece of cake, and it had started out that way. He'd taken her through conventional stretches for ten minutes, then muttered something grumpy under his breath. She needed to challenge her body, he said, give the muscles something to do besides burst and punch and kick. She was showing dangerous signs of losing flexibility.
It had been two hours of what he called "remedial yoga" since that grumpy fit.
For the first hour he'd been on the floor with her, demonstrating, holding positions, moving slowly into postures he called cow and dog and tree, making her giggle. Until she'd found how much they kicked her ass. She'd stopped giggling and started concentrating. Then he'd been next to her, hands on her body, guiding. He smelled like clean sweat, like the massage oil she'd used on him last night, like the strong tea that had been all the breakfast he'd allowed either of them. She'd been hyper-aware of his hands until the demands of the poses distracted her. Now she was aware only of her breathing, of the muscles contracting and stretching in ways she'd never asked them to do before. Of the ways she was flexible, and the ways she was not.
She'd always thought of yoga as a hippie-dippie thing, a suburban housewives thing, that went with crystals in the windows and unicorn stickers on the SUV. But obviously she'd been wrong. Giles wasn't into things that didn't work. He had some kind of black belt in some martial art she'd forgotten the name of. If he chose to teach her to stand like a tree instead of punch like a horse, he must have a reason.
He was pushing her harder than he'd ever pushed her in training. Before, back in high school, he'd always seemed half-intimidated by her, befuddled by her willfulness and her flareups of rebellion. There was no caution in his manner now, no doubt. He paced around her casually, confidently, and commanded her to hold the pose for five breaths longer than she wanted to, longer than she thought she could. She obeyed him without thinking to question.
They had a bargain. More than a bargain: they'd linked hands and sworn to each other. He'd abided by his half of the oath. Now it was up to Buffy to hold to her half. To trust him, to throw herself on his strength and let him have control.
She was in something he called the Bridge pose. Giles lounged against the wall, a fresh cup of tea in hand, while she sweated on the floor at his bare feet. He counted, then she relaxed. Then he made her do it all over again.
"This is killing me. I am so flabby."
"I'm out of shape as well," he said. "Too much whisky, not enough jogging."
"Going to come running with me?"
He finished his tea and set the cup on the mantel. "If you like. But I want you doing serious distance. None of this sprinting for fifteen minutes then stopping. You're granted the explosive strength, but endurance you have to build the way the rest of us do."
"Exactly. Now. Come down slowly. Slowly. Good. That's it. We'll finish with the corpse pose. Like this."
He knelt at her side and eased her limbs into the right positions. Then he lay next to her and crooned to her. That was the only word for it. His voice was soft and breathy and gentle, like his hands in her hair. She was the center, he told her, and there was a place inside her that was perfect peace. His voice soothed her and settled her and relaxed her muscle by muscle, until the carpet was a soft bed of fronds at the bottom of the ocean, until she was rocking gently with the waves and might never move a muscle again, caressed by that voice. Then it shifted and he rose with her, ascending through green water and shifting light and flickering silver fish to breech the surface with a sigh and a deep breath.
Buffy sat up slowly. She was tired and sore, but she felt amazing. And that last experience had been like nothing they'd done before. "What was that you did at the end?"
"Ah. That was hypnosis."
"Wow. I feel good."
"I suggested that you would feel good after this. You chose to accept my suggestion."
"'Cause it was sensible. Mm. They teach you weird stuff at those Watcher schools."
Buffy redid her pony tail. Giles drank some water, then lifted the edge of his t-shirt to scrub his face. Buffy got a good look at his stomach while he did it. Not that there were any mysteries left about his body; she just liked looking at it. He didn't have the washboard abs thing that Riley and his squadmates all had, from hours of crunches and pushups and hoo-hah-ing. He had a real body, and it had lived and gone places and fought demons and picked up a few scars.
He dropped the t-shirt back into place and drank more water. Buffy hopped over and took the bottle from him, stuck it on the floor. She leapt up into his arms, locked her legs around his waist, and grinned. "You're sweaty," she said.
