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Spiders from Mars

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“...Ziggy played guitar.” After the final notes, Giles looked up at the audience, out from that inner place he went to while playing, and smiled his shy smile. There was a decent showing of applause from the bar crowd, some of which had been paying attention and others who had treated him like background music. “Thank you,” he said, and he pulled his guitar strap from his head, packed the guitar into the case, and headed toward the bar.

He smiled gently at Anya. He knew she’d be there, but he knew that she didn’t like him to call attention to it during the show. The first few times she’d disappeared before he was about to get through the room to say hello. But this time she sat at the bar, watching him approach.

“You came to support me again,” Giles said, taking a seat on the barstool next to hers, placing his guitar on the floor of the bar.
 
“You’re quite good,” Anya said, turning to face him directly.
 
“How do you always know when I’ll play?”
 
“I call the bar.”
 
“You could just ask me, you know.”

“I don’t want to intrude.” 

“You’re not an intrusion. I rather like feeling like I’ve got a supporter. At least one person who’s here to hear me play rather than use me as the background noise for their attempts to ‘hook up’ with the opposite sex.”

She smiled at him, and he suddenly felt the need to pay attention to where his long legs will go against the bar structure, as perhaps they were too close to hers for her comfort a moment ago.

“You know I was there that night,” Anya said a little too loudly, a little too abruptly.
 
“What...what night?” said Giles, distracted, still trying to wrangle his legs.
 
“The night that last song is about.”
 
“Wait, what?” Giles forgot all his awkwardness, as he does every time Anya shocks him out of his complacent reality with one of her demon-days stories.

“Yeah. It was a great night. I’m glad he wrote a song about it.”
 
“You were there with David Bowie when...were there actual spiders from Mars there?”
 
“Of course not. Mars hasn’t had spiders in thousands of years, Giles. They were Grimslaw demons. They were messing with him when they said they were from Mars. They were teasing him about that other song of his, the one about life on Mars, but he believed them. The Japanese cat couldn’t stop laughing about it.”
 
“The ‘cat from Japan’ was a real cat?”
 
“Well no. It was a Bakeneko demon. But there are rumors that Hello Kitty was based on her.” 

Giles laughed as his eyebrows shot up. “You’re making that up.” 

Anya’s forehead went into a little frown, but she shrugged. “Well the rumors are unsubstantiated.”
 
“Aren’t Grimslaw demons quite deadly?”
 
“Well yes, but they were under his thrall. You know he was a siren, yes?”
 
“I thought Freddy Mercury was the siren,” Giles laughed, still not sure if Anya was taking the piss out of him or not.
 
“There were a lot of them working as pop stars in the 70s.” 

“And you were there?”

“Well I’d just done a vengeance gig with one of the Grimslaws and he invited me. It was bloody work, so heading to a jam session sounded like a nice break.” Her face was so utterly serious as she said all this.

“You’re sure you’re not putting me on?” Giles asked, not wanting to be laughed at if she was making it all up.
 
“Putting you on what?” said Anya, looking genuinely confused.
 
“Making it up to tease me. Like the Grimslaw demons did to David Bowie.”

Anya shook her head, and Giles watched as her currently blond hair fluttered around her face, and she began to babble. “Oh. I guess it would be funny, but it just never occurs to me to lie to people, even if it might be funny. Anyhow, I’ve always liked the song version. I was gone by the time the bad stuff happened at the end of the song. It was there for the parts where David was jamming with spiders and wearing tight pants showing off how well hung he is. It’s so rare that something I’ve done gets turned into a song. I mean, without additional demonic actions. You play it really well. I like watching you play. Your fingers are long and aesthetically pleasing and your voice makes my human skin raise up in little bumps. I find that sensation pleasing as well.”
 
Giles was a little overwhelmed by the wall of words and compliments that just descended upon him, but he actually followed everything she said (unlike when the other children babble and he has no idea what they’re on about), and there’s something about the last bit that actually gave him goose pimples as well. “Thank you Anya. Can I buy you a drink? No, I suppose you’re too young for that...”

“I’m eleven hundred years old. You can buy me a glass of whatever you’re having.”

