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Pride, Prejudice, and Sherlock 1/?

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single Sherlock in possession of a good mystery, must be in want of a John.


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Why Undershaw should be preserved

I’m not overly creative. I don’t have any useful contacts. I don’t even have an obscene amount of money stashed away to buy a run down house in Surrey. On the whole, I’m rather useless when it comes to help with the preservation of Undershaw. But I do have an opinion on why the former home of Arthur Conan Doyle should be preserved. This is it:

First of all - I am a Sherlock Holmes fan. Have been since the tender age of twelve.

By then I had read my way through the small annex containing children’s books and was about to be allowed entrance into the huge (I was twelve - everything was huge…) library proper, full of wondrous grown up books. Inside, the librarian picked out a musty book with a dark blue cover, handed it to me, and told me to please go away. So with a rather shabby copy of “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” I skipped off home to hide in my room and take my first journey into “real” literature. Or at least literature without talking animals, starving orphans, or the Famous Five taking a holiday somewhere or other.

The book had me hooked from the first page (or rather the 200th
or so page since my twelve year persona apparently found “The Speckled Band” a more appetizing title than “A Scandal in Bohemia
”. No, I don’t know either.) and I spent the rest of that year reading and rereading (I was a very thorough child) each and every Sherlock Holmes book the local library had to offer. Even if I’m a little shaky on the storylines today, I can still remember the thrilled fascination I felt as I joined in John Watson’s admiration of Sherlock Holmes, Consulting Detective.

On a less Sherlockian note, twelve was also the age I discovered The Beatles. Paul McCartney was the most desirable man on the planet - age difference be damned - and Liverpool was the capital of my eager little preteen heart. Not that I ever expected to see it - for a twelve year old girl living in a small town in the north of Sweden, England was about as fictional as Narnia, only slightly less likely to appear in my wardrobe.

And then I grew older. And older. And… nevermind. But suddenly England wasn’t so far away anymore. So I went to London on vacation (because I’m a Swede, and that’s what Swedes do), and I enjoyed the Sherlock Holmes Museum, and I shopped at the Beatles Store, and I took the Sherlock Holmes walk, and I took the In My Life walk, and I returned to my hotel room to soothe my complaining feet in front of an unexpected episode of Granada’s brilliant Sherlock Holmes series. And it was all marvellous! But…

When I returned to Sweden I didn’t feel closer to my childhood’s Sherlock. Or The Beatles for that matter. I had visited 221b Baker Street, but it wasn’t the “real” 221b. (Don’t get me wrong, I love the Sherlock Holmes Museum and I keep returning to it - but it opened about sixty years after Conan Doyle’s death, and in a house I doubt he’d ever given a second glance.)

Now, I had also stood outside both No 2 Devonshire Place and No 2 Upper Wimpole Street picturing Conan Doyle inside either of these walls, writing away while waiting for his next patient, and it had had me all but itching to be allowed inside. I was sure that somewhere in there, there would be a feeling of being part of the whole creative process, of being connected to Conan Doyle and the whole Sherlock Holmes canon.

I tested this “Theory of Connection” a couple of months ago when I finally found myself eye to eye with the town of my dreams. I spent three days in Liverpool, taking every kind of Beatles related tour there was - including the National Trust’s tour of Mendips and 20 Forthlin Road.

To walk through the actual houses where John and Paul had spent much of their adolescence was… well, I was pretty much left a wide eyed, trembling collection of emotions.

And this is why Undershaw needs to be preserved. Because the feeling of walking through a place still looking like it did when the object of your awe and admiration lived there… it’s humbling and exciting and wonderful and intense, and you come away wanting to do… something. Anything. Somehow make a difference in the world. And I think both Conan Doyle and the sadly neglected Undershaw deserve to inspire this in people.

So even if The Undershaw Preservation Trust’s vision of the self supporting Sherlock Holmes/Conan Doyle museum won’t come to fruition in the next decade or two, at least it would be wonderful to know that someday it could. That somewhere in the future, some other Sherlock Holmes fan could take his or her inner geek for a spin in the undamaged house where Conan Doyle resurrected Sherlock Holmes. And that maybe I could too.

The dating game part 2


Thought I'd post this just to show that I really am working on the fic, it's just that Real Life has a tendency to happen.

Once again - this is for Getjrjt, hope you like it!! (And I'm going to need your real name or cross posting will be a nightmare...)




