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The Morning After

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Buffy quietly let herself into the darkened hotel room. Sprawled across the bed, which was lacking both pillows and covers, was Giles, dead asleep, in only his boxers. Buffy felt a small stab of disappointment that he had kept that last shred of modesty, but it was probably for the best, all things considered.

Last night, she and Giles had embarked on an epic pub crawl to celebrate his second 18th birthday. Abandoning all sense of reason and self-preservation, Giles had made the most of every single stop, with Buffy reduced to hovering nearby like a protective nursemaid. But as eventful as the evening was, it was overshadowed by what happened when they got back to the hotel. After an accidental confession, Giles drunkenly threw caution to the wind and planted one on her. It had been— No, now wasn’t the time to get distracted. It was time for a little payback. With one smooth motion, Buffy threw open the blinds.

“Come on, Giles! Wakey, wakey!” she cried in her most obnoxiously perky voice. 

“Shit! Damn! Fuck!” 

“Yes, those ARE the three most popular curses. Now, come on, up and at ‘em!” 

“Whattime’s it?” he mumbled and buried his face back in the mattress as his hand groped fruitlessly for a pillow or blanket.

“Just about noon. I’ve let you have ten hours of sleep. That should be plenty.” 

She had noticed when she had come in that, at some point after she had returned to her own hotel room, he had hung the Do-Not-Disturb sign. It had been a little surprising that he’d had enough forethought to do so, but it really wasn’t all that remarkable. Now, however, as she looked curiously around the room, she got the impression that Giles had not spent many of those ten hours sleeping. His clothes from last night were neatly folded, which was definitely not typical behavior when he was drunk, even before he had been de-aged. That alone was curious.

But small pile was a neatly ordered islet in a sea of chaos. One pillow looked like it had been thrown clear across the room. Strangely, the other seemed to have been carefully placed on the floor along with the duvet as if Giles had tried to sleep on the ground, instead of on his wonderfully comfortable mattress. A small mountain of crumpled paper was scattered around the desk and across the floor. Buffy was pretty sure she could guess what he had been writing. With a shake of her head, she turned back to the matter at hand.

“Come on, Giles! This is no time to be a slug-a-bed! We got places to go and scones to eat!”

“Don’t talk about food, Buff—ACK!” 

Buffy had lifted him off the bed and placed him on his feet. Giles stared at her, owlishly.

“You are abnormally strong.”

“No, duh. You’ve only had fifteen years to get used to that fact! Alright, into the shower with you!” Buffy shooed him towards the bathroom.

“Bloody hell!” Giles moaned, looking extremely discombobulated.

“Also a popular choice in swear words, even with the British flavoring. Now, do you need me to help you? I’ll take that glare as a no. Okay, I’ll be right here picking out your clothes if you change your mind.” Giles opened his mouth, but Buffy steamrolled over anything he was about to say. “No, don’t even bother to object. I’ve seen the outfits you’ve put together stone cold sober. You’ve officially lost all privileges to dress yourself.”

Giles silently shut his mount again. Buffy smiled in satisfaction. 

“Glad to see you can still respond to reason. Now, get showered and, do us all a favor and brush your teeth!”

Giles grumbled but shuffled off towards the bathroom. Buffy surreptitiously picked up one of the crumpled notes. As she suspected, it was the beginnings of an apology addressed to her. Buffy smirked.

“Oh, and Giles?” she called out sweetly. “If you ever kiss me again with breath like that, you will pay, got it?”

“Oh, fuck me.” The moan was deeply heartfelt. 

“Not unless you brush your teeth!” Buffy shot back. But her grin quickly faded with the horrific crash that came from the bathroom. “GILES!!”

Buffy nearly tripped into the bathroom in her hurry. Giles was sprawled on the floor, but was already trying to sit up.

“God, Giles! Are you okay?”

“I’m fine,” he grumbled, as he struggled to untangle himself.

“I thought you gave up getting knocked out along with the gray hair and wrinkles. Personally, I would have gone with the gray hair if I’d had to choose,” Buffy babbled as she fell to her knees to check for head injuries. When all seemed okay, she dropped her hands from his hair to cup his face in order to hold him still. 