He always forgets that she’s not one of the children. Even after hearing a story that happened to her in his youth, he forgets that she’s not young. “Scotch? Neat?”
 
“On the rocks,” she casually tossed out, as if she’s given this order hundreds of times, which, he reminded herself, she probably has.  

“You knew how you take your scotch,” he smiled at her, admiring something about her self-possession.
 
“I know how I take my everything.”
 
Giles paused at this. Was she flirting with him? He shook it off. “Because you’re eleven hundred years old.” 

He orders their drinks and has them put on his performer tab. He doesn’t get paid for these gigs, but he can set out a bucket for tips, and he drinks for free. As would a companion, if he had one. Which he does tonight.

He held up his glass to hers in salute. “Cheers.” 

“Cheers,” she said, and clinked her glass to his.

He watched as her thin but supple lips caressed the edge of the glass as she sipped the liquid fire.

“You know what I appreciate about you, Anya?” 

She placed the glass down after swallowing. “Can’t be my brutal honesty.”
 
“Occasionally, yes,” he smiled at her.
 
“Really?” she said, bringing back her forehead crease.

“I like that I know your compliments are genuine. When you say you like my guitar playing and singing, I know you aren’t just being kind. But no, what I was leading up to is that you speak to me like I’m a peer. Like I’m, well, a man.”
 
“How else would I speak to you?” she asked in a voice that implied that he might be an idiot, causing him to laugh.

“Well everyone else treats me rather like I’m Buffy’s dad, don’t they? A beloved welcome father, but not a peer. But you don’t.”
 
“Well you all seem ridiculously young to me. You just have more wrinkles.”
 
“Thanks,” he said, not taking offense because he knows none was given.
 
“And less baby fat. And more chiseled...manliness.” Anya chose that moment to look up from her glass and directly into his eyes.

Giles felt his breath catch. He cleared his throat and took a long sip of his scotch.
 
“You know what I like about you?” Anya said, pursing her lips and looking at him as if she was sizing him up.  

“My guitar playing and singing skills?” Giles smiled, trying to regain some control over the situation.
 
“I already told you that. Now you’re just fishing for compliments,” she grinned at him, teasing in the best of ways. But then her face took on a vulnerable quality that he’d never seen in her before. “I like that you’re always are willing to listen to my old stories.”
 
“I love your stories.”
 
“I know. But Xander is always telling me to stop and telling me that my life isn’t appropriate dinner table conversation. And okay, sometimes there are quite a few blood and guts, but it’s my life. They’re my stories. Who are we without our stories?”
 
Giles reached out and put his hand on her knee without thinking about it. She looked so unmoored, and he wanted to pull her in, to let her know that he sees her. “I’ll always listen to your stories. Especially the ones with blood and guts. They’re the most entertaining ones.” He paused for a moment and removed his hand from her knee before deciding to take the risk. “Maybe one day I’ll tell you mine. I wasn’t always like this, you know.”
 
“You weren’t always tall, dashing, and intelligent?” 
He could feel himself blushing, and the humiliation of blushing made him blush more. “I’m not sure I’m any of those things now. Other than tall. And no, I wasn’t always tall. I was young once. But no, that’s not what I meant. I meant that I wasn’t always, uh, moral.”
 
“I’ve heard rumors. There is a whole mythology around the bits of information you’ve given about yourself in the last few years to the Scoobies.”
 
“Mythology?”
 
“Yeah. You keep yourself as sort of a mystery. You’re Watcher man, and you don’t let everyone know all the human things about you. You just complained that they don’t see you as a peer, but how many years did you play guitar in bars before anyone found out?”
 
“I rather didn’t think anyone would care.”
 
“But if Buffy played guitar in bars,” Anya started, and Giles began to giggle at the image. It was a grand image. She continued, ignoring him, “...you’d know. You’re allowed into all spaces of her life, including knowing about her romances, but I don’t even know if you stopped seeing Olivia.”

He knew she was fishing for information. He knew that. He wasn’t an idiot. But her radical honesty took hold of him, and what would be the harm in sharing. It had been too long since he’d had a friend. “Olivia. Oh. Well, as you know, her last visit was, well, eventful, and and she got a bit scared by my life, and so I let her choose. She didn’t choose me.”
 