An older man whose body his Slayer apparently had had ample time to ogle? Probably one of the college professors then
. Giles grimly eyeballed the pale yellow Kiss the librarian mug in front of him. Well, the fact that the berk was in possession of a heartbeat and a nice arse wasn’t nearly enough information. Maybe if he was to call Willow to schedule another magic lesson he could…

The Englishman’s Machiavellian plotting was interrupted by an impatient knock on the door followed by the entrance of two scowling females and a dark-haired male who clearly wanted to be anywhere but there.

      ‘Hello, you’re… unexpected,’ Giles pointed out, giving them a startled look. ‘Shouldn’t at least one of you be in class right now?’

Willow fixed him with a dismal thanks-for-reminding-me glare.

      ‘Yes, but Martha Stewart over there is under the impression that her love life takes priority over my Psych 105,’ she grumbled.

      ‘Of course it does or you wouldn’t be here,’ Anya observed with a complacent half shrug.

The Wicca shot her a mutinous glower.

      ‘I’m here because you said it was a matter of life and death. Not once did you mention cookery.’

      ‘It is a matter of life and death,’ the brunette insisted. ‘A girl in my math class said that men only like women who can cook.’ She turned to Willow, her expression devoid of all her previous smugness. ‘I can’t cook, so I need to learn or Xander won’t like me any more. Get on your computer so it can teach me.’

      ‘Ah. Right,’ Giles cut in, looking nonplussed. ‘Isn’t that something better taught in a kitchen?’ His hands unconsciously reached for his glasses and a handkerchief. ‘Someone else’s kitchen’ he emphasized hurriedly.

      ‘Apparently the girl handed Anya an URL address as well,’ Willow explained, her fingers already flying across the keyboard. ‘Hence the need for Computer Gir…’ Her eyes grew as she watched the screen. ‘Eep…’

      ‘Oh, good, you’ve found it.’ The ex demon happily grabbed Xander’s hand and dragged him over to the wide eyed witch. ‘Which one do you prefer?’

Willow looked up at the animated brunette and her glassy eyed boyfriend and with another heartfelt eep she quickly bolted towards the sanctity of the kitchen. Realizing that this was his chance the Watcher slowly followed her, racking his brain for something to say.

      ‘So. H-How is academic life treating you?’ he finally managed with a somewhat sickly smile.

      ‘Um. Academically..?’ Willow hazarded, sending the Watcher a puzzled look.

      ‘Yes. Of course. Uh… And dorm life?’ he tried.

      ‘Pretty much dormy’ she replied, her eyes narrowing. ‘You’re beginning to wigging me out here, Giles. Care to tell me what’s going on?’

Hunching his shoulders he shoved his hands deep into his pockets. Not really, no.

      ‘I-I was talking to Buffy earlier and she said something that… might have led me to believe that… uh…’

      ‘Buffy’s got a new boyfriend?’ the young witch squealed with undisguised enthusiasm. The Watcher winced.

      ‘Something like that, yes,’ he nodded. ‘And with the whole Angel debacle I just thought…’

      ‘You want to make sure he’s one of the White Hats?’ He was treated to an affectionate beam. ‘That’s so sweet!’

Giles nodded uneasily. Sweet? Riiight…

      ‘Quite. So. What can you tell me about this…’ tosser ‘…new man then?’ he asked with forced indifference. Willow looked thoughtful.

      ‘Not much, really,’ she mused. ‘I mean, sure, there’s been the odd cute guy, although not odd in the odd sense, you know, just… the regular, occasional heeeello cute butt kinda guy… guy… Um.’ The redhead brightened. ‘But there’s Riley, Professor Walsh’s TA. Lots of yummy muscles there, definitely Buffy’s type.’

The Watcher pursed his lips together. Teacher Assistant? Somehow he’d got the impression that the prat would be older.

      ‘Riley, hm? And who is Professor Walsh?’

      ‘Oh, Professor Walsh is our psych professor, and she’s kinda scary, but really cool, and she’s got like gazillion degrees, and she’s… so not what you want to talk about at the moment…’ the Wicca finished, grinning sheepishly.

      ‘Well, it was most… informative’ the Englishman offered, his eyes alight with tolerant amusement. Willow stuck her tongue out at him with a mock glare. ‘Buffy might have made it sound like this…’ tosser ‘…uh… person was slightly older though?’

