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Chip Tooth Smile

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Title: Chip Tooth Smile
Author: Froxyn
Rating: FRAO Overall/FRT This chapter
Pairing: Buffy/Giles
Timeline: AU, one year post-series...no Dawn, Anya survived Sunnydale.
Synopsis: A year after Sunnydale, there are quite a few changes in the Scoobies' lives. There are more changes to come.

 

It had been a year since the implosion of Sunnydale.

Giles had returned to England two weeks later. He had taken the new Slayers with him. While most of the Council members had perished in the attack by Caleb, there were a few survivors – and everyone was going to be needed…and they were going to need more Watchers. Giles had decided to take on that task, intent on rebuilding the Council. However, he had the knowledge to improve what the Council had been – and that was his plan.

Willow had gone with him, returning to the Coven that had helped her a few years earlier. A few months later, she moved to the new Council building that Giles had had built in the English countryside. She had questioned him about the location and he had simply replied that he didn’t care for the city any longer. She joined the Council as a Coven liaison and was excelling in her new position.

Xander and Anya had taken a few months to themselves. They hadn’t said where they went, but when they arrived in England 6 months after everyone else…they were a much stronger couple. Giles had held two positions open for them, in hopes that they would join them. It hadn’t taken much convincing. After all, what else were they going to do? Xander was now in charge of construction, which had turned out to be a massive job considering the span of rebuild/build that was going on. Anya was leading the demonology department. At first, she had complained…saying that it was only because she was a former demon. It wasn’t until Giles had explained that he was offering her the position based on her actual knowledge of demons that she had smiled and accepted the role.

Buffy had followed Giles to England a few weeks later. She had needed time to work through her feelings concerning the rift between her and Giles – and she needed to decide if she even wanted to work through those feelings. She had been so angry with him and was having trouble seeing a future relationship with him. However, once they were apart, she understood the reasonings behind his actions. In an even more interesting twist, she agreed with them. She knew that she could help Giles with the Council rebuild and felt that was her new calling…there were so many new Slayers who would benefit from what she and Giles could offer. And so, three weeks after Giles had landed at Heathrow, she called him…to see if he would consider picking her up from the very same airport the following day.

He answered ‘yes’ with no hesitation…and when she made her way through customs, she found him easily in the large crowd of people waiting on their loved ones. She walked up to him and he smiled, pulling her into a hug before taking her bag. That hug was their new beginning.

Tonight was the one year anniversary of the implosion. They had all gathered at Buffy’s flat…drinks, dinner, conversation…memories.

Giles listened intently to the conversation currently taking place, smiling softly as he nursed his drink.

“What do you mean you’re not worried about getting older?” Anya asked, obviously thoroughly confused.

“Everything I’ve been through? I get one day older, that’s one day less from dying young. For years, my goal was to make it to 22. I hit that. It wasn’t easy, but I did it.” Buffy replied with a smile. “Died a couple of times along the way, but hey…here I am.”

Giles’ smile faded and he lowered his eyes, staring at the label on his beer bottle. The memory of her death still haunted him and probably always would.

Xander noticed the change in Giles and quickly tried to steer the conversation in another way. “Yeah, getting older…good, definitely of the good. But, what about past mistakes? Like, if you could go back…knowing what you know now, would you do things the same or would you mix it up?”

Buffy thought about that for a long moment and then smiled. “You know, I think I’d do everything exactly the same. Every single one of my choices…wins and losses…have made me who I am today. I like who I am today…even if it was stupid fucking hard getting here.”

Giles chuckled and took a long sip from his beer.

“You wouldn’t change anything? Really?” Anya asked, sliding her arm through Xander’s and resting her head on his shoulder. “There’s not one thing you would change from the train wreck that your life has been?”

They all stared at Anya.

Anya rolled her eyes. “For fuck’s sake, seriously? Everyone in here knows what a ride we’ve all been on…Slayer Express, first stop – oh wait, derailment…”

Buffy shook her head, but smiled. She glanced at Giles and took a deep breath when he looked at her. “There’s probably one thing I actually would change…”

“What’s that?” Willow asked, cutting off a piece of cheese and popping it into her mouth.

Buffy blushed lightly and broke the gaze she was holding with Giles. Giles lowered his eyes and lightly pulled at the label on his bottle.

“All the fighting with Giles.” Buffy answered quietly. “Bad shit happened whenever we were…at odds.”

Giles snorted a laugh. “At odds…now that is an interesting term to use to describe our issues.”

“Well, I never hated you. But, we were at odds a few times.” She waited until she had his complete attention and then gave him a smile. “I always hated not having you with me.”

He was sure that he saw something flicker in her eyes, but dismissed it quickly. He cleared his throat and nodded in agreement. “Yes, as did I. Things seemed very much out of balance when we were…at odds.”

Xander and Willow cast a quick glance at one another.

“What about you, Giles?” Anya asked, grabbing a handful of popcorn from the bowl in Xander’s lap.

“What about me?” He asked, furrowing his brow.

“Do you worry about getting older?”

“No.”

The other four darted their eyes amongst themselves for a moment before Xander spoke.

“You know, I’ve gotta say…for someone who used an obscene amount of words to tell me to go to class, a one-word answer was not what I was expecting…”

Giles sighed heavily. “I’ve watched a lot of people die in my lifetime. More than once, I was sure that I wouldn’t make it out of whatever predicament I’d gotten myself into. But, somehow…against all odds…it always worked out. Maybe it didn’t work out as I had hoped it would, but it worked out nonetheless. So now I’m happy to have a drink and spend an evening with those I love. One day will be my last day, but that might not be tonight.”

Willow smiled. Xander gave him a salute with his beer bottle. Anya stared at him quizzically. Buffy nodded slowly, her smile showing in her eyes.

“Decent answer, Giles.” She said softly.

“Thank you.” He replied, holding her gaze for a moment before reaching over and grabbing three Jaffa Cakes from the plate on the coffee table.

He wasn’t exactly sure what to think at the moment. He and Buffy had been spending a fair amount of time together in recent months. Sometimes they were training, but more often than not they were doing this…sitting with a drink and just talking. It had felt amazing to be able to reconnect with her…or connect with her, he corrected himself. They had connected in a way that they never had before in Sunnydale. In Sunnydale, they’d been close, they had bonded well – as all good Watcher/Slayer partnerships had in the past, they had trusted one another, they had become true friends.

But it was different now, here in his homeland.

She didn’t seem as restless here. Perhaps that was due to the fact that there wasn’t a Hellmouth here. But, in one of their late night conversations over tea, she had told him that she had tired of running, fighting, and hunting. She’d still do it when needed, because that was a part of her that would always remain. But, she wanted to have a proper life…a real life…with a real relationship one day. She was tired of the dichotomy of her existence.

He grinned at the memory. Those had been her words. ‘I’m tired of the dichotomy of my existence, Giles. I just want to be…me.’ And then she had paused, narrowed her eyes, and stared at him. And then playfully blamed him for her uttering the phrase ‘dichotomy of my existence’.

He had taken it as a compliment, which made her roll her eyes in the way that seemed to make his heart skip a beat these days. He knew what that meant…he’d been around long enough to recognize the beginnings of feelings that were becoming…more. More than what they should be, considering who they were and what they had been through…and what was still left to do before they could both step down.

While they were getting along much better these days – and he could only remember one actual argument since her arrival in England – he could feel that boundaries were becoming blurred, lines being tiptoed over briefly. Their lives, their relationship in whichever form it was at the time, had never been simple – but he could sense the complications bounding towards him. And he wasn’t sure how to avoid them.

Furthermore, he wasn’t even sure he wanted to avoid them. This time.