This time it was Anya placing her hand on his knee. “Are you upset by this?”
 
“Well this is my life, isn’t it. The scary bits come with the calling. I can’t be partnered with someone who gets frightened easily. Not to mention the long distance.”
 
And this time Anya pulled her hand away in shame. “I’m sorry I offended you.”
 
“Whyever...When?”
 
“Before she arrived. When I called her your orgasm friend. She was more than that, wasn’t she?”
 
“Oh. That. She was, yes, but she isn’t. Not now. And you didn’t offend me, so much...”
 
“You said it was the most appalling thing I could have said.”
 
“Oh. I guess I meant that, well Anya since everyone does see me as Buffy’s dad, I try to keep my romantic life a bit of a mystery so that no one has to be...”

“Freaked out?” Anya cut in, making Giles laugh.

“‘Gives me the Wiggins’ I believe was an exact quote.”

“They’re very...juvenile some times.” There’s something about those words coming from her young face that made him smile, even though her ancient eyes show the fraud of her face.

“I suppose I was upset with you for pointing out that the sexless dad image was a fraud. You weren’t willing to allow me that distance, and I didn’t know what to do about that.”
 
She tilted her head to the side in confusion. “But that’s your favorite thing about me?”
 
“Well, now, it is. And one of.”

“You have other favorite things about me?” Anya said, grinning like the cat the caught the canary.  

“Now you’re the one fishing for compliments.”
 
“I might be,” Anya said, swinging her legs in a gesture that would be child-like if her skirt didn’t hitch up her legs as she swung them.
 
“All in good time,” Giles said, his eyes fluttering from the skin of her legs to her cheekbones to...
 
“Why is this so easy?” Anya asked, truly seeking an answer to her question.
 
This shook Giles from his attempts to subtly admire her form by the fact that he now had to answer a question he didn’t understand. “What is?” 

“Talking to you. We’ve been talking for a long time, and you haven’t rolled your eyes or told me I was being inappropriate or wrong once.”
 
“Do I often?” Giles said, hoping that she’s speaking of others, but dreading the potential revelation that she’s speaking of his behavior toward her. He’s always been told that he’s too dismissive, too sarcastic.
 
“Sometimes,” she said, masking her brutal honesty with a shake of the head to let him know she wasn’t really calling him out on his sins. “But everyone else does all the time. If I were sitting here with Xander, he would have had so many ways to teach me how to be human.” 

Giles had never felt such an urge to hug her in his life, but he holds off for propriety’s sake. “Oh Anya it’s not that you don’t know how to be human. Anyone who thinks that is an idiot. It’s that you don’t care about the petty rules. You’re like a wonderfully blunt grand dam. You’ve been alive for too long and wielded too much power to care about our bloody stupid human rules.” He didn’t even know that he’d thought this about her until it came spilling out of his mouth, but when he heard his own words, he knew that he might understand her better than she understood herself.
 
And he was right about that, if the look of revelation on Anya’s face was any indication. “I like that.” 

“And the reason Xander doesn’t appreciate your honesty is that he’s still very much a boy.” Giles caught himself, realizing that he’d just diminished the man she was dating, and tried to make up for it. “I’m not saying that’s his fault. Give him time to grow.”
 
Anya snorted. “In my time, he would have been to war and back by now, and ready to choose a spouse.”
 
“Well in our time he’s been to the coffee shop and back and he’s ready to choose a video game.”

And from the look on her face, he realized he’d gone too far. Not that she disagreed. Just that he’d gone too far.
 
“I love Xander.”

“I know.”

Anya sighed again, since she had nothing more to say on the topic. “You’re easier to talk to.”
 
Giles smiled, not just out of the compliment but because he was relieved he hadn’t offended her. “Thank you, Anya. Shall we have another?”
 
She just looked at him, considering...something...
 
“Shall I interpret your silence as ‘I’d like to, but I shouldn’t?’”
 
“No. I mean, yes, I’d like another. There’s no reason I shouldn’t. Yes. Same drink. Oh and you’re British, so I’m supposed to pay for these ones.” She smiled proudly at her knowledge of protocol.
 