The young witch saw her chance at retaliation.

      ‘She did say her history professor was kinda cute’ she said innocently, giving the Watcher a furtive glance. ‘She said he reminded her of you.’

Giles blinked.


The dating game part1

Okay, so this fic is for the very evil Getjrjt who upped a plot bunny I just couldn't get out of my head. (I really hope you like it since it's all your fault. And thank you.)

The idea:

For B/G: Buffy loves Giles, but refuses to tell her friends (they all assume it's Angel anyway)  who it is - just character descriptions: kind, gentle, etc.  A jealous Giles sets out to find out who Buffy loves by gathering all this info from her friends, but doesn't put it together until an exasperated Buffy finally gives in a tells him.   With of course a happy B/G ending.

I'm still working on the happy ending (yes, there will be one) and... umm... basically most of the story. Just bear with me and I'll get there in the end. I think. Anyway - here goes.



      ‘You could at least pretend to be listening.’

The dry voice made Buffy jump and quickly drag her gaze away from the intriguing way the dark green dress shirt clung to her Watcher’s torso.

      ‘Sorry Giles, it was just… I was sorta thinking about something’ she acknowledged with an apologetic shrug, not quite daring to meet his eyes.

      ‘Well, unprecedented as that may be maybe we could get back to the X’nor demon at hand?’ the Englishman enquired mildly, shooting the preoccupied blonde a part amused, part exasperated glance. The Slayer nodded and obediently looked down at the page he was tapping with his finger.

      ‘Jinkies! Okay, that thing? In serious need of a good moisturizer’ she muttered with a slight shudder. Tilting her head she added thoughtfully ‘Probably a family sized bag of breath mints as well.’

      ‘Quite’ the Watcher agreed with a long-suffering eye roll. ‘And then there’s of course that small, almost insignificant, detail of it being a homicidal demon from one of the Hell dimensions.’

      ‘Yeah. And that’ the still unimpressed Slayer nodded, giving the picture another critical look. ‘What does big, blue and scaly do anyway, ugly you to death?’

 Giles shook his head in defeat.

      ‘Fine. What you need to know about X’nor demons, the abridged version. Scales, poisonous. Claws, sharp. Needs beheading. Now please go do something that doesn’t include annoying your Watcher.’

The mocking glance at the end of the harangue told her he wasn’t as irritated as he let on and Buffy smirked as she watched him sit down and, without removing his eyes from his book, reach for, and effortlessly find, a previously forgotten cup of now lukewarm tea. Her grin faded and she started to absently rub her suddenly clammy hands against her short skirt.

      ‘Umm… Giles?’

      ‘Mm?’ came the indistinct response.

      ‘I… kinda need to ask you something’ she mumbled hesitantly, her eyes not leaving his face.

      ‘Mmhm?’

      ‘Would you mind dating me for a couple of weeks?’

      ‘Of course not, Bu…’ She squinted nervously as the Watcher frowned and moved his lips, re-examining the question for clues. ‘What?’

      ‘Would you mind dating me for a couple of weeks?’ she repeated, looking up at him with a hopeful pout. The tall Brit stared back at her, thoughts of straightjackets and padded walls evident in his face.

      ‘What?’ he weakly tried again, hoping the conversation would make more sense the second time around.

      ‘Please, Giles? It would only be for a couple of weeks, and we wouldn’t have to go anywhere much, and it wouldn’t really be dates anyway because, you know, the whole eew factor, but… would you? Mind, I mean?’ Buffy asked, stumbling over the words as she hurriedly rushed through them.

      ‘Oh, of course not, who could say no to such a wonderful proposition?’ the Watcher retorted sarcastically. Letting out a frustrated sigh he crossed his arms and glared at her. ‘What’s this really in aid of, Buffy?’ he finally continued in a slightly calmer tone. The Slayer looked down, chewing her lower lip apprehensively.

      ‘It’s just… There’s this guy, okay.’ Giles winced. Wasn’t it always? ‘I just want to make sure he realizes I’m dating material.’

      ‘And you think I’m the solution?’ The Watcher gave her an unconvinced look. ‘Do the words “old” and “gross” mean anything to you?’

      ‘But that’s just it’ Buffy exclaimed, looking at him earnestly. ‘This guy’s slightly older. Not that he’s old, he’s just… you know… not young. And I thought dating you might make him realize that I’m okay with that.’