"So are you."
"No. I'm glowing. You're sweaty. Your chest is all damp." And the edges of his hair, and his neck, and all down the back of his t-shirt. Rumpled, disordered, not a single hair in place.
He turned around and pushed her back against the wall.
"What's this about?"
"Leverage," he said.
Then he was kissing her, and she had to shut up. His lips were damp against hers, his tongue cold from the water. His eyes were open, and he seemed almost curious. Slow kisses, intense, demanding but not hard or fierce. Buffy had no choice but to focus on them, on him, on his mouth on hers, her hands locked around the back of his neck, his sweaty hair. It was comforting, being wedged between Giles and the wall. Warm male body against her, hips pushing up against hers. He was slowly hardening as he rocked against her. Felt nice to have somebody between her and the world, to have a few minutes of feeling protected. If real danger appeared, she'd step up and protect the both of them without hesitation, but sheltering in his arms for a while was a relief. He had the control.
His mouth was on her neck now. He was nibbling. It almost tickled. Buffy giggled, and tilted her head. He switched to licking, and that did tickle.
"Mmm. Like sweaty Slayer. Salty. Too salty. You need water." He backed away from the wall and carried her over to the sofa, where he unceremoniously dropped her. Buffy let herself sprawl over the couch. He tossed his water bottle at her. "Drink that."
Buffy didn't, but sat holding it and spacing out a bit, getting used to her body again. She felt muscles in places she normally never felt muscles. Her back, her stomach, her triceps.
From the kitchen came sounds of Giles rummaging in the refrigerator. He came back in with a bottle of mixed fruit juice, the sort with protein added that you found in health food stores, and places that catered to body builders. He handed it to Buffy.
"This has a zillion calories in it."
Giles glared at her. "Drink it. You need the protein. I suspect your nutrition has been just as dreadful as your exercise habits have been. You've ignored everything I've ever told you, haven't you."
Buffy shrugged, which was tantamount to admitting that Giles was completely right. She'd been a slacking Slayer. She ripped the cap off and tasted it. It was weird, but good. Then she drank about half in three swallows. Thirstier than she'd thought, not to mention completely sans breakfast. "What's in this?"
He took the bottle from her and had a gulp. "I'd say banana."
"No, I mean-- Never mind." He handed it back. Buffy upended it and finished it off. "What's with you? You never used to be so casual."
"Wasn't sleeping with you before."
He quirked a little smile at her and exchanged the empty container for his half-empty bottle of water. He took the empty back to the kitchen. Buffy perched on a stool and sipped water. Giles rinsed out the empty bottle and set it on his dishrack. Neatnik, even about the recycling. A neatnik with his hair standing on end and a big damp triangle down the front of his t-shirt and an erection like a heat-seeking missile launching from his sweatpants. He seemed to be ignoring it, which was in direct contravention of every Law of Malekind that Riley had ever told her. A hard-on was DefCon 2, all troops mobilized to deal with the emergency.
It was absurd and sexy at once, to see him moving around his kitchen with that preceding him. She liked knowing she affected her Watcher this way. She'd been affecting him this way for a long time, it seemed, longer than he was comfortable admitting. And he'd hidden it away, given her no clue, no reason to fear or distrust him. He might never have given her a clue, but for that little blackmail problem. Noble dork, her Watcher.
He came around to her side of the pass-through and sat on the other stool.
"Don't you need to do something about that?"
"Want? Yes. Need? No."
"Doesn't it drive you nuts?"
Giles smiled, in an odd way. "Quite the reverse."
Buffy stared. Sometimes she didn't understand how sex worked for him.
"There are more important things to do right now," he said, and shrugged.
"Yeah? Like what?" Buffy leaned over and licked his neck over where she'd given him the hickey.
"I, ah, mmm. Seem to have forgotten. Ah. Shower. Breakfast."
