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sins of the father

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iv. sins of the father

The blindfold cuts off her vision completely, thick black cloth that doesn't even let in a shadow of light from the big frosted-glass window in the training room. The air was chilly when they began, made her nipples pucker to attention even beneath the confines of her sports bra, but over the last hour she's worked up a sweat. It's dripping down her temples and pooling at the top edge of the blindfold before soaking in, making the cloth damp and clammy where it sticks to her skin.

She's moving in slow, precise patterns, flowing from one position into another as she trains her body to move without thought or visual cue. And the movements are still mostly smooth, almost perfect even after the workout Giles has put her though, but she can tell he isn't happy with the nearly imperceptible mistakes she's making. He's her Watcher. He watches and he sees, everything; not that she's trying to hide. She wants him to make her better.

Riley and Dawn are at a movie-marathon or something, caring boyfriend keeping pesky little sister out of her hair for a few hours of uninterrupted training. He said she was getting cranky, nodded in understanding when she blamed it on the constant, irritating presence of Dawn, and made a boy-scout pledge to make sure everyone stayed away from the backroom for the afternoon.

She does a back handspring and goes into a crouch, sweeping out her left leg. It's her weak leg, which is why Giles is making her work it, and the sweep stutters a little against the rubber mats.

Giles tsks. She can tell he's standing a few steps inside the door, near the fighting dummy. "That move was sloppy, Buffy. Try it again."

She nods and begins the series again. This time it feels like she got it right, so she's surprised when his voice rings out in the stagnant air of the training room.

"You're a second slow, a second that could get you killed. Do it again."

Buffy grunts under her breath and starts over. She's only half-way through when she rolls over on her shoulder and flips to her feet. The move is far from perfect and she barely manages not to fall on her ass. "Damn!" she mutters, a frown on her face. It's a move she's made a thousand times before and there's no excuse for her near slip. She waits for Giles to scold her.

She isn't disappointed. "Concentrate, Buffy. Again." His voice is pinched with exasperation edging on anger, closer this time, and she knows he's standing near the east wall.

When she reaches her starting mark she takes a deep breath, tries to center herself. She isn't sure exactly why she's having so much trouble today, although she suspects it has to do with the fact that her mother is in the hospital, about to have her brain cut open. And then there's the fact that there's a god trying to find, and kill, her sister. Things aren't going so well with Riley, either . . . she can feel him pulling away and it makes her sad that she isn't sadder.

She guesses there might be a few reasons she's distracted. Still, when she moves out of the path of the beanbag that Giles throws at her, just a tenth of a second too slow, she knows he won't accept any excuses.

She doesn't want him to.

"Enough!" The command feels like a roar in her sensitive ears and she stills, not frightened but quelled, somehow, by the anger that laces his voice. "Go to the pummel horse and take position."

She shivers, suddenly feeling every brush of air against the sweat that marks her body. The pummel horse is at her back and to the left and she turns to walk to it with unerring accuracy, stopping just in front and leaning over to brace her hands against the slightly cracked surface of the old leather. There is no hesitation. She was being sloppy and she needs this, needs Giles' hands to guide her. It's why she asked him to start her training again.

Giles slowly approaches from her right. She can feel the energy vibrating off of him and she knows that he's tense with anger and disappointment, humming with something more. Her body starts to vibrate in return, sends out waves that meet his and the air around them almost crackles with the static.

When he's behind her he pauses, and Buffy sucks in a breath and holds it as she waits. There is always a moment like this when he stops and his internal struggle becomes palpable, a moment when she thinks that this time, he will resist the pull of their needs and leave her blinded and alone.

He moves, placing his hands on her hips to adjust her stance, and Buffy can breathe again. Not this time, after all.

He hooks his thumbs in the elastic at the waist of her black yoga pants and slides them down until they drop to puddle around her trainers, symbolically binding her where she stands with the barest hint of restraint. His touch is clinical, the movement measured, but the feeling of his knuckles scraping over her hips and down her thighs sends sparks racing up her spine. She feels an ache between her legs, a realization of what she's been anticipating since the first disapproving sound hissed from between his lips.