Giles sighed again. Ah. Buffy logic.

      ‘Believe me, no male, no matter what age, would find you anything but dating materiel, Buffy’ he assured her awkwardly. The Slayer brightened.

      ‘So does that mean you find me dateable, Watcher Guy?’

      ‘I… that is… I… um…’ Damn. He’d walked straight into that one. Skilfully removing his glasses he squeezed his eyes shut and pinched the bridge of his nose. ‘What about telling me more about this older man, hm?’ he deflected impassively. Buffy shot him a long look, reluctant to let the subject go.

      ‘Oh, he’s just the sweetest guy ever’ she finally assented. ‘And you don’t think of him as being older, because… he kinda isn’t, you know? And his eyes are amazing. And he’s got this gorgeous body...’ she pouted sadly at Giles ‘…even if he tends to hide it under layers of clothes. And he’s got really nice hands. And a killer butt. And he’s kind and gentle and so smart and he…’ She blushed and gave her Watcher a sheepish look. ‘I’m babbling, aren’t I?’

      ‘Maybe a little’ Giles nodded with a forced smile, trying to ignore the ice-cold lump of jealousy shooting tentacles through his body. Whoever this undeserving old sod was, his Slayer was head over heels for him. The wanker. ‘So have you known this man long?’ he continued glumly, not sure he really wanted to know the answer.

      ‘I guess. Long enough to know he’s the most wonderful man on earth, anyway’ Buffy replied with an embarrassed grin. Giles’s brow furrowed. A not so old older man. Someone she’d apparently known for quite some time. And who made her squirm uncomfortably when questioned about him. There was something very…

      ‘It’s not Spike, is it?’ he asked, his tone slightly squeakier than he would have liked. It was the Slayer’s turn to roll her eyes.

      ‘Nuh-uh! Buffy and the undead? Totally unmixy things.’ The small blonde smirked at the Watcher. ‘Don’t worry, Giles. This guy has a heartbeat. I’ve checked. Anyway, will you?’

The nonplussed Englishman gave her a blank look.

      ‘Will I what?’

      ‘Will you go on a date with me tonight?’ she asked casually. Giles swallowed.

      ‘D-Date?’

      ‘Yup. You know. Boy. Girl. Pretty clothes. Food.’ Buffy looked up at him with a much too innocent grin. ‘Kissage.’

      ‘I’m familiar with the concept’ the Watcher quickly interrupted, not wanting to give his subconscious time to dwell on the prospect of kissing Buffy. Not that it ever needed an incentive to do so... He shook his head and, exhaling deeply, gave in to the inevitable. ‘So where am I taking you?’ he asked with a resigned glance at the eager blonde.

      ‘You’ll do it?’ she squealed, launching herself at him in an enthusiastic hug. ‘Thanks, Giles. You’re just the bestest Watcher ever!’ She peeked up at him. ‘And don’t look like that. It will be fun. I promise.’

      ‘Buffy? Ribs’ he wheezed, giving the ceiling a gloomy look. Helping the woman he loved in her pursuits of another man? Oh, yes. Definitely fun. ‘And you still haven’t revealed the location of tonight’s… ah… performance’ he continued when the imminent risk of suffocation by overexcited Slayer had been averted.

      ‘I’ll make all the arrangements, Watcher Guy’ the exhilarated blonde called over her shoulder, already on her way to the door. ‘Just get that adorable butt into your Sunday bests and be at my dorm by seven.’ She turned around and grinned. ‘And if you’d wear the silver hoop I wouldn’t hate that’ she added encouragingly.

Giles stared after her as she walked out the door, his left hand frozen on its way to his earlobe. Had Buffy just called his butt adorable?


The green eyed monster part 7


Spike eyed the Slayer suspiciously. It couldn’t be bloody normal to smile that much, could it? So maybe he ought to do something about it? He shrugged dismissively. Nah. Too much work. Besides, a happy Slayer was a non Spike-dusting Slayer. And that was as good as it got. But some investigations were definitely called for.
Extinguishing his cigarette he stealthily followed the small blonde to a familiar door and watched, intrigued, as she stopped and carefully groomed herself before letting herself in. So. That was the reason for the happy face, was it? Hmm... why did he suddenly had a craving for some hot cocoa and a little chat? His fangs glimmered in a wicked smirk. Wasn't it an absolute coincidence that the Slayer’s mum served the best hot chocolate in Sunnydale...