She let go of him and climbed onto his lap for more of those slow intense kisses. He slipped a cool hand inside her racerback and braced it flat against her back, fingers spread. It felt good. Buffy let herself enjoy the taste of her Watcher again, tea and now banana.
"Sure you don't need something?"
Buffy sucked at his earlobe. Giles shivered.
"It could be the next phase of Slayer training."
"You don't need much. Seem to know exactly what you're doing."
"Don't be so sure," she said, mumbling into his neck.
"I'm not all that experienced."
"You're quite good at what you've done with me."
"That's just paying attention. And being brave and trying things I've read about."
Giles shook his head. "Paying attention is the essence of making love. All this talk about technique is rot. S'all about doing what your partner likes. Try things. If they feel good, do them some more."
"That's just it. I haven't tried all that much."
Giles was silent for a while. Buffy kept herself busy kissing him. She had done a lot of that in her life, and felt confident about it. Giles kissed her back hungrily. Then he pulled back and rubbed his nose against hers.
"Is there something you've always wanted to try? Tell me, and we'll do it."
"Anything? What if--"
"You know my limits. Tell me." He nuzzled her again.
"No, I mean, what if it's boring?"
Giles answered with the gentlest of voices. "Nothing's boring when it's you, my Slayer. Tell me."
"Just... new positions. Like you behind me. Basic stuff like that."
He didn't laugh, but nodded solemnly. "Of course."
"And talk to me," she blurted, before she could stop herself. Riley had ignored her when she'd tried to coax him into talking to her while they were in bed. When she'd asked him a second time he'd said it was distracting.
Giles considered her for a moment, then nodded. "It'll be my pleasure. Dirty or sensual?"
"Oh, I, um, hadn't thought about that."
He nodded again, exactly as if she'd given him a real answer. "Hold tight."
Giles put his hands under her butt and stood. Buffy locked her arms and legs around him. He carried her over to the center of his living room, to the space he'd cleared for their workout, and gently set her down on the mats. He stripped himself and tossed his clothing at the hallway. Buffy made as if to pull off her top, but he raised a hand to stop her.
He knelt behind her and moved close. Warm arms around her, warm hands sliding up and lifting away her top, warm skin against her bared back. Her shorts were next, slid down by hands gliding down her thighs. He eased her down onto the mat. He snugged himself close behind her and wound his arm around her waist.
"No more athletics this morning," he said, in her ear. "This is more relaxing. Now. If you'll allow me, I'll show you another use for hypnosis."
Buffy shivered and let herself settle into his arms.
Giles talked. His voice was the same it had been when they'd done that last yoga pose together, all low and breathy and soothing, leading her step by step toward something. Something good. Hypnosis again. She filed the thought away and let that voice carry her where he wanted.
Where he wanted to go was a sweet place.
He told her how lovely she was to him, how her strength excited him, how her grace moved him. How wonderful she'd made him feel over the last two days, how her bravery had awed him. He told her how good she would feel, when at last he touched her. He told her how good she tasted, how much he longed to taste her again, to worship her with his kisses again. To touch her in her most secret places. To hear her cry out in pleasure and joy.
His hands were warm on her shoulder and stomach. He hadn't caressed her at all, not really, just a moment or two of his hand on her breasts. But she was panting for him exactly as if he had.
"Please--" she said.
"Are you open? If I touched you, would I find you ready for me?"
"I'm so... Don't have words. I've never been so turned on. I can almost feel you. Imagining you. Please. Touch me."
"Do you want me inside?"
"Bend your knee, yes, just like that. Rest your foot there. Perfect. Mmm. So strong, so supple, so soft and hard and sexy."
On the last words he slipped his leg between hers and entered her. Buffy sighed in satisfaction. Having him inside felt good. Was nice to have him do all the work this time, too, to have him take over and say all those wonderful things her. He was rocking himself inside her, maddeningly deliberate and slow, and whispering again.
"You feel so good. So good. Hot and wet and so slick. Squeeze me. When I push in, tighten around me. Oh Lord, yes, just like that. Again. Perfect. I adore making love like this. S'easy to reach around and touch you."