The ache turns into a full-blown throb when his hands return to her hips and Giles fingers the thin straps of her thong. He lets the twin bands go, places his palms with their blazing, dry heat on her flanks and runs his hands up her thighs like she is a prize horse that needs to be soothed. The touch is anything but and she squirms, trying to press her thighs together to ease the ache. The movement earns her a tsk and the dig of his fingers into her thighs; she stills, and waits.

Always waiting . . . to live, to die, to be left alone. And now for this, for his hands to sweep up under the straps of her thong and then down, skimming her panties slowly down her thighs. Just before he reaches her knees he lets go of the scrap of silk and uses his freed hands to push her legs farther apart so that he knees are bound by her panties and her ankles are bound by her pants and the rest of her body is bound with naked anticipation.

Buffy is exposed. Vulnerable. At her Watcher's mercy. When she was younger, training this way would have been unthinkable, humiliating and frightening but now. . . now Buffy knows she needs this. Giles needs this. And Buffy needs Giles to need this because as long as he's needed, and needful. . .

He straightens behind her, air shifting and pressing as he comes so close she can feel the whisper of him against her exposed backside, but it's not enough. She is so wet already, so ready for him to train her, teach her. As always, her blinded sight turns the rest of her senses into overdrive and she can hear the quickness of his breathing, his anger at her poor performance puffing out through his nostrils. And there is something else making him breathe harder too, of course, the same thing that has her wet and throbbing with the barest of touches but it's something they never name. Not out loud when they are training, certainly not later when she is with her friends and her family and her boyfriend and he is watching over them all.

The first strike of his palm against her bare backside sends a shock through her, and as always there is a moment when her instincts scream at her to fight back. It is part of her training, to learn when it is safe for her to submit, to learn when her survival depends on submission. And of course she's being punished, too, for not performing up to her capabilities, not being the Slayer she has the potential to be. Buffy fights the urge to fight, instead leaning further over the pummel horse so that the next forceful strike presses her pelvis into the leather. The contact sends a frisson of pleasure straight through her body.

Buffy moans. The third strike is harder.

"What am I supposed to do with you, if you persist in not following instruction?" Giles scolds between spanks, his breath coming as fast and hard as his hand between the words. Buffy stays as silent as possible, knowing that it's not time for her to answer yet. Her attention is drawn by the hot burn of her ass and the rub of her clit against the leather; she has to concentrate to make herself listen to the lesson in his panting, task master's voice.

Smack, rub, spark, burn.

"You are hardly new at this."

Smack, rub, spark, burn.

"You bloody well know the peril involved with one misstep, one late parry."

Smack, rub, spark, burn, zig zag of zipper. God

"To be sloppy is to be dead."

Buffy can hear the subtle whisper of his hand against his own flesh in the spaces between the slap of his hand and the terse harshness of his words and it makes her stomach flutter with want.

"A single moment of weakness could doom the very existence of this world."

And on and on, as the heat builds in her ass and her cunt and she is only catching every other harshly panted word, losing the lesson to the pressure and the pleasure that is building and building. . .

"Is this why I stayed? To watch you die? Perhaps I should have left you to your own devices and returned to England after all. Perhaps I still will," Giles warns in a strangled voice and Buffy feels her breath catch in her throat, terror and anticipation battling for dominance inside of her.

It's her turn to speak.

"I promise I'll do it right next time. Just please don't go. I need you. Please don't leave me," Buffy pleads in a breathless unthinking jumble, her voice urgent with her need for this, for him.

"Jesus," Giles groans and this time when his hand touches her it is gentle, forgiving, a sweep of his fingers down the red heat of her backside before he slips his hand between her thighs, inside her.

"Never, never leave you my child," he promises in a thick grunt, and as always it is his approval that sets her free.

Buffy comes. Strong. Fluid. Perfectly executed.