 

*****

 

Buffy was quietly following the sounds of an unmistakably annoyed Watcher. She smiled. Kitchen, huh? Well, that could prove... interesting... She recalled last night’s vivid dream including her, Giles and his kitchen table. A small part of her had been amazed that the old piece of furniture had survived, no matter how imaginary the sex. The rest of her had just been amazed. She eyed the table meditatively. It looked sturdier than in her dream, didn’t it..? Hmm... So, torture Giles first, steamy sex later? She shifted her attention to the Watcher and her eyes widened at the perfect view of his backside. Wow. She crept closer to her unaware victim who was still muttering angrily, his mind fully occupied with the obstinate pipe.

      ‘So. Whatcha doing, Watcher mine?’ she asked softly and grinned when she heard a thump and a heartfelt ‘Bloody hell!’ from under the sink. His dishevelled head appeared and he shot her an uneasy glance.

      ‘Uh... Hello, Buffy. I didn’t see you there.’

      ‘Now that’s not something that inspires confidence in one’s Watcher, is it?’ she observed dryly as she leant against the doorframe and gave him an appreciative look. Dishevelled definitely suited him. She frowned in surprise when his eyes clouded over and he turned his back to her.

      ‘How about in one’s useless ex Watcher then?’ he muttered quietly.

Buffy gave him an uncomprehending stare. What was he... oh. But... oh. She gulped miserably. Her fault again. She’d probably have to talk to Willow about that rocket launcher. But first...
She knelt down beside him and put her hand on his shoulder.

      ‘No one talks to my Watcher like that, okay?’ she said firmly. ‘He’s the best, most wonderfullest man in the world,’ she could feel his shoulder muscles slowly relax ‘and I love him very much,’ and then quickly tense again. She smiled contentedly.

Giles focused on his breathing. Buffy had just said that she loved him, hadn’t she? He quickly ran through her last sentence. Yes. There had certainly been talk of love. He looked up at her with a hopeful expression.

      ‘Most wonderfullest man in the world, huh?’ he repeated. Buffy nodded earnestly.

      ‘And best! Unfortunately he got stranded with what I have on good authority is a very thick Slayer. Who’s finally seeing the non-tweedy goodness in front of her.’ She gave him a sincere look. ‘And who’s very, very sorry that it’s taken her so long.’

Giles touched her face questioningly, letting his thumb gently trace the outline of her lower lip.

      ‘I love you, Buffy. You know that, don’t you?’

Her heart went through a happy and very complicated tap dance routine.

      ‘Well, there has been rumours’ she teased him breathlessly.

      ‘There has, has there?’ he mumbled, his fingers still unhurriedly exploring her face.

      ‘Uh-huh’ she agreed. ‘And of course newspaper articles. And the odd commercial.’

      ‘Oh dear.’ He bowed his head and brushed his lips against hers. ‘Well, as long as you’ve been informed.’

Buffy gave him an unexpectedly serious look.

      ‘Why did you never tell me before?’

      ‘Yes, I can just about picture it’ he smirked. ‘”I’ve got a thing. Maybe you have a thing. Maybe we could have a thing. How do you feel about Mexican?” I wouldn’t have seen you for dust.’

Buffy reluctantly had to admit that he was right. She threw her arms around him and hugged him fiercely, suddenly terrified of what she could have lost.

      ‘I seem to do that a lot, don’t I? Running?’

      ‘There have been times when I found your recent interest in exercise a tad annoying’ he admitted with an adoring grin.

      ‘Um. Yes. Sorry about that.’ She eyed him ruefully. ‘Although I have to admit that I found the thought of you and Willow a tad annoying as well.

      ‘Ah. Yes. Me and Willow.’ Giles blushed and looked at her pleadingly. ‘How long will I have to suffer for that?’

      ‘Well, Willow is my best friend so I kinda have to forgive her. You on the other hand...’ She gasped and tilted her head as Giles leant over to kiss the side of her neck. ‘Mmm...’

      ‘A lot of grovelling to do, huh?’ he asked, nibbling his way towards her collarbone.

      ‘Uh-huh’ she rasped. ‘We’re talking months of... oh, God...’