His hand slid down her leg and came to rest on her mons, fingers almost but not quite touching her sex. Buffy shivered.
"Patience. My Slayer has shown me patience, kept me on the edge and trembling for her. Now I'll be patient for her. Tease her. Tease you, my sweet Buffy."
The lightest of strokes, around and over, just brushing against her. A tease, as he said. Buffy gasped anyway. Gasped again as he touched her again, each time closer than the last, until his fingers rested over her. He held himself perfectly still.
"Yes?" he whispered.
Fingers moving against her, his body hard inside hers, his lips against the back of her neck. Buffy moved with him. It was so easy with Giles, so easy to find the path to release. Everything unified, everything pointing in the same direction, needle pointing north. Giles, pointing the way...
Buffy's breath came faster. She tipped her head back against him.
Voices, loud outside Giles' front door. Xander and Willow and somebody else. Buffy froze. The doorknob rattled, and she had a moment of panic. Had she remembered to-- The door didn't open, and the next sound was knocking.
"Man, that's two mornings in a row," said Xander.
"Four. No, five. There are five here." Willow's voice. "Ooh! They're so cute."
Giles was still moving inside her, still caressing her. Buffy put her hand down over his.
"Hush. Stay with me. They can't see you," Giles said.
"Six. You missed the large one sleeping over there." Anya.
"What are they doing here?" Buffy said. She knew she was whining, but she'd been so close.
He did not cease moving his fingers against her. His voice stayed soft. "They come by often. At least Xander does." He shifted his hand.
"Oh, that feels--"
He laughed softly into her ear. "I'm sure it does. Would you like to come? Right now, while they're just outside? While you have to be quiet so they can't hear?"
The voices outside the door continued.
"Knock louder, Xander. His car is here, so he must be."
Buffy shook her head. "No, please. Not near them."
"We'll scare them off, then."
Giles slowly, slowly withdrew until he was almost all the way out, then just as slowly slid himself back inside. Buffy stifled a moan. He pulled out again and thrust himself in and bit her neck. Buffy cried out in shock and pleasure. That had nearly sent her over. The voices outside stopped. Giles thrust and bit again, not hard, but in exactly the spot that drove her mad. This time Buffy was braced for it, but he wrested a gasp from her anyway. Then he made noise himself, a sort of strangled yeah sound, much louder than any sound she'd heard him make normally.
Xander spoke outside the door. "Right. Um."
Willow's voice. "Let's go. We'll call later."
"They'll finish soon--"
"Don't say it, Ahn." Xander's voice dwindled as they walked away.
Buffy felt him shaking against her back. He was laughing, and a moment later she was too, giggling helplessly.
"Feels wonderful around me when you laugh. Lord." He pulled back and held still. He blew out an unsteady breath against her neck. "Did you like that?"
"Yeah. Do it again."
Giles nipped at her neck again, sucking and licking at the place where he'd bitten, and Buffy felt it rising in her again, hard and fast and inescapable. She reached back to him, seeking an anchor.
"Oh, Buffy. You're ready. It's starting. You can feel it. That's right. It's going to be big. It's going to be wonderful. It's happening. Now."
Despite what she'd feared, Buffy made no noise. It was too big. It surrounded her and closed in on her and consumed her. She shuddered and shattered and went somewhere else for a few seconds. Giles' voice brought her back down, his lips against her ear, telling her how marvelous she was, soothing her.
"Now is when I envy women. Because you're going to come again when I touch you. You're ready, right on the edge. Now. Come."
His fingers on her again, almost more than she could bear, triggering another explosion and shudder, then easing away just when the touch would have become painful. A few moments to let her recover, then again. And again, his body hard and moving inside hers, his voice soft in her ear, urging her on, telling her she deserved every moment of pleasure he could give her, and more.
Then he eased off, and simply held her close against his chest. Buffy trembled in his arms, coming down slowly.