He’d been avoiding them for years. They’d come and gone, off and on throughout the years. They’d mostly come at the most inopportune times – when she was seeing Riley, when she had emotionally asked for him to train her again, when he was fairly certain he was going to die in an abandoned petrol station, when he’d watched her die, when he saw her for the first time upon her resurrection…

He was sure he could come up with more moments, but he purposely stopped himself.

There was no apocalypse looming at the moment, no Hellmouth needing to be closed in their vicinity…nothing that could help him divert the complications barreling towards him at an unnervingly high rate of speed. That concerned him. Those complications could very well be –

“Giles?”

Giles looked up quickly, somewhat surprised to find four people staring at him in concern. He cleared his throat and focused on Buffy.

“Yes?”

“You okay?” She asked softly, reaching over and placing her hand on his knee. “You, uh…kinda went away there for a bit…”

“Went away?” He asked, covering her hand with his as he leaned forward and put his empty beer bottle on the coffee table. “What do you mean?”

“You just looked like you were having some really deep thoughts…and you weren’t very responsive…”

“She means you zoned out and wouldn’t answer us when we were saying your name.” Anya clarified. “It was weird. You haven’t done that in a long time.”

A smile pulled at the corner of Giles’ mouth and he rubbed the back of his neck. “My apologies. Just old memories…I’m here now.”

That seemed to ease their concern and after a while conversation was flowing again. Xander, Willow, and Anya were busy talking amongst themselves about the time they had followed a Ghandish demon into the cemetery. Buffy moved over to sit next to Giles, gently nudging him as she sat down.

“You sure you’re okay?” She asked quietly.

He nodded slowly and offered her a warm smile. “I’m fine, Buffy. Really, just old memories.”

She looked into his eyes for a moment and then exhaled deeply. “One day you’re going to tell me.”

“Tell you what?” He asked, wondering what exactly she had seen in his eyes.

She gave him a wink and gestured towards his empty beer bottle. “Want another?”

He shook his head, the fact that she had ignored his question was not lost on him. “No, I’ll need to be leaving in the next hour or so…”

“I’ll make some tea, then.”

He watched her get up and walk towards the kitchen. After a few seconds, he stood up and followed her. She turned to look at him when he walked into the kitchen.

“What’s up?”

He tilted his head slightly as he looked at her. “One day I’m going to tell you what?”

“What’s really going through your head.” She smiled as he narrowed his eyes slightly. “You were having some serious thoughts in there, Giles. That wasn’t just ‘old memories’. You don’t drift away following old memories.”

“Buffy…”

“It’s okay. I’m not going to hound you about it. But, one day…you’ll tell me. At least, I hope you do – because I think you kinda need to get it out instead of keeping things all bottled up. It’s not good for you…and we’re not getting any younger.”

He chuckled softly and nodded in agreement, moving around her to pull five mugs down from the cupboard.

Chapter Text

Giles absently tapped his fingers against the steering wheel in time with the drumbeat of the song currently playing on the radio. His fingers might have been reacting to the song, but Giles’ mind was racing. He was nearly halfway home, but he wasn’t sure he should have left to begin with. He was certain that he had seen something in her eyes as he said goodnight, felt something when their hug lingered a bit longer than usual.

He had dismissed it…as he had numerous times before. But, something felt different about it tonight. Maybe because of the earlier discussions…maybe because it was the anniversary…he wasn’t sure, but there had definitely been a shift of some sort. He should have asked her about it, but he didn’t…and he was ninety-five percent sure that was a mistake.

“Bloody hell…” He murmured to himself. “If you don’t talk to her now, you’re never going to…”

At the next roundabout, he took a deep breath and followed it around…heading back in the same direction he had just come from.

* * *

After sitting in his car for nearly ten minutes, he closed his eyes and unbuckled his seat belt. There was a time when she would be patrolling at this hour, but times had changed in the last year. He knew she was home, he could feel her…his ‘spidey-sense’, as she called it, was still quite active where she was concerned.

He slowly made his way back to her flat and lifted his hand to knock on her door. He hesitated for a brief second before allowing his knuckles to rap against her door three times. He removed his glasses and slid them into his inner jacket pocket and cleared his throat as the door opened.

“Hey…what’s – ”

He took a step towards her, simultaneously sliding his left hand to her cheek and capturing her lips with his. It was a brief kiss, but full of intent. He pulled back, allowing his hand to slide to her shoulder as he looked into her eyes.

She stared at him and took a shaky breath. His hand dropped from her shoulder and he was beginning to think that he’d made a huge mistake. As he started to take a step back, she reached out and grabbed the front of his shirt.

“You kinda caught me off-guard there, Giles. Let’s try that again, what do you say?”

He smiled and leaned down, capturing her lips once more. A groan rumbled in his chest as her tongue found its way into his mouth. He stepped forward, she stepped back…moving them into her flat. Neither of them broke the kiss as he pushed the door closed. He grunted softly as she pushed him against the closed door and began tugging his shirt out of his jeans. When her hands slipped under his shirt and touched his skin, he pulled from the kiss and inhaled sharply.

She grinned at him, sliding her hands up to his chest. “Why did you leave?”

“I…wasn’t sure this is what you wanted.”

She moved her hands back down his ribs, chuckling as he squirmed. She hadn’t forgotten he was ticklish.

“Why did you come back?”

“To see if this is what you wanted.” He replied, gently tucking her hair back behind her ears.

“Don’t you want me?” She asked softly, settling her hands on his waist as she leaned into him.

“Fairly obvious I do, isn’t it? Considering I came back…considering I kissed you.” He closed his eyes as she pushed his shirt up, pressing kisses against his skin. “I didn’t come back for sex, Buffy. I came back to talk. Saying that…if you’re not wanting this to go further right now, I beg of you…please stop what you’re doing.”

She looked up at him, flicked her tongue against his nipple, and gently lowered his shirt. “Pretty sure you could turn me inside out…”

He inhaled deeply, trying to maintain some level of control. He said nothing, just merely stared at her…waiting to see, hear what was coming next.

“I think I want to find out for sure if you can. What do you say?”

And just like that, his control was lost.

His hands gripped her hips as his mouth latched onto the side of her neck. His teeth grazed her skin as he suckled her flesh, causing her knees to buckle. His grip tightened, holding her up as he moved his mouth steadily down her neck towards her collarbone. He nipped at her lightly through her shirt, smiling inwardly as she whispered his name gruffly.

Suddenly, she pushed away from him and stared at him. Then, with a trembling hand, she took hold of his hand and turned towards the hallway.

“Wait…what are we doing?”

She smiled at his gentle question and paused, turning back to look at him. “Going to the bedroom. That’s where this is heading, right? Sex?”

“This is what you want?” He asked, closing the gap between them. “You want to sleep with me?”

“Why are you questioning this so hard? I thought I made it pretty clear a few minutes ago…”

“Everything we’ve been through over the years…” He started, lifting his free hand to caress her cheek. “We’ve been through some heavy shit…”

“And now it’s lighter…and you’ve been thinking about this for a while now, haven’t you?”

He tilted his head slightly as he looked at her. “Why would you think that?”

“You don’t kiss someone like you kissed me if you haven’t been thinking about it.”

His eyes darted to her lips. “You kissed me the same.”

“Yeah. And I’ve been thinking about this for a while now.” She took a step towards the hall and gently tugged his hand. “Coming?”

He nodded slowly and allowed her to lead him down the hallway and into her bedroom. She smiled at him as he closed the door.

“No one is going to walk in on us, Giles.”

He chuckled softly and made his way to her, shedding his shirt on the way. Her eyes found the large circular scar on his abdomen and she reached out, carefully touching it with her fingertips.