      ‘Hmm?’ He lifted his head and gave her a distracted look. ‘Months of what?’

      ‘Never mind. Do that again.’

She could feel the vibrations of his laughter against her throat as he obeyed.
Clothes were rapidly becoming an issue, and various garments found themselves scattered across the floor. Giles was trying to find a reasonably comfy position reclining against the larder, but with Buffy in his lap he really wasn’t too bothered about comfort.

      ‘I love you so much, Giles!’ She smiled sunnily at him.

      ‘Took you long enough to admit it though’ he grumbled, his harsh tone belied by the happiness in his eyes.

      ‘So. Do you have anything to say to me?’ she purred.

He tilted his head thoughtfully.

      ‘Umm... No, not really’ he answered innocently.

She growled at him and slid her hand towards his groin where feather light strokes made him hiss with pleasure.

      ‘Oh God, Buffy, yes!’

She slowly removed her hand and leaned closer to his begging eyes.

      ‘You were saying?’ she asked politely.

The skin around his eyes crinkled as he beamed up at her.

      ‘I love you, Buffy’ he said hoarsely. ‘Unconditionally. Any way you want me. And I’m yours. For as long as you’ll want me. Which I hope will be a long, long time.’

She lit up in a bright, tearful smile.

      ‘Oh Giles, that is so... umm... Me too. Am yours, I mean.’

His left hand that was lazily exploring her hip came to a sudden stop and his eyes turned serious.

      ‘You really mean that, don’t you?’

      ‘I do’ she said, willing every last piece of her love into the answer. She saw his eyes stray and suddenly flicker with something akin to panic, and her throat tightened at the fact that he still didn’t dare to believe her. ‘Do you want to know how you make me feel? This is how you make me feel.’ She leaned down and kissed him. He moaned as her tongue teased his, and she pulled back and gazed deep into his eyes.

      ‘Mmm... Buffy..?’ he ventured nervously.

      ‘Shush, Giles. I need you to know this. This is how you make me feel.’ She took his right hand and placed it over her heavily beating heart.

      ‘Yes, but...’

      ‘I said shush, Giles. This is Buffy talks, Giles listens. Didn’t you have show and tell in England? Yeesh! Anyway. This is how you make me feel.’ With her eyes still glued to his she guided his hand down to the very moist fabric of her panties. He snatched it back as if he’d been burnt, and Buffy gave him a hurt look. ‘Come on, Giles. Work with me here. I’m trying to prove a point. I love you. You love me. Everybody knew but us. Now we know too. Everybody knows. Everybody’s happy. This is a good!’

Giles looked at her with a mixture of amusement and dread.

      ‘Not everybody knew, love’ he observed somewhat unsteady.

      ‘Oh? Oh...’ Buffy turned slowly towards the door and met Joyce’s eerily calm look. ‘Hi, mum.’ She turned back to Giles with a reproachful glint. ‘You really should start to lock the front door’ she said conversationally. He nodded glumly.

      ’So. Shall I perhaps go back out until you’re a bit less undressed?’ Joyce expression was indecipherable.

      ‘I-I think... umm... y-y-yes, that would be much... appreciated’ Giles stuttered blushingly.

Joyce quickly retreated and the two lovers to be were left to their shared embarrassment.

      ‘I think I’d better hide the weapons before she returns’ Giles observed somewhat unsteadily. They looked at each other and grinned. Vampires, demons and mothers. They never knew what the Hellmouth would throw at them next. Only that it would be lethal. And that they would face it together. As always.

 


The green eyed monster part 6


      ‘Do you really think so?’ Willow’s voice was hesitant, almost frightened.

      ‘Of course I do. They love you, Willow. Both of them love you very much. I’m sure they’ll be happy for you. I know I am.’ Giles warm voice was confident, and the young witch was noticeably comforted.

      ‘I’m happy for me too! But we must talk to Buffy.’ She gave him a beseeching look. ‘Soon.’

Giles nodded, affectionately brushing a tear soaked wisp of hair out of her face.

      ‘I know’ he agreed gloomily. ‘I just don’t know how.’

The unnoticed Buffy had stopped just inside the door and was now dejectedly eyeing her two friends. So her subconscious had been wrong. She drew a shaky breath. There was no rebound. No love for Buffy. Just Giles. And Willow. Smiling. Touching. She clenched her teeth against an escaping sob and watched them jump apart as she emphatically slammed the door behind her.