“Giles, stop it!” she ordered, when he tried to push her away. “Let me check to see if your pupils are dilated. 

“I’m fine! I didn’t hit my head.”

“Giles!” Buffy said firmly. Giles stopped squirming and let her look into his eyes. What she saw there made her freeze, worries forgotten.

“Please, please don’t make fun of me,” he whispered. Buffy’s heart clenched. He looked desperate and terrified. He honestly thought that she was going to reject him.

“I’m not, Giles. Not about this,” she said gently. With her right hand, she stroked the side of his face, before she let it drop back into place. “I will tease you until the end of time about what a dumbass you were last night, but never about this.”

The corner of Giles’s mouth quirked slightly, as if he wanted to laugh, but couldn’t quite believe what she was saying. Her hands still cupping his face, Buffy looked deep into his eyes, her love for this brilliant disaster of a man radiating. And when he closed his eyes, as if this unexpected happiness was almost too much to take, Buffy then rained kisses his mouth, the tip of his nose, his forehead until he gasped her name and buried his head into her crock of her neck.

“If I didn’t feel like hell right now…” He raised a hand to cup her breast.

“But you do. And, may I add, you don’t smell much better.”

Giles hummed in agreement as he lowered his head to nestle in near his hand.

“Giles,” Buffy admonished, trying to keep the amusement from her voice. He snaked an arm around her waist for support as he continued his nuzzling. “Giles!”

She pulled his head back. His grin was entirely too smug.

“You little shit,” she laughed.

“Guilty.” He let himself drop down into her lap, rearranging his long body into a more comfortable position.

“But I’m not, you know,” he said once he had settled himself.

“Not what?”

“Little.”

“Giles!” Buffy laughed, equally scandalized and amused. “God, you’re a handful!” Then, quickly realizing what a teenage brain could do with that statement, she clapped a hand over Giles’s mouth. “DON’T! Whatever you are about to say right now, just don’t!” Giles pouted his agreement. Buffy removed her hand to give him an affectionate tap on his lips with the tips of her fingers.

“Bossy.”

“Oh, you have no idea what I can do, Mister!” Buffy laughed at the way his eyes lit up. She was certain his thoughts had just gone X-rated. Just as she had intended. “But we both waited this long. A day or two more until you are feeling your usual self won’t hurt.”

“We don’t have to wait on my account. I’ll live.”

“That’s my point. I intend that you do!”

“Promises, promises,” he muttered as his eyes drifting downwards towards other parts of her anatomy.

“Giles…”

“I’m not doing anything,” he said innocently, as his hand slipped under her shirt and starting inching along. Buffy thought it best not to find out whether its intended destination was a breast or the button of her jeans.

“Exactly,” Buffy replied, removing said hand before it could embark further on its quest. Then, placing her hand on his chin, she firmly turned his head so that he was looking at her once more. “You need to get cleaned up. Then we will have a nice, quiet day out, just like we originally planned.”

“My idea is more fun.”

“Your idea first requires a good night’s rest. We can revisit sleeping arrangements in the morning."

Giles grumbled in agreement. It’s not like either of them really thought she’d be sleeping alone tonight. There were advantages to having an 18-year-old body. He’d probably grab a few hours rest and possibly a quick shower, before he’d make his way to her room. And she’d have the nice new nightgown that she bought this morning to wear when he arrived. Not that he would have had a problem with the flannel shorts and t-shirt she would have otherwise been sleeping in, but it was his birthday. The occasion called for a little silk and lace, even if it had been bought on the fly at Marks & Spencer’s. 

“Good. We have a plan. Now get showered. I promise you’ll greatly benefit from it!”

With a sigh of disappointment, Giles complied. After standing up with only minor mishap, Giles shuffled over to the sink and made a great production of taking out his toothbrush and toothpaste.

“Good boy,” Buffy said, rising to her feet. 

“Unfortunately,” Giles complained through a mouthful of toothpaste.

Smiling, Buffy returned to his open suitcase to select his clothes for today. In a few moments, she heard the shower turn on.

“One, two, three,” she counted softly with a smile.

“Buffy?! I think I need help with my shower after all!”