“Almost lost you that day.” She whispered.

“But, you didn’t.” He replied, unbuttoning the blouse she was wearing. Inhaling sharply as he parted the material, sliding his hands over the swell of her breasts. “Lovely…”

She laughed softly as he gently pushed her onto the bed. “Giles…”

“Hm?” He murmured, nudging her towards the middle of the mattress as he knelt between her thighs and leaned over her. “I don’t want to talk about the past right now, Buffy. I just…”

He paused as his eyes moved over her body, his fingers pulling the button free on her jeans. He smiled as Buffy quickly unbuckled his belt before working on the button and zipper of his jeans.

“You just…what?” She asked, slipping her hands underneath the waistband of his boxers…pushing them down over his hips.

A soft, guttural sound escaped his throat as she wrapped her hand around his erection. “I just want to be inside of you.”

“Then, we need to do something about this…don’t we?” She asked with a grin, gesturing with her free hand towards their jeans.

He nodded, gently pulling her hand away from his cock as he moved off the bed. He stared into her eyes as he kicked off his shoes before pushing his jeans and boxers down, stepping out of them before removing his socks. He stood before her, completely bare…and felt a sense of pride as he watched her eyes darken as they roamed over his body.

He shook his head as she started to unzip her jeans, moving back to her quickly and brushing her hand away. “Let me…”

Without another word, he unzipped her jeans…pulling them down along with her underwear. He smiled as she lifted her hips in an effort to help him. As he dropped the garments to the floor, he looked at her…lying across the bed, wearing only an open blouse and a very lovely light purple satin bra.

“Giles?”

He met her eyes and inhaled deeply. “You’re lovely.”

She smiled at his whispered statement and then widened her eyes in surprise as he grabbed her ankles, gently pulling her to the edge of the bed. “Giles!”

He chuckled, kneeling beside the bed between her thighs. He pressed a soft kiss to her inner thigh as she draped her legs over his shoulders. With another quick glance up at her, he parted her lower lips with his thumbs and slowly ran the tip of his tongue through her wet folds.

She gasped and reached down, touching his hair with her fingers. He repeated the action, circling her clitoris but not actually touching it. He felt her heels press against his back, urging him on. He gently pushed his tongue inside of her, relishing the sensation of her fingers tightening in his hair. As he pulled out, he looked up at her…surprised to see her gazing down at him. Flattening his tongue, he dragged it over her flesh until he reached her clitoris. He held her gaze as he finally allowed his tongue to touch the sensitive bundle of nerves.

He smiled inwardly as she cried out, letting her head fall back against the mattress. He slipped the middle finger of his left hand into her as he expertly licked and sucked at her clit. When her hips lifted off the bed, he added his index finger…gently stroking her inner walls as his mouth continued its gentle assault on her flesh.

“Jesus Christ…Giles...” She panted, the fingers of her right hand scratching at his scalp as the fingers of her left curled in the bedsheets. Her hips moved against him, urging more contact from him. “Fuck!”

He held her clitoris gently between his lips, flicking his tongue against it, as he curled his fingers slightly inside of her. Within seconds he found what he was looking for, that slightly rough patch of flesh hidden inside that drove women wild. Buffy was no exception, screaming his name as he pressed against it…rubbed against it…all the while increasing the pressure on her aching clit.

And then he felt it…her inner walls tightening around his fingers, her muscles quivering around him. He pressed again and sucked hard at her clit. She screamed his name once more and came forcefully. He slowed his movements, gently easing his fingers out of her as he placed another soft kiss on her inner thigh.

Her body was trembling as he stood up and carefully pushed her back towards the middle of the mattress. He moved between her thighs and leaned over her, his erection resting against her thigh as he kissed her slowly. She reached between them, placing her hand on his cock…gently stroking it as she curled her leg over his hip.

He broke the kiss and groaned as her palm rubbed in slow circles over the glans. “Fuck, Buffy…”

She smiled dazedly up at him and shifted underneath him. “Yeah…you should do that now…”

He placed another warm kiss on her lips before pushing himself up until he was kneeling between her thighs. He took a deep breath and then guided his erection through her warm, wet folds…and time seemed to stop as he entered her, slowly pushing forward until he was completely embedded within her.

He leaned over her, supporting his weight with his left hand on the mattress. She rested her knees against his sides and raised a trembling hand to the side of his neck.

“Alright?” He whispered, gliding his fingertips along her thigh.

“Uh-huh…” She murmured, her hand sliding from his neck and down his chest. She smiled as he inhaled sharply when her nails lightly scraped over his nipple. “Very alright.”

As he began to move within her, he realised that he wasn’t quite sure how they had gotten to this point. He definitely hadn’t expected this…for the situation to escalate as quickly as this. But, as she began to move against him…with him…he pushed his doubts and concerns aside. And allowed himself to feel.

He’d deal with heavier thoughts tomorrow.

Chapter Text

The sunlight filtered through the blinds as Buffy opened her eyes. She was exhausted and fairly confused as to why she was even awake. She was still in Giles’ arms, her back pressed against his chest. His hand rested lightly against her abdomen…just under her breasts. She shifted her hips slightly, smiling as she felt the warmth of his flesh pressing against her backside. Her smile faded and she sighed as she felt his tension rise, even as he held her tightly against his chest.

“Please don’t panic, Giles.” She whispered, covering his hand with hers. “Please go back to sleep…”

“Buffy…” He started, pausing when she rolled over to face him.

“We’ve had a very long night, topped with a couple of hours sleep at best. I’m exhausted, you have to be as well. Let’s just rest and then we can – ”

“This shouldn’t have happened. Not like this.” He interrupted softly, rolling onto his back and staring at the ceiling.

Buffy sighed and rolled her eyes, lightly stroking the hair covering his chest with her fingertips. “Or…we can just skip the rest and rush right into a really awkward conversation.”

“Why not? We rushed into a night of really – ”

Her fingers stopped their movements and she flattened her palm against his chest. “I know you’re not getting ready to say ‘awkward sex’ because…of all things it was, ‘awkward’ is not one of them.”

He covered her hand with his, giving it a gentle squeeze. “No, it wasn’t. It was…fairly indescribable in the most…” He exhaled slowly. “Last night was…beautiful, Buffy. But, we did rush…at an exponentially high rate of speed. And we shouldn’t have…I shouldn’t have. I should’ve stopped it.”

She stared at him, furrowing her brow. “There was no way of stopping it after you knocked on my door, Giles. You know that. You have to know that.”

“It’s not what I intended.” He said, running his hand through his hair.

“What exactly did you intend, then?” She asked, pushing herself up and leaning against the headboard.

“I…I wanted to talk.” He answered quietly.

“Kinda hard to talk if your tongue is in my mouth.” She shot back, narrowing her eyes as he sat up next to her. “You don’t even want to be here, do you?”

“Buffy, I don’t want to fight right now.” He replied, leaning his head back against the headboard.

“You knew I wouldn’t be able to say no to you, didn’t you?” She asked, staring at him. “Sure, you could use the whole ‘I wanted to see if this is what you wanted’ excuse…but at the end of the fucking day, you knew. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t have come back…and sure as fuck wouldn’t have kissed me.”

He turned to look at her, narrowing his eyes. “You honestly believe that I came back just to fuck you? That I would use you in that manner?”

She shook her head slowly and clenched her jaw briefly. “I don’t know what to think, Giles. But, I don’t think you fucked me. I think there was more to it than that…and I think that you’re very scared of what that means.”

“I…I should go…”

“You should stay. We could wait this out…have a shower and some tea. Really talk it through…” She said softly, reaching over and touching his arm.

