The back garden of Giles’s terraced house in London was relatively small, but lovely. The brick walls were high and covered in greenery, which allowed for at least the illusion of privacy from the neighbors. The greenery, in general, was a tad overgrown, but that was only to be expected of a busy man, who worked late hours and traveled often, both for Council-related issues and to see his Slayer whenever he had a little time to himself. But his Slayer was here beside him at the small table and chairs at the far grassy end of the garden, so he could enjoy the sunshine with a happy heart.
They had long consumed scones and there was very little left of tea, but both were too engrossed in their reading — or perhaps simply too lazy — to replenish supplies. Buffy was diligently working her way through a compendium of Asian water demons, in preparation for her trip to Indonesia to help the Slayers stationed there, while Giles, in his capacity as Head Watcher, was occupied with the much more mundane matters concerning budget reports.
Reaching the end of section, Buffy stopped to stretch her arms and neck a bit. Then, turning her face towards the sky, she gave a happy sigh.
“I think I now know why the Beatles sang about the sun so much,” she remarked, with some amusement.
“When the sun comes out around here, it’s definitely a special occasion.”
“It’s not that unusual, Buffy.”
“Roll your eyes all you like, Giles. It doesn’t change the fact that this is the first sunny day we’ve had since I arrived.”
“Just because you grew up in that had an area where the amount of sunshine was comparatively—"
“Normal. The word you are looking for is ‘normal’. It was just about the only thing that living on the Hellmouth that was.”
“Now you are just exaggerating.”
“You forget, Mr. Head Watcher, I have been all over the world at this point. That big giant orb in the sky tends to come out a lot more than you Brits seem to think!”
“We are aware the sun comes out. That’s why we have gardens.”
“Which you never get to sit in, because of the rain!”
Giles just glared as a response. Buffy shrugged, almost (but not quite) apologetically.
“I’m just saying you can’t expect a California girl to consider moving to the UK without a little thought to the downsides of things.”
“M-moving? Here?” Giles stuttered.
“I’m considering my options. No need to look so horrified.”
“I’m not! You just surprised me.”
“Sure.” Buffy ducked her head. She stood up and started stacking the empty plates and cups back on the tea tray, clearly looking to make a quick escape.
“Buffy…” Giles’s voice was soft. “Buffy!” he repeated more urgently, when she continued to ignore him.
“What? I was just going to bring in the tea things back inside.”
“Please sit,” he urged.
“Okay.” Uneasily, Buffy sat back down, but the peaceful spell was broken. “So,” she asked in desperation, “do you want another cup of tea?”
“I want you to talk to me,” Giles replied. “I thought you were happy in Rome.”
“I am. It’s Italy.” Buffy shrugged, helplessly. “How could I not be happy? The fashion is amazing. The food is incredible. The surroundings are gorgeous. And everyone is charming.”
“Then why are you thinking of relocating?”
“It’s not very convenient for all the travel that I do,” she replied with a shrug. “All roads used to lead to Rome, but people take airplanes now.”
“By that logic, you should be living in Atlanta.”
“Or Los Angeles.”
“Well, I suppose you could make the case….”
“I’d prefer London.”
“But, Buffy, why?” Giles sounded completely baffled. Buffy shrank into herself even more.
“Do I really need to spell it out for you?”
“If you wouldn’t mind.”
“But I don’t have to be.” His soft, earnest voice startled Buffy out of her unease.
“What do you mean?” she asked, slowing raising her head. Giles grinned at her.
“Well, I hope it’s been fairly obvious that I’ve been doing my best to… well, to court you.”
“And I hope it’s fairly obvious that I’ve been doing all I can to encourage said courtly behavior.”
“It’s been noted and appreciated,” he replied, rather bashfully. “But, Buffy, I never expected you to uproot your life for my sake.”
“You’d come to Rome?” she asked, hopefully.
“In a heartbeat. Rome, Atlanta, even Los bloody Angeles,” he said with a grin that prompted one of her own.
“Hey, that’s my hometown you’re talking about!” she giggled, reaching over to lightly smack his arm.
“That’s not the part of Los Angeles that I object to.”
“Yeah, understood,” Buffy replied, growing serious again. “after everything that’s happened, I have to agree.”
“But,” continued Giles, diligently ignoring the City of Angles and any problematic vampires that might call it home, “if you wanted to be there, I would go without hesitation.”
Buffy ducked her head shyly and a pleased grin spread across her face as her eyes returned to his. Giles, with an expression that increasingly could only be described as besotted, slipped from his chair to his knees in front of her. Taking her hands in his, he rested them on her lap.
“Buffy, wherever you go, that’s where I’ll want to be. If you’ll have me.”
Buffy slipped one hand out from underneath his to cup the side of his face.
“Yeah, I’ll admit that was one of my big goals for this visit,” she said, lightly, after a moment of eternity. Her smile turned a little wicked as her hand slipped down to cup the back of his neck. “The having of you.”
Giles’s eyes flashed with amusement at her pun before deepening with desire. His entire demeanor changed from devoted to cocksure.
“Well,” he leered, his hands moving to her hips, caressing, even as he tugged her closer. “Then, perhaps we should head inside,” he suggested in a voice filled with promise.
“But shouldn’t we enjoy the sunshine while it lasts?” she asked teasingly as she leaned in closer still.
“But you might get sunburnt,” he murmured. Their lips were only a heartbeat apart.
“You’re so considerate…” she breathed and just as she was about to close the remaining millimeters, she jerked as something cold splashed the back of her neck. Buffy pulled always and looked up at the suddenly graying sky. “Was that a raindrop?”
Giles looked around, more out of stupefaction than any real attempt at perception, but he shook that off moments later when he realized that Buffy was right. It was starting to rain.
“Quick! Giles, grab the books and papers. I’ll get the tea things!”
“Bless you, you terrible British weather! Bless you!” Giles laughed as he complied.
The mad scramble back into the house was only matched by the even madder dash to the bedroom. Buffy had no sooner set down the tea tray, then Giles had her pressed against the counter. He might have offered to help her out of her wet things, but Buffy was too busy helping him out of his to have noticed. Their path upstairs was littered with discarded clothing. Hours later, two very happy, very naked people rested in each other’s arms as they listed to the heavy rain pound against the window.
“So, I guess there’s something to be said for this weather, after all,” Buffy admitted.
“Glad to be of service,” Giles replied. “The question is what we do with ourselves now? I’m afraid our original plans for this afternoon depended on the rain holding off for a bit longer.”
“Oh, I’m not worried. I’m sure something will come up.”