“Technically yes, but I’ve got a tab here that they cover in exchange for the music. Allow me.” 

He signaled the bartender for the same two drinks.  

He picked up his and clinked it against her glass on the table. “Cheers.” He sipped and swallowed. “What’s the salute with a drink of your people? Do you remember?”
 
“Vengeance Demons or early Scandinavians?” she asked, picking up her drink and taking a sip. He could watch her sip scotch all night, he thinks, and then represses the thought to focus on her words.
 
“Is that where you’re from? Originally?” 

“Yes,” she said, smiling at being asked.
 
“Give me both.”
 
“Skál, which literally just means drinking glass is from my youth. And in Arashmaharr we used Stin ygeiá sas, which comes from the ancient Greek.”

He tries to repeat both phrases. 

She laughed so hard that she snorted. “The first was fine, but then you just told me you like my mustache.” 

He tried the second phrase again.

“Well you’re clearly a barbarian, but I understood you this time.”
 
Giles pretended to be offended. “A barbarian?”
 
“You come from away. Your speech sounds like bar bar bar bar.”

“Isn’t that also from the Greeks?”
 
“Yes. But we had a similar word. It just isn’t as translatable. It basically just translates into English as barbarian.” 

Giles leaned on his chin on his hand, tilting his head to the side and gazed at her. “How many languages do you speak?” 

“I don’t know. I never thought to count.”
 
“You never thought to count?”
 
“Well how many languages do you speak?”
 
He snorted, realizing he shouldn’t be so shocked by her answer. “I guess I’ve never thought to count. I can read many more than I can converse in.”
 
“I’ve seen. A lot of my demon languages are mostly ‘where’s the bathroom,’ ‘I’m hungry,’ ‘don’t kill me,’ or ‘can I buy that from you?’”

“Well ‘don’t kill me’ probably comes in handy more often than not.” 

She replied to his jest in all seriousness. “It’s very useful. 
And then I can probably say the word wish in thousands of historical or contemporary languages.”
 
“Well you were good at your job, I assume. I’ve read.”

“You’ve read about me?”

“There’s not much on you, but yes.”
 
They gazed at each other in a way that makes both of the uncomfortable, but neither breaks contact for much longer than they should.

She was the first to break the gaze. “I was great at my job until some jerk Watcher summoned me and smashed my amulet.”
 
“I am sorry about that. Even though it wasn’t truly me.”
 
“Creating a completely separate dimension with a wish was exciting and all, but vampires all have ego problems. A world where they’re in charge of Sunnydale is an annoying world.”
 
“So you prefer this one?”
 
“Definitely,” she said, nodding.
 
“But do you prefer being human?”
 
She paused for a moment, considering the difficult question. But then she smiled at him, a bit wistfully. “I do right now. In this exact moment.”
 
She’d gone too far again. They stared at each other. Then both took a drink, trying to avoid whatever was happening.

Giles’s voice was a little raw when he tried to further the conversation. “But not ordinarily.” 

“What?” said Anya, who had lost the thread entirely.

“You don’t prefer your humanity ordinarily.”
 
She sighed, glad to be given a question she knew the answer to. “I miss being powerful. I miss feeling like I had a purpose. I miss feeling like I was helping people.”
 
“Were you helping people?”
 
“Sometimes. You can imagine how my flaying a spousal or child abuser could improve the woman’s lot in life. But sometimes...when I’d get someone to make a wish over something relatively minor out of anger, I would hear her screams as I left. I don’t think that was helping.”
 
He moved on very cautiously. She didn’t seem scarred by the memories, but he could tell that she was conflicted. “But it felt like helping at the time.” 

“Yes. They got vengeance.”
 
“How often were the cases about infidelity?”
 
“Oh, the majority. 70-80%? Have you even been cheated upon?”

Giles wasn’t sure he was ready to answer that question, so he diverted. “I thought you didn’t help men.”
 
“I didn’t. But it’s a relevant line of questioning. I seem to be doing all the answering, here.”
 
And he realized that there was no reason to hide his past from her. She would never hide it from him. And it felt good to just be able to talk. “Yes I have,” he said, with no anger or shame about it.  