He shook his head slowly and lowered his eyes. “I’m sorry. I…I can’t.”

“Seriously?” She asked, allowing her hand to fall from his arm. “You came over here last night ‘to talk’. We didn’t talk, Giles…we had sex. All fucking night. You were inside of me all fucking night. And now, you can't talk? I call bullshit on this right now. Fucking bullshit. It’s not that you can't talk, is it? It’s that you won't. And that’s a hundred times worse.”

He raised his eyes and looked at her, his heart lurching when he saw the pain in hers.

“Buffy…” He started, stopping when she shook her head and raised her hand.

“No, just shut up. Just…you’re in such a fucking hurry to go…so just go.” She stared at him for a moment and then shook her head in frustration, moving away from him and sliding out of bed.

He watched her as she stormed towards the bedroom door, not bothering to cover her nude body. He closed his eyes as she walked out and made her way to the bathroom, slamming the door behind her.

“Fucking good show, Giles…” He muttered, climbing out of the bed and gathering his clothes that were strewn about the room.

* * *

Giles had waited over half an hour, pacing in her living room, before conceding the fact that she wasn’t going to come back out while he was still there. His heart felt heavier than it had in years. After another long look down the hallway, he shook his head and found a pad and pen on her kitchen counter. He left her a longer-than-intended note and paced for another ten minutes before heaving a frustrated sigh and walked out of her flat.

She only came out of the bathroom after she felt his presence fade away. A ‘perk’ of having Gilesdar, as Anya had called it. She knew it was the Watcher/Slayer bond that had ramped back up since her arrival in England. She could sense him when he was near, the same as he could sense her. She walked slowly into the living room and found his note sitting on the coffee table.

She sat down on the sofa and picked it up with a trembling hand. And promptly burst into tears after reading it.

* * *

Giles stopped for a red light and sighed, tiredly rubbing his hand over his face. He inhaled sharply, her scent still heavy on his skin. Suddenly he could feel her surround him…and, at the same time, he felt further away from her than he ever had. And he knew without a doubt that he’d made a terrible mistake by leaving.

The light turned green, but he didn’t notice until the car behind him alerted him to that fact with a quick blast of the horn. Giles lifted his hand in an apologetic wave and accelerated through the intersection. By the time he had reached the next roundabout, he had decided that he needed to go back. He needed to make this right, if he could.

And so, in a replay of the previous night, he followed the roundabout around and went back in the direction he had just come from…the direction that would lead him back to her flat.

* * *

He leaned against the front fender of his car wishing, for the first time in years, that he had a cigarette in his hand. Or a bottle of scotch. Anything to help quell his nerves. He took a deep breath and exhaled shakily before pushing away from his car. He ran his hand through his hair as he walked back to her flat. He paused for a few seconds before lifting his hand and quickly knocking on her door.

And he waited.

He knocked again and then placed his hand on her door, his palm flat against the smooth wood.

“Buffy? Please…open the door.” He said quietly.

A few seconds later the door opened. He lowered his hand as he looked at her. Her red-rimmed eyes glancing at him before she lowered her gaze from his.

“Oh, Buffy…” He whispered, realising that she had been crying.

“Why are you here, Giles?” She whispered, wrapping her arms around herself.

“I’m sorry.” He lifted his hand and gently cupped her cheek.

She leaned into his touch briefly and then shook her head, taking a step away from him. “No…I can’t do this, not right now.”

His hand lowered as he nodded slowly. “I, uh…I made a mistake.”

“By fucking me?” She asked coldly, lifting her gaze and staring at him.

“By leaving…not talking…panicking.” He replied softly, slipping his right hand into his pocket. “I didn’t fuck you, Buffy.”

“That’s what I thought last night…” She ran her fingers through her hair and shook her head. “Felt very different this morning.”

“Can we talk this out?” He asked, shifting his weight nervously.

She looked at him for a long moment, biting her bottom lip before speaking. “I thought we were starting something last night. Now I’m wondering if it was ending something.”

He tilted his head slightly. “Buffy, please…let’s talk?”

“I don’t want to fight, Giles. And that’s where this is going to end up right now. This was the last place you wanted to be this morning.”

“It’s where I want to be now.” He said, the heaviness in his heart growing.

She shook her head slowly, a tear running down her cheek. “I don’t think I can talk right now, Giles.”

He lifted his left hand to the door frame. “I never meant to hurt you, Buffy. I just…didn’t know what to do.”

“But, you did. You did hurt me.” She whispered, wiping her tears from her cheeks. “We’ll talk, okay. But, not right now…not today.”

He stood there and looked at her, not really sure of what to say. After a few moments, she sighed heavily.

“This is the part where you say goodbye…see you later…or something.”

“I…” He started, stopping when he felt his chest constrict with a pain that he knew all too well.

She looked into his eyes and placed her hand lightly on his chest. “I know this is hurting you too, Giles. But…I have to work through this on my own before I can talk to you about it. Please…just go.”

He swallowed and gave her a nod. “I’ll see you later, Buffy.”

“Yeah.” She whispered, lowering her hand and taking a step backwards. “See you later, Giles.”

He closed his eyes as she gently closed the door. He lifted his hand, placing his palm on the door and leaning forward slightly.

“I am so sorry, Buffy.” He whispered before pushing away and walking back to his car.

She leaned her back against the door and closed her eyes. “I know, Giles.”

She waited until she heard him start the engine and drive away. Then she made her way back to the sofa and sat down, curling up in the corner and resting her head on the armrest.

Chapter Text

Giles hadn’t heard his office door open or close, nor had he heard anyone walk through his office…or step onto the balcony where he currently was sitting. But, he felt her without question.

“Hello, Buffy.” He said softly, lifting the cup of tea to his lips.

“Hi…” She replied, leaning against the door frame and crossing her arms over her chest. “I missed you last night.”

Third Friday of the month…movie night. They all took turns hosting. Last night was Willow’s turn. He lowered his cup and placed it on the small table next to his chair.

“I missed you too.” He cleared his throat. “I did let her know I wouldn’t be able to make it, though.”

“Yeah, she said. Not sleeping well, apparently.” She pushed off of the door frame and took a step onto the balcony. “I haven’t seen you around in a while…”

“I’ve been working…” He replied, still looking out across the countryside.

“I haven’t felt you around in a while…” She clarified, leaning against the railing and looking at him. “In fact, this is the first time that I’ve felt you since you left my flat.”

He sighed heavily and finally turned his eyes to her. “I was giving you time, Buffy.”

“You cloaked yourself from me, didn’t you?” She asked, narrowing her eyes.

“Not to hide from you. I was easy enough to find…as I said, I’ve been working. And you do have my phone numbers.” He shook his head slowly and nervously rubbed the side of his neck. “I honestly was just giving you time.”

She tilted her head, regarding him closely…or as closely as she could in the moonlight. “You look tired.”

He nodded, but didn’t say anything.

“Are you okay?” She asked, moving closer towards him.

“Not sleeping well.” He replied quietly. “Are you?”

“Sleeping well?”

“Okay?” He said softly. “Are you okay?”

“I miss you.” She answered, gesturing towards a vacant chair as he stared at her. “Is it okay if I sit down with you?”

“Of course. Um…would you like some tea?”

She shook her head as she sat down, curling her legs underneath her. “No…it makes me jittery sometimes.”

“Tea?” He asked, obviously confused.

She sighed softly. “Tea…with you.”

“Oh.” He replied, not quite sure what she meant. “Can I get you…anything?”

She blew out a breath and fidgeted with a ring on her finger. “An explanation?”

