Giles turned the present over in his hands, gazing doubtfully at the bright paper. Penguins on roller skates? He began to pick gingerly at yards of sellotape then rose to the challenge, gripped a corner and managed to bypass the tape enough to ease the gift out.
A yellow mug. Why on earth would someone have left this on his office desk? He held it up and almost dropped it when he read the inscription. ‘Kiss the Librarian’?
“Oh, my,” he said quietly. A hint? An invitation? His mind traveled over possibilities and he was shocked to discover that they narrowed down to three, all of whom were utterly out of bounds – and yet appealing.
Buffy. His Slayer. No. He had never felt even a hint of the spark that would have made him believe she was interested in him. That golden body had been bared to his hands so many times as he deftly bathed and bandaged wounds and never had she leaned closer, or flushed with flustered awareness.
Willow, though...he remembered resting his hand casually on her shoulder as he bent over to point to a line in a book, translating it for her in a low voice to avoid disturbing the others. She had quivered under his hand, glancing up with a shy smile, sending a jolt of desire through his body. It had taken an effort of will to neither snatch his hand back nor press down. That had been before Oz though...her crush had been over for months now.
That left Xander; in many ways, the most dangerous and yes, the most thrilling option if he were to be honest with himself. Giles found himself gripping the handle of the mug quite hard as he considered this. No; Xander was still unaware of his potential, still blind to the effect he had on – Giles schooled his thoughts sharply and placed the mug to one side. He would take it home with him and place it in a cupboard where it could be produced if needed, yet be out of sight.
He still wondered who had given it to him. It was to be many months before he remembered it was Dawn.