"God, you're marvelous. Have you had your fill, my Slayer?"
"Yeah." No eloquence from Buffy right now. A mumble was all she could manage after that. "How 'bout you?"
"Mm. I'd like to finish, if I may."
Buffy sigh happily. "'Course. Can't believe you held out through all that. How many times? Oh man."
"I wasn't certain I would be able to come again this week after last night," he said. "I wouldn't have survived five seconds if we'd done this two days ago. Here."
He withdrew and eased her onto her back. He lifted her legs to rest on his shoulders and pushed in deep, far deeper than he'd been before. He groaned, this time in earnest, and thrust hard, still moving more slowly than she might have expected, more slowly than any of her other lovers ever had. It felt good, but Buffy felt no need to come again, or do anything other than squeeze him, cradle him and help him feel good too.
"Oh, God, Buffy. You're so beautiful. So sexy."
He was looking down, at the place where their bodies were joined. He looked thrilled.
"Do you like that? Looking at yourself inside me?"
He groaned again. "Yes. Lord, yes. The idea... It's primal. I'm inside you. I'm taking you. You're mine. I'm gonna, gonna come inside you. Again. Bloody hell."
"Why's that exciting?"
He shifted her legs down and let his weight rest on her. He wrapped his arms around her. Buffy tucked her heels behind his knees. He was moving hard and fast now.
"Pure biology. Come inside you, oh fuck, Buffy. So close. I need to--"
"Ssh. Go for it, sweetie."
No more words from him, just harsh breaths and half-choked moans in her ear, his hands clutching her back tighter, his hips pushing hard against hers, not thrusting any more but stilled, and then he was gasping out her name. He stayed inside her, a solid warm weight on top of her, breathing slower as he recovered, brushing kisses against her neck, until he softened and slipped out. Then he rolled off and onto his back.
Buffy sat up on one elbow and looked at him. Sprawled out, sweaty again, face and chest flushed, eyes shut. He looked wrecked.
He opened his eyes. "Bloody brilliant. I'll die a happy man. Right here. Never moving again."
Buffy smiled and leaned down to kiss his forehead. He'd closed his eyes again. That had been a lot of exercise on top of the workout, she supposed. She'd have to give him a break for a couple of days. She had to, anyway. She had a ton of coursework piling up, and another paper to write. College never stopped. She pouted to herself, but she didn't mean it. College was good. This was good. So many things in her life right now were good, balancing out the nightly drag of Slaying and trying to save people.
She snugged herself up against Giles' side. Warm, heartbeat, chest rising and falling with breath. This man, right next to her, was one of the good things. What had kept her away from him for so long? She'd been foolish. She'd treated him as the enemy, sulked at him as if he'd been the one who'd made her the Slayer, and as if he hadn't been trapped by destiny just as much as she had.
This man stood for everything that kept her alive every night. This man was her ally. A compass pointing north, a knife in her boot, a guard at her door, an ally at her back. Her Watcher.
"I get it," she said, into his shoulder.
"You're on my side. Like, in everything."
Giles didn't budge, or open his eyes. "'Course I am."
"Sent here for you, wasn't I."
Buffy shifted so she could see his face. His eyes were still closed. "Are you okay with that?"
"Complicated. There were times... But now, yes. I'm your man." He sighed.
"Isn't it hard sometimes?" She knew, as she said it, that this was a stupid thing to ask. Dead friends, shattered relationships, scars on once-broken fingers.
"There are compensations." Now he opened his eyes. He seemed as if he were about to ask a question, but Buffy sat up and interrupted him.
"I'm sticking to this mat. Shower time now?"
Giles lifted his head just enough to glare at her. "Thought we established this. I'm never moving again." He let his head thump back down.
"How about if I lure you with tea?"
He made a show of putting his hands behind his head. "I'll take a cup here. Wake me when it's ready."
"Sorry, ally-guy, you need a shower now. You are stinky."
Buffy popped up, seized the mat, and dragged her giggling Watcher down the hall.