He lowered his eyes as he reached for his tea. An action that didn’t surprise her, considering he wasn’t wearing his glasses. He didn’t have glasses to polish, so a cup of tea was his next best distraction.

“I…reacted badly.” He offered, wincing when she barked a laugh.

“You’ve had three weeks to think about this and that’s what you come up with? You…reacted badly?”

He took a sip of his tea as he gathered his thoughts. “I’ve never been terribly good with opening up to people.”

“Color me surprised with that knowledge.”

His eyes shot to hers, clearly showing his annoyance. “What do you want me to say, Buffy? Because you obviously have something very specific that you’re wanting from me. Perhaps if you just tell me what that is, it would save us both a lot of time and heartache.”

“I’m sorry.” She said, sincerely. “I’m just really nervous right now. I don’t know where I stand with you.”

“I think we’re both a bit lost right now.” He replied, his features softening. “Which is why I shouldn’t have rushed into…well, what happened.”

“Sex, Giles. That’s what happened. Amazing sex, all night sex. The last time that happened for me, mystical forces were at work. Any ghosts around using sex to gather energy?”

He blushed and lowered his eyes, his index finger lightly circling the rim of his teacup. “I think you know as well as I do that it was more than that.”

“But…it was that, right? For you? I mean…”

He nodded slowly. “I thought that would’ve been obvious. Considering…”

“We need to talk this out, Giles.”

He nodded again and inhaled deeply. “Where do you want me to start?”

“The beginning, I guess.” She answered.

He finished his tea, but held on to the cup…staring at it as if it held all of the answers to the meaning of life. With another deep breath, he began to speak.

“I…was a very different person before my arrival in Sunnydale. I never let anyone in, got through my issues with rebellion…but never let anyone see the real me. I could talk my way out of…or in to…anything. And I didn’t shed a tear…I cut those emotions off. They’d get me nowhere.” He slowly lifted his eyes to her. “And then I was assigned to Sunnydale. To you. And all of that changed. A willful and insolent sixteen year old girl somehow worked her way through all of my carefully constructed barriers. And over the years, she’s continually knocked bricks down…even as I scramble to rebuild the walls.”

He turned the cup in his hand, running his thumb along the bottom.

“At some point, she…you…became everything I ever thought about. At night I couldn’t rest until I knew you were home safe. The afternoons were spent training or plotting out various plans to assist you on patrols. The days were filled with researching whatever particular demon was causing havoc. The mornings were my own…and it wasn’t long until even those were spent thinking and worrying about you – and whether I was helping or hindering.”

He placed the cup on the table and stood up, sliding his hands in his pockets as he walked to the railing and stared at nothing.

“Then I was fired…and refused to leave. Then you left the Council…and it was just us again. But something had shifted…the change was beginning and I did everything in my power to quash it – even as our bond strengthened.”

“Olivia.” Buffy whispered softly.

He chuckled softly as he nodded. “And then there was Riley…” He turned and leaned against the railing, hands still in his pockets. “And then everything I did was wrong. No…not wrong. Useless.”

Buffy’s eyes widened. “Giles…”

“So when Ethan showed up, I drank with him. And I drank so much that I almost died…not unlike my time away from the Academy when I was younger. Then you saw me…for the first time in what felt like years. You saw me…and knocked a few more bricks out of my wall.” A small smile played at his lips. “And off we went again…back and forth, ebb and flow…Slayer and Watcher, friends and hints at more.”

His smile suddenly disappeared as he lifted his eyes to meet hers. “And then you died.”

He pushed off the railing and began to pace back and forth across the balcony. “You were gone…and yet, you were still consuming my thoughts. Do you know that I tried to make a bargain?”

“What?” She asked, staring at him in disbelief.

“Oh, yes. Not to bring you back from the dead, because things have a tendency to go very wrong there.”

“No shit.” She murmured, watching him pace.

“No, I wanted to go back…to change things, to do things differently.” He paused and shrugged a shoulder. “The ‘Powers That Be’ refused. And I started drinking. Drinking to remember, drinking to forget, drinking to…just stop.”

“They never said anything.” Buffy said, tilting her head slightly as Giles looked at her. “Willow, Xander…they never said.”

“I asked Xander to say nothing. Willow was too…preoccupied…with witchcraft to take notice as to what was becoming of me.” He offered her a sad smile. “And then I left – came back here, actually. To regroup, recharge, detox…whatever you want to call it. I’d barely landed when Willow brought you back. Back to Sunnydale I went…with no hesitation. Because, you see…it was all about you and I had to see for myself.”

“I’ll never forget that moment.”

“Nor I.” He whispered. “Christ, how I wanted…”

Buffy’s eyes widened as he trailed off. “How you wanted…what?”

“But, then there was Spike. A vampire who wore his dead heart on his sleeve for all to see – and I’d given my chance away. And besides, I was standing in your way.”

“So you left me…us…Sunnydale.”

He nodded slowly. “And I rebuilt my walls. Problem was…I didn’t kick you out before I rebuilt them. So, everything remained about you…only colored in new and different ways.”

“I…am really confused right now, Giles.”

He laughed softly and leaned against the railing again. “I’m not surprised.”

“Can we skip the next year? Because…that was not my finest year.”

He regarded her carefully for a moment and then exhaled a deep breath. “It was not…for either of us. But, against all odds, we made it through…and we averted yet another apocalypse and survived.”

“And then I followed you here.” She stood up and walked over to stand next to him, looking out across the green field. “And it’s beautiful here.”

“It truly is.” He agreed softly, glancing at her briefly. “I’d do it all again, Buffy. Every single moment.”

She turned towards him, surprised to see his eyes glisten in the moonlight. “Giles?”

He continued softly, his voice seeming to hang in the air around her.

“I’d change nothing. And how I feel could never fade. No matter how hard I try to make it otherwise.”

She merely looked at him and then took a steadying breath. “How do you feel?”

He was silent for a long moment and then lifted his left hand to her cheek. “Like I want you to knock down the rest of the bricks and stop me from rebuilding.” His thumb gently stroked the skin in front of her ear. “Please stop me.”

When his eyes darted to her lips, she smiled. “Stop you from rebuilding? Or stop you from kissing me?”

He looked into her eyes and lowered all of his defences. “Both.”

When he heard her soft gasp, he gently pulled his hand away…allowing his thumb to brush over her bottom lip. “There are words that are extremely hard for me to say…that I haven’t said in many years. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t feel them intimately. It’s not that I don’t want to say them…I do, desperately. But, I…I can’t. Not yet.”

She considered his words and then placed a trembling hand on his chest, directly over his heart. “Will you be able to at some point?”

“Christ, I hope so.” He whispered emotionally.

He covered her hand with his, pressing it tightly against his chest. “I am so very sorry for hurting you. As much as it wasn’t my intention, I realise that there was no other way that was going to come across to you. And I was wrong. If you can find it in your heart to forgive me, to give me another chance…I rather think that I would very much prefer for our night to have been the start of something amazing.”

“Jesus…so many words, Giles.” She replied with a smile that sparkled in her eyes. “Something amazing…I like that.”

“I’m tempted to ask you to come home with me tonight.” He smiled as she arched her eyebrow at him. “To continue this conversation. However, I’m concerned that my restraint will fail at some point. Would you like to grab a coffee?”

“I was thinking maybe a training session…letting me work out some of my frustration with you on you? And then…I’d love to grab a coffee.”

His smile gave way to a soft laugh as he gestured towards the door. “After you…”

“Our lives…are funny…” She said with a chuckle as she walked back into his office.

He nodded in agreement as he followed her.

Chapter Text

“You’re telegraphing your moves.”