“What did she do?”
 
He chuckled a mirthless sound. “He actually. Ethan. He was a right bastard. Made me think I was special, but I wasn’t. Does it trouble you?”
 
“What?” she said, tilting her head in confusion again.
 
“That it was a man?” It’s unclear to Giles whether he’s challenging her or terrified of her answer.
 
“In my professional opinion, men are cheating bastards, so I’d be more troubled if it had been a woman.”
 
Giles let out a laugh, this time full of mirth. Christ, she always says the most delightfully unexpected things.

“Do you still date men?” she asked, as if the revelation didn’t surprise her, even though she didn’t know it before.
 
“Not since him, no. It was the 70s. And apparently all the male pop stars were sirens. Something in the water, I guess.”
 
“Sirens are drawn to water. Easier to drown people if there’s water,” Anya agreed, not getting his metaphor.

Giles contemplated explaining his metaphor, but then decided it didn’t matter in the least.

“You’re really not shocked?” he asked, trying to read her open face.
 
“I’m eleven hundred years old. I’m difficult to shock.”
 
“Most women find it off putting,” Giles shruged.
 
“Was he ugly?” Anya looked at him as if she’s figured out why he’d be embarrassed about the confession.  

“No!” he exclaimed, and then closed his eyes for a moment and allowed the image of young, unclothed Ethan to flit over his memories. “Way more gorgeous than I, in fact. A bit out of my league even.”
 
“Then why would I find it off-putting?”
 
She really didn’t get it, did she. He’d have to explain. “Well most women think that if you’ve ever shagged a lad, that that makes you secretly gay.”
 
“Are you secretly gay?” she asked, bemused, knowing the answer. She then felt him looking at her body, taking in each curve with his eyes as a way of making his point. Well that was a pleasant consequence of this conversation.

“Christ, no,” Giles said, his voice reaching down to a husky timbre. “Just a bit, uh, neutered as of recently.”

Her look of utter shock reminded him that speaking in metaphor around her often went a bit pear-shaped.

“Metaphorically! Metaphorically!” he exclaimed.

She let out a breath in relief. “Because I was about to say, I didn’t think they did that sort of thing any more. I’m terrible at metaphor. Explain what you mean.”
 
“It’s just that...” And here he closed his eyes, too ashamed to look at her during this confession. “I don’t get a lot of opportunities where I feel like a man. A virile, desirable man.” He opened his eyes to make sure she hadn’t run off on him. She hadn’t. “As of lately.”
 
“Other than...” she said, vaguely gesturing to the stage. 

“The guitar. Right. I suppose it’s one of the reasons I do it. 
To feel like a man.”

“Instead of what?”
 
“A Watcher, I suppose. A sexless poncy tweed-wearing bibliophile Watcher.”
 
She looked him up and down, and other than knowing what a bibliophile he was, the rest didn’t describe him at all. “Do you feel like a man right now?”
 
He smiled a gentle smile and adjusted his glasses. “Yes. I do. As I said, you always make me feel like I’m a man. God, you also make me feel very forthright. Or maybe it’s the scotch.”

She picked up her empty glass and gestured at him. “Should we have another round?”
 
“Are you trying to get me drunk?” he said, his face attempting to indicate that he’s kidding and failing miserably.  

“I’m not sure,” she said out of total honesty. “Perhaps I am.”

“To what end?”

“I like you when you’re honest. I like everyone better when they’re honest, even if the things they say when honest make me like them less. And drinking often makes people more honest. And then they like me better because I’m not the only one being honest.”

“Well, good. I can commit to honesty.” He then smiled at her, kidding, or deflecting, or something. “I was a bit concerned you were trying to get me drunk to have your way with me.”

“Actually, I’m actively trying to try not to seduce you,” she said, with a completely un-seductive tone in her voice.

“You’re what?” Giles began to rub his forehead, a small grimace on his face.

“I was never very good at seduction. I seduced Xander by showing up at his basement and taking all my clothes off.” 

Giles managed to laugh despite the stress of the conversation. “Lacks a certain artistry and finesse, but I can see how it might be effective.”
 