Buffy paused and stood up straight, dropping her arms and opening her hands. “No, I’m not.”

Giles crossed his arms and stared at her. “I beg to differ. Within the first two strikes, I knew exactly what you were going to follow up with.”

She raised an eyebrow and gestured towards the dummy she had just spent the last ten minutes pummelling. “Wanna take his place?”

“I’m sorry?” He asked, taking a step towards her.

“Well, I am supposed to be taking my frustrations with you out on you…not a dummy.” She said, taking a step to her left and smiling at him as he uncrossed his arms. “Do you think you could take me?”

He paused, opening his mouth and then closing it as he stared at her. Her smile faded, suddenly realising what had fallen out of her mouth.

“Oh…I, uh…that’s not what I meant.” She looked at him for a moment and then took a step towards him. “Well, I mean…you…well, you could…”

“Buffy…” Giles warned, somewhat half-heartedly.

“I know.” She sighed. “But, do you think you could take me? I mean, in a fight not in a – ”

“If you continue to telegraph your moves?” He interrupted before she could make the conversation any more awkward than it had already become. “Absolutely. Without a doubt.”

She struck out quickly, a hard jab with her right hand…which he blocked without issue, wrapping his fingers around her wrist as he stared into her eyes. Her eyes widened in surprise.

“You didn’t even flinch…”

“Slight stutter-step with your left foot and you dropped your right shoulder.” He stated, pushing her arm away from him. “Would you care to try again?”

She hesitated for a second and then launched into a full attack. He blocked each punch, each kick without error. When she lunged towards him, he sidestepped and turned the attack onto her. She stumbled slightly, surprised to suddenly be on the defensive. He grabbed her shoulder to steady her and saw her smile a half second too late.

She twisted her body slightly and pushed her hand against his chest. He grunted as she hurled him against the wall, following quickly with a kick that would have connected with his jaw if she hadn’t stopped it a couple of centimetres away from him.

“Didn’t see that one coming, did you?” She asked, lowering her foot back to the floor.

He shook his head and grinned. “Very well done, Buffy. Your adjustments were…unexpected.”

“Mm…new stuff I’ve been working on. Glad you like it.” She smiled softly, noticing his eyes had darkened slightly. “You did, didn’t you?”

He stared into her eyes, knowing exactly what she was inferring by her question. “I always do. You’ve just never paid this close attention before. I don’t necessarily want to like it as much as I do…”

“Maybe I should pay better attention from now on.” She said, glancing at his lips.

He pushed away from the wall and walked around her. “So…coffee?”

“Nice segue, Giles. Considering the situation, I’ll let it slide this time…” She reached out and grabbed his arm, turning him to face her. She tightened her fingers on him as she looked into his eyes. “Next time, I’m not stopping until we flame out. You understand what I’m saying?”

“Of course I do.” He took two steps forward, pushing her against the wall that he had just been hurled against and grinned. “I did want to be a fighter pilot when I was a child. I understand the terminology.”

She licked her lips and his gaze flicked to the movement. Her grip on his arm tightened further as he edged closer to her.

“You do realise that flame-out tends to occur during cruise or descent, yes?” He said, his voice dipping dangerously low. “And the engine can normally be restarted following a flame-out…”

“Why do I get the feeling you’re not talking about jet engines?”

He placed his hand on the wall, next to her hip and leaned closer to her. “Because you were never talking about jet engines.”

“Giles…” She whispered, lifting her free hand to rest against his side.

“We need coffee. Now.” He moved his lips to her ear, his breath hot against her skin as he continued on a thick whisper. “Rest assured, this in no way means that I don’t want you desperately right now.”

He pulled away from her suddenly, sighing as she looked at him through slightly glazed eyes. He took two steps back and cleared his throat.

“I think this training session has come to a close. In the future, keep track of your movements…change them up accordingly…your opponent could possibly use them against you.” He smiled softly as he continued. “If they’re intelligent enough to track them themselves, that is.”

Buffy shook her head in confusion. “What the hell just happened here?”

“I nearly lost control.” Giles admitted, sliding his hands into his pockets. “I’m…well, I’m not sure I’m actually sorry. But, I do apologise for overstepping a line that I shouldn’t have crossed here and now.”

“You want me…” She stated quietly, more to herself than to him.

He chuckled and gave her a subtle wink before gesturing towards the door with a tilt of his head. “Can I buy you a coffee?”

She nodded absently, her mind replaying the events of the last few minutes. “Yeah…caffeine would definitely be appreciated right now.”

* * *

Buffy watched him stir his coffee, well aware that he’d fallen into deep thought again. She took a sip of her mocha and then said his name. When he didn’t look up or acknowledge that she had said anything, much less his name, she reached over and gently tapped his forearm. He looked up to find her smiling at him.

“Hm? Oh…I’m sorry.”

“What’s weighing you down right now, Giles?”

He placed his spoon on the saucer and sighed heavily. “I’m frustrated and annoyed.”

“At me?” She asked, suddenly concerned that she’d done something to upset him.

His brow furrowed. “What? No…at myself.”

“Why?” She took another sip of her coffee and curled both hands around the mug as she placed it back on the table.

“I feel that I’m dangerously close to fucking everything up again…less than five hours after being back on speaking terms with you.”

“We were never not on speaking terms, Giles. I just needed time to process what had happened…and you needed time to work through your concerns. If I had picked up the phone and called you, would you have answered?”

“Of course, I would have.” He replied with no hesitation.

“So would I…if you had called me. That’s not something people would do if they’re not on speaking terms.”

He sighed heavily, rubbing his thumb along the top of the handle of his mug. “You know what I mean, Buffy.”

“Do you think I don’t feel the same? Jesus, Giles…do you know how hard it was to not kiss you? Even before our whole jet engine thing…” She leaned back in her chair and regarded him closely. “As soon as you said ‘Hello, Buffy’, all I wanted to do was to run over to you and…but, I couldn’t. We needed to talk…and we did. And after we talked, I just wanted you to hold me…to kiss me…to…”

She closed her eyes briefly and shook her head. “I’m scared too, you know? I don’t want to mess things up…but, how can I not want more from you? With you?”

She opened her eyes and smiled nervously at him. “If you asked me to go home with you right now, I would. If you had asked me after our training session, I would have. If you had asked me after we talked, I would have. Would that mean it would be a mistake? Or would we just be giving in to what we both feel?”

“Would we not be rushing things? Again?”

“Would you panic in the morning and think that leaving would be your best option?”

He leaned back in his chair and stared at her. “I’m fairly certain that I wouldn’t make that mistake again.”

“Then ask the question…if you want to.”

He was quiet for a few moments, staring at his coffee. Then, taking a deep breath, he lifted his gaze to hers.

“Would you like to come home with me tonight, Buffy?”

“To talk?”

He shook his head slowly, then shrugged his shoulder. “Of course, if you want to talk, we can. But, I was actually referring to my bed.”

She gestured to his coffee. “Do you want to finish that first?”

“Not particularly…”

She pushed her own mug to the side and offered him a warm smile. “Then, I’d really like to go home with you now.”

With a quick nod, he pushed his chair back and stood, offering her his hand. When she placed her hand in his, he gave it a gentle squeeze and pulled her up.

* * *

“I hope you’re not expecting the same level of exuberance that I exhibited a few weeks ago.” Giles murmured, in between kisses as she unbuttoned his shirt.

She laughed softly, pushing his shirt off of his shoulders and pressing a kiss to his sternum. “I was thinking the same…but, with shorter words – and less of them.”