“So with my lack of skills of seduction, it should be easy to have a fascinating conversation with you over scotch without my accidentally seducing you.” And here she caught his eye with her intensity. “But if the body part between your legs is feeling even a fraction of what the parts between my legs are feeling, I’m failing at trying not to try.”
 
If he had been succeeding in avoiding being turned on, he no longer could. But he cleared his throat. He was going to let her out of this corner she’d walked herself into with full honesty. “Anya, we’re both adults. We have full control of our bodies and impulses. We can flirt, look, desire, and then choose to go home to our respective apartments and not have done anything improper.”
 
And then he felt her bare knee start to pull between his legs. She looked up at him through her lashes, and he could feel her breath speeding up, just slightly. “But I don’t want to do that.”
 
He was a man. He had desires but he also had control over them. “Anya we’re in entirely different situations. I’m completely unencumbered, as it were, as you...”

“Love Xander.”
 
“Yes.” He closed his eyes hard as he tried to focus on this fact. “As you keep saying, yes.” 

And she leaned closer, her leg drawing closer to him, still between his legs. “You’re really good in bed, aren’t you?”
 
“Never had any complaints,” he tossed off, a little of Ripper in his voice as his desires started to take over.

“I knew you had to be, since why else would a woman fly across the world to spend a few days with you?”
 
“For my company as well, I’d hope,” he chuckled, using the moment to think of Olivia, to think of anyone but Anya.

“Yeah, but she can get that over the telephone.” He felt her hands slide up his thighs to join her knee. “I figure you must be really good.”
 
He began to shift so his erection could rub against the knee that was completely between his legs. He looked her in the eyes again, his pupils dilated “There’s only one way to find out, isn’t there.” He leaned in closer, focusing on her lips, but then sense overtook him, and he pulled back rapidly. “Christ, what am I doing?” He takes off his glasses and started cleaning them. He looked at her. “Nope, still gorgeous when blurry. I should go. I should...you’re dating....um...”

“Xander,” she supplied, still maddeningly unflustered.

“Right. If anyone found out...”
 
“Why would anyone find out?”
 
“If we were caught...”

“You said it yourself. They don’t see you as a man. Why would they ever suspect? I’ve seen you watching me. When you think no one is looking at you.”
 
“You’re not magicked or drunk or otherwise outside of your correct mind, are you?” he asked, trying to rationalize his way out of this seductive entrapment.
 
“Because I would need to be one of those in order to want to have sex with you?” she said, with annoyed confusion in her voice.
 
“Well...” he said, still unable to accept the reality of the situation.

“Giles do you remember when, after I lost my powers, we had to do that spell to send evil vampire Willow back into her dimension?”

“How could I forget?”
 
“Do you remember how when we made the circle to bring about the right magicks, I was crouched right next to you, just a little to close to you?”
 
“You noticed me? Back then? But that was before Xander,” he exclaimed, suddenly baffled how she could have ended up with that boy in the first place if she’d wanted him.

“Right, but what was I going to do, go to your apartment and take off all my clothes?”
 
He chuckled, glad that the mood had become less intense, even though the topic was still in the danger zone. “I would have thought you were quite mad.”
 
“And it wouldn’t have worked.” 

“I honestly don’t know, Anya. I probably would have studiously averted my eyes and yelled at you until you went away. Unless I’d had a drink or two and lowered my inhibitions.”

And suddenly the intensity was back. “Like right now?”

“Anya, I can’t.” And he felt her reach between his legs and test out the quality of his erection. He gasped.

“You can,” she said, the devil in her, metaphorically.

He pushed her hand away, trying to maintain his composure. “I meant to say that I mustn’t. You’re not free, Anya. So as much as I want to and very much could, I’m going to walk away, go home, and in the spirit of total honesty, probably have the most intense wank of my life. But I have to go.” And he got off the bar stool, and picked up his guitar to go before he changed his mind.

“Giles!” she called out to him, and he stopped to look back at her.

“Can I still come see you play?” She looked so sad, like this unfulfilled flirtation had taken away something she loved, which he was shocked to realize was seeing him play.