He lifted her shirt over her head and dropped it to the floor, gliding his lips and tongue along her collarbone as he reached behind her and deftly unclasped her bra. As she worked on his belt, he unbuttoned her jeans. After he unzipped them, he gently guided her backwards towards the bed…holding her gaze. She sat down on the mattress and discarded her bra before moving towards the centre of the bed.

He removed his trousers and boxers, smiling as she took the opportunity to shimmy out of her jeans and underwear as well. He made his way to the bed as she stretched out across the mattress. He slid his right knee between her thighs as he leaned over her and kissed her deeply and slowly.

When he moved his mouth to the side of her neck, she slid her hands down his back. “How much sleep have you been getting?”

He mumbled something against her skin and she laughed, lightly scratching her nails over his shoulder blades. “What was that?”

He shifted so that he was kneeling between her thighs and lifted his head. “Enough to function…”

He ran his fingertips over her nipple, grinning as she shuddered beneath him. “I have enough energy for this, if that’s what you’re concerned about.”

“Never thought you didn’t.” She said, curling her legs around his hips and pulling him to her. “But, you do need more sleep.”

“Later.” He mumbled, reaching down and guiding his erection into her.

He smiled at her soft groan as he pushed forward, pausing only when he was fully embedded within her. Leaning down, he brushed his lips across hers before whispering her name.

“Huh?” She answered, sliding her hands to his sides.

“Open your eyes, look at me.” He whispered, his voice gravelled with desire.

She did as requested, gasping at the depth of desire she could see in his darkened green eyes…his pupils heavily dilated. “Giles…”

He began moving with slow strokes, relishing the sensation of her nails scratching across his ribs. “Tell me what you want…”

“You…want me to talk to you?” She gave a shaky laugh as he nodded silently. “I can barely think right now, much less talk…”

“Not asking you to think…” He murmured, covering her breast with his hand and gently squeezing. “Just…talk…”

When she hesitated, he smiled down at her. “It can be whatever you want…I just want to hear your voice while I’m inside you.”

“Would you think it was really weird if I asked you to bite me?”

He paused his movements and looked into her eyes. “That turns you on too?”

“Don’t know.” She replied, moving her right hand to rest on the side of his neck. “I’ve never felt safe enough to ask anyone to do it before…but, I feel like I want you to…”

When he smiled, she ran her fingernail over his skin. “Wait…you said…’too’…”

“Mm-hm…” He closed his eyes, sighing as the sensation of her nails on his neck caused him to tremble lightly. “Right there, if you want…”

She gently pulled him down and replaced her fingers with her mouth. As her teeth grazed his skin, she was rewarded with a hard thrust of his hips against hers.

“Harder, Buffy…” He whispered gruffly, slipping his right arm beneath her knee.

Her left hand moved to the back of his head, nails scratching at his scalp as she increased the pressure of her bite on his neck. He groaned loudly, shortening his strokes as he pushed harder into her.

And then she tasted it…hot and metallic, coppery…and he continued pushing. She pulled her mouth away and gasped.

“Oh God, Giles…I’m…”

“Don’t fucking stop, Buffy…” He growled, lowering his mouth to her shoulder.

She ran her tongue over the bite, somewhat confused by his reaction…but, more aroused than confused. As she felt his teeth scrape along her skin, she felt her orgasm quickly approaching. When he felt her inner walls quiver around him, he pushed himself up and gazed down at her.

The imprint of his teeth stood out on her skin. He knew that it would be gone by morning. There was a small red smudge of blood on her lip…his blood. He lowered his mouth to hers, licking the smudge clean with his tongue before kissing her deeply. When he felt her nails dig into his sides, he pulled back and stared into her eyes.

“Come with me, Buffy.” He whispered urgently. “I’m so close…let me take you with me.”

She nodded quickly, arching her back and baring her throat to him as he pushed her closer to orgasm. Without a second thought, he latched onto her throat…sucking hard and applying gentle pressure with his teeth.

“Giles…fuck! Harder…”

He wasn’t exactly sure what she was referring to, so he did everything harder…fucked her harder, sucked her harder, bit her harder…

He felt her scream his name, the sound vibrating against his teeth milliseconds before he heard it. And then he felt it…her inner walls convulsing around him as she came hard, triggering his own orgasm deep within her.

His bite ceased, his lips soothing her bruised skin as he reverted to soft kisses against her flesh.

“Holy fuck, Giles…” She panted, wrapping her arms around him and holding him as tightly as she could.

He smiled against her skin, content to stay within her as they came down.

“Seriously…holy…fuck…” Her arms trembled as an aftershock swept through her.

He lifted his head and smiled as he fought to control his breathing. “Quite…”

Her eyes widened as she looked at his neck. “Oh, shit…Giles…you’re bleeding.”

“Mm-hm…” He murmured as he shifted, allowing his softening flesh to slip from her. “You’re not…close though. Did I hurt you?”

She shook her head, her trembling fingers tracing the bite mark on his neck. “No…but we should clean this…”

“It’s fine, Buffy.” He whispered, moving to her side and pulling her against his chest as he ran his fingers through her sweat-dampened hair. “Stay here with me.”

“Should we talk about this? I mean…this is…I’m a Slayer, what the hell?”

He chuckled sleepily and placed a line of kisses across her forehead. “And I’m a Watcher…and we’ll talk about it later. Rest now. Sleep with me.”

Within moments, she felt his breathing even out…and realised that he had fallen asleep. She ran her fingertip over the mark on his neck and sighed. The bleeding had stopped…she had just broken the skin. But, she had a feeling there was going to be one hell of a bruise in the morning.

She smiled as he mumbled in his sleep, tightening his arms around her as he slipped his left leg between hers. She yawned and pressed a warm kiss to his chest.

It wasn’t long before she followed him into sleep.

Chapter Text

Buffy woke slowly, stretching her aching muscles as she yawned. She opened her eyes, glancing towards the window and sighing when she realised that there was no sun creeping through the curtains. The sun wasn’t up, but Giles was…and he was currently smiling at her as his fingers lightly stroked her back.

“What time is it?” She asked, kissing his chest softly before shifting to move from her current position of being stretched out half on top of him.

“A little after three…and please don’t move.” He replied, pressing his hand flat against her back to keep her from sliding off of him. “Unless, you’re uncomfortable…”

“No, I’m good…I just didn’t mean to use you as a body pillow.” She said, snuggling back against him and resting her head on his shoulder.

He turned his head slightly and kissed her forehead, his fingers resuming their light caresses across her back. “It feels amazing having you here like this.”

“Why are you awake at three in the morning?” She asked, allowing her fingers to play with his chest hair.

“Watching you sleep, thinking…”

“That must’ve been what woke me up…your thinking.” She met his eyes and exhaled softly. “What’s on your mind now?”

“I want this to be more than this.”

She merely stared at him for a second and then shook her head in confusion. “Okay, I’ve just woken up at stupid o’clock in the morning…can you translate that for me?”

“This…us. I want it to be more than this…sex.”

“Like…you want to date me?” She closed her eyes and groaned. “God, forget I said something that lame.”

He chuckled and rolled onto his side, gently rolling her as well. “I want to have a relationship with you. If that is defined as dating you, then yes…I want to date you.”

“A proper relationship?”

He smiled, nodding as he brushed the hair back from her face. “You’re really not at your best for conversation at this hour, are you?”

“No, I’m sorry…” She returned his smile. “It’s been a while since I’ve had a need to be up at this time of morning.”

Her smile faded as she looked at his neck. “Wow, um…you’re going to need some creative wardrobe work to cover that…”

“Yours will fade away by daybreak.” He lightly traced the faint bruise on her throat. “Pity, really…”

She arched an eyebrow at him, circling the dark bite mark with her fingertip. “What’s the deal, Giles? With the wanting to be bitten?”