“Of course. I’m still honored to have you as my supporter. And you won’t have to call the bar. I’ll let you know when I’m playing next.” And he left.

* * *

An hour later, Giles is at home, pacing the floor. The moment he left the bar he had regretted it. He should have taken what was freely offered. Not taken, that’s a retrograde way of saying it, he should have joined her in what she was proposing. He was even too keyed up to self pleasure, since every time he let his hand drift in that region he thought of the feel of her finger lightly touching his aching knob, and he had to pace again to keep himself from going off and finding her, somehow. What an idiot he was. No, he was noble. He did the right thing. Doing the right thing is bloody awful, isn’t it?

At first he was pacing too loudly to hear the soft knock at the door. But then it got louder, more insistent. He knew it was her knock.

He opened the door, and found her there.

“I broke up with Xander,” she stated, without emotion.
 
“You what?” he said, wanting to make sure he heard her correctly.
 
“At first I was mad that you turned me down. I was the one who would be cheating, not you, so it should be my choice. But then I realized that you were right. I didn’t want to be a cheater. Professional hazard and all that. So I told Xander it wasn’t working, and I came here.” She moved her arms as to, he realized, take off her shirt, and he held her arm to still her.

“Anya that’s a lot of pressure.”
 
She looked up at him wide-eyed. “Did I do the wrong thing? I’m not happy with Xander, and I want to have sexual intercourse with you. So it seemed logical.”
 
“I thought you loved him,” he said, the worry line appearing on his forehead, yet again getting between himself and pleasure. No wonder he never had sex, he marveled.
 
“That doesn’t mean we were happy,” she stated, not understanding his reluctance.
 
“No I suppose it doesn’t,” he conceded.
 
“Honestly, I think I bullied him into being my boyfriend. I don’t think he ever actually wanted to be more than my...”

“Orgasm friend?” Giles smiled.  

“Yes,” she pouted. But not for any effect. She was honestly pouting.
 
“I was there that day. The day you, er, bullied him into being your boyfriend. You told me to get out of my own apartment. Out of here.”
 
“Maybe I should have told Xander to get out instead,” she said, sliding past his defenses and into his space, so if he closed his arms, she would be completely wrapped in his body.
 
He bit his lip and held her neck in his hand, holding her gaze in place as she looked up at him. “You wouldn’t have bullied me into making a commitment to a woman I just met.”
 
She started sliding her fingers down the sides of his ribs. “And that would have been a good thing. I don’t think you can force someone to be in a relationship with you. Well you can, and I did, but I guess he’d have to be eighteen, and it wouldn’t be a good one.” 

“So what you’re saying is...”

She lay her palms down on his surprisingly well defined chest muscles. “Have sexual intercourse with me. Be my orgasm friend. And if weird squishy human emotions get involved at some point in the future, we’ll reassess. Am I doing it properly this time?”
 
“Yes,” he said, removing his glasses. And then paused for a moment, looking down at her, his smile twisting to an almost cruel place. “So just to verify, you’ve come over here to...”
 
“To have the mad passionate sexual intercourse our conversation at the bar indicated we both desire. Unless you’ve already self pleasured, and I’m too late.”
 
“I haven’t.” He lightly chuckled. “All right then.” And he took a step back, breaking her touch, and placed his glasses on a shelf, his posture changing, his mouth going amused and fake cruel, taking command of this seduction. “Then get the fuck out of my doorway, into my apartment, and take off all your clothes.”

Her eyes lit up, and she grinned. “Oh wow. You’re fun. I made a good choice.”

“Anya, now,” he said, trying to maintain his role in the game he just started.
 
“And what will you do if I don’t?” she said in an excited voice, rather than a badly behaved submissive voice, enthralled by his game but terrible at playing it.
 
“I suppose I’ll have to devise some way to punish you.”
 
“Oh Goody,” she grinned, and he couldn’t help but break his role and practically fall over laughing. Anya needed some training as a submissive, and it would be fun to train her.
 
“For Christ’s sake Anya, come here,” Giles said in his exasperated normal voice. And she fell back into his chest, tilted up her head, and kissed him madly.

He made quick work of removing her clothes, and like she had suggested she might, ended up completely naked in his living room.