He took a deep breath and exhaled slowly, obviously considering his words. “Blood is life. It’s not necessarily about wanting to be bitten…but, more that I want to give you my life. A part of me that no one else could have. Fairly simple, at the end of the day…”

“You couldn’t just give me a rose and ask me to be your girlfriend or something?”

“I will never give you roses. I’m sure at some point I will give you flowers…but, it will never be a rose. Besides, it was a more…primal…act than that. I…” He shook his head and lowered his gaze from hers. “I don’t know how to explain it, to be honest.”

“I think I get it…at least to an extent. It’s not like I hated it myself, you know.”

“Can this be more, Buffy?” He asked quietly.

Her smile sparkled in her eyes as she lifted her hand to his cheek. “It’s always been more, didn’t you know that? It’s been more for…well, longer than I’ve been in England. Why do you think I came here?”

“To help with the Slayers, rebuilding the Council…”

She shook her head slowly, her smile growing. “I came here to be with you, Giles. For us to be together…stronger than Watcher/Slayer, deeper than teacher/student. I just didn’t know if you wanted the same thing.”

“When I left, after the implosion, I was almost certain that I’d never see you again.” He whispered sadly. “I didn’t really know how to deal with that…which is why I threw myself into the rebuild so deeply and quickly. God, how I missed you.”

“I think I knew fairly quickly that I was going to forgive you for everything you had ever done.” She leaned into him and kissed his lips. “I want this too, Giles. Remember back when I said that I was tired of the dichotomy of my existence? And that I wanted to be able to have a real relationship…a proper relationship?”

“I do. I remember that vividly.”

“I was talking about you. A real relationship with you. Something more than being your Slayer.”

“We’re a pair, aren’t we?” He remarked with a small smile. “I’d very much like to take you out…dinner, movie, patrol…whatever you want.”

“I’d like that too. Well, maybe not a patrol. I’d rather focus on you and not have to worry about you being knocked unconscious…” She rubbed her eyes and draped her arm over his side as he laughed gently. “Do you think we can figure this out when it’s a bit more light outside?”

He nodded and ran his thumb along her ear. “Of course. Go back to sleep, Buffy.”

She yawned and cuddled closer to him. “You going back to sleep too?”

“Mm…soon.” He curled a strand of her hair around his finger.

She rolled her eyes and sighed. “You think far too much, Giles.”

“Always have.” He lightly ran his finger along the fading bruise on her shoulder. “Good night.”

“Mm…g’night…” She murmured sleepily.

It wasn’t long before she was fast asleep again. He watched her for quite a while before finally allowing sleep to take him over as well.

* * *

Seven hours later, she sat on the island in his kitchen…watching him slice fruit as she sipped a mug of tea. “How come you never have cantaloupe?”

He turned to look at her. “Seriously?”

“You know, I don’t think I’ve ever seen you eat it…” She placed her mug on the countertop and gently swung her feet.

“There’s a reason for that.” He stated as he quickly sliced two bananas and tossed them into the large bowl.

“And that is?” She asked, reaching into the bowl and grabbing a slice of strawberry.

“It’s disgusting and infects every other fruit and then everything tastes of melon.”

She laughed and held a piece of strawberry to his lips. He held her gaze as he gently took the proffered fruit before licking her thumb. He smiled as she inhaled sharply.

“You know…I thought I knew the better part of me.” He said, seemingly apropos of nothing.

She tilted her head in confusion and narrowed her eyes. “Huh?”

“Watcher, languages, magick…I’m confident in my abilities. But, you made me strive to be even better…which makes me wonder if you’re actually the better part of me.”

“How can I be the better part of you when you are you and I am me?”

He tilted his head and grinned. “That was very I Am the Walrus-esque.”

“Are you even speaking English?” She asked, obviously very confused.

He laughed loudly and reached over to slide his fingers along her jaw. She crossed her arms over her chest and glared at him.

“I’m sorry, I’m not laughing at you…”

“Well, you’re not laughing with me…because I’m too confused to laugh. Where the hell are you going with this?”

“I want to be there for you, wherever you need me…whenever you need me. I want to be there for your victories, I want to help you when you fall apart…”

“But, you’ve always been all of that, Giles.”

“As your friend, as your Watcher.” He took a deep breath and gazed into her eyes. “I want to be that as a man, your partner.”

“My lover?” She asked, pulling him to her with a gentle tug on his shirt.

“Yes.” He replied simply, placing his hand on her knee as he stepped between her thighs. “I want you to know that if life gets too hard, you can count on me without question. No matter where I am…close your eyes, say my name…I’ll be there.”

“I know.” She whispered, sliding her arms around his neck. “And I do count on you for so much.”

“I want to kiss you.” As she smiled questioningly, he licked his lips. “If I kiss you now, I’ll want more…”

“You say that like it’s a bad thing.”

His hands moved to her thighs, his fingers gently stroking against the denim. “It’s not necessarily – ”

He sighed as his phone rang, glancing towards the offending object. He turned back to her and she smiled, gesturing towards the phone.

“You should probably get that.”

He rolled his eyes, grumbling something about inopportune timing as he walked over and grabbed the phone.

She smiled as she listened to his side of the conversation. It was obviously Willow calling to check on him. He suddenly turned to look at her and she was somewhat surprised to hear her own name.

“Buffy? Oh, yes, well…uh…yes, she is here. Is there a problem?” He paused for a moment as he listened to her and then cleared his throat, glancing at the clock. “Ah, yes…of course. An hour should be fine.” He met Buffy’s eyes. “Yes, yes…she’ll still be here, I’m sure. I’ll ask her to stay until you arrive.”

Buffy smiled warmly and reached into the bowl, pulling out another piece of fruit as Giles said goodbye to Willow. When he hung up the phone, she grinned at him.

“So…Will’s coming here, huh?”

“Yes.”

“Do you think she has any idea that I’ve been here since last night?”

He shook his head. “No. I’m not sure why she would…”

She glanced at his neck and her grin grew. “Then we better do something about that then, huh?”

“Hm?” He looked at her in confusion, his eyes widening when she gestured towards his neck. “Oh, fucking hell…”

Buffy laughed and jumped from the countertop. “It’s not that bad, Giles. Well, no…it’s bad…but, it’s not as high up on your neck as I thought it was and the bruising isn’t nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be. But, it’s very obviously a bite mark. You should be able to hide it with a normal collared shirt…or at least hide most of it. If she mentions the bruising, we can always say that I hit you with a staff during training.”

When he glared at her, she laughed again. “What? It’s not like that’s never happened before!”

He closed his eyes and sighed heavily. She made her way over to him and gently rubbed his chest.

“Hey…we’ll take care of it, okay?”

“It’s not that. It’s…” He opened his eyes and shook his head. “I don’t want to hide us, Buffy. But, I’d rather them not find out like this either.”

“I get it…I feel the same.” She took hold of his hand and leaned up to kiss him. “You know I want you to be able to count on me too, right?”

He smiled and gave her a nod. “I do…”

She sighed heavily and rubbed the back of his hand with her thumb. “Wish we had more than an hour…”

“Would you like to go out with me tonight?” He asked, gazing into her eyes.

She nodded and then paused, shaking her head. “I have patrol tonight.”

“I’m well aware.”

She stared at him incredulously. “You want our first date to be a patrol? I’m pretty sure we discussed that in the wee hours of this morning…”

He stepped closer to her, placing her hand on his chest. “I promise I won’t get knocked unconscious…”

She laughed softly and shook her head in amusement. “If we end up at the hospital, I’m going to be really pissed off.”

He grinned and leaned down, dropping a soft kiss onto her lips.