      ‘Might I perhaps borrow my Watcher for the training session?’

Without another look or word Buffy haughtily stomped off to the basement to warm up, not wanting to think about what the two people she’d left upstairs was doing. And not able to think of anything else. When Giles arrived a couple of minutes later Buffy was boiling with jealousy. He gave her a cautious look and decided to forego any weapons during training.

 

*****

 

Forty minutes later he was sweaty, sore and more than a little worried. Buffy still hadn’t said a word, but she kept fighting him with focused intensity. Backing away under the force of her assault he eyed her wearily, searching for a way around her defence. A slight hesitation to follow up on a roundhouse kick was all he needed. He swiftly moved under her guard and drew her to him. As he held her close his hands moved over her back in slow, hypnotic circles, and the frustrated animosity slowly drained out of her. With contentedly closed eyes she snuggled closer and put her arms around his waist. Her conscience objected half-heartedly, but she defiantly nestled into the warmth and scent that was all Giles. Just this once, okay? Just this once.
Giles looked down at his forlorn Slayer. What on earth had made him listen to Willow? Didn’t he know better than to play with people’s minds for his own selfish reasons? Had his Ripper days taught him nothing? He closed his eyes and hoped that Buffy would be able to forgive him. Eventually.

      ‘Buffy, I...’

      ‘You can’t...’

They looked at each other and giggled nervously.

      ‘You go first’ Giles offered and Buffy watched open-mouthed as the shy smile she loved so much did one of its rare appearances. What was it she was going to say? Oh, yes...

      ‘You can’t be with Willow’ she mumbled quietly into his shirt.

He gave her a bewildered look. That he hadn’t expected. Had he lost the thread somewhere?

      ‘Hmm? What? Why?’ he asked in confusion.

      ‘Because you should be with me!’

Buffy gasped and swiftly fixed her eyes to his neckline. I didn’t just say that out loud, did I? Oh God. I did. What do I do now?? Hmm... nice chest hair... Hello?! Focus!!
A gentle finger on her jaw interrupted her musings and forced her to look up into eyes dark green with adrenaline and anticipation. She watched, mesmerized, as he slowly lowered his head, giving her ample time to break free. When she didn’t his mouth smiled against hers in a feathery touch before slowly retreating. He gave her a searching look and she licked her lips in an unconscious invite. Her arms moved to his neck and pulled him down for another soft brush. He relaxed into the kiss, sweeping his tongue tentatively against her lips. She welcomed him in with a satisfied moan. Mmm... nice... But not enough. Aching to feel his skin against her palms she fumbled impatiently with his T-shirt and finally managed to separate it from his very uncooperative sweatpants. Giles groaned when her hands lazily investigated their ways towards his chest.

      ‘Buffy? Are you sure about this?’ he asked uncertainly.

      ‘Hmm?’ she answered distractedly while her dilated pupils hungrily took in his tousled state. ‘Am I sure about wha...’ Oh. That. Oh. Crap. Oh, CRAP!!
Her conscience kicked into hyperdrive and for the second time in a very short period she turned and ran out of Giles’ apartment. He growled unhappily. As far as he recalled, kissing was a damned lot better when not interrupted by all that bloody jogging. A stunned grin spread over his face. On the other hand the woman he loved had just told him that “you should be with me”. He shook his head dazedly. Dear Lord. Willow was a genius!

 

*****

      ‘I take it Giles hasn’t talked to you?’

Willow watched her friend attentively, but the distressed Slayer didn’t seem to notice that she had referred to the Watcher as Giles. The redhead sighed dismally. Damn.

      ‘Well, I sorta left before he had a chance to say anything’ Buffy said, sniffing miserably. ‘I’m sorry, Wil. So very sorry.’

Willow’s conscience kicked her in the shin. Repeatedly. And hard.

      ‘Sorry about what?’

      ‘Erm. Basically for everything. But mostly for loving Giles.’ Buffy blushed and carefully avoided the Wicca’s eyes.

      ‘Umm... Okay..? Knew that already. No need for sorry.’ Willow gave Buffy a hopeful look. Was it possible that..?

      ‘But. No! Or. I mean. I... I’m in love with Giles.’ The Slayer was still blushing. And still avoiding eye contact.

      ‘Uh-huh?’ Oh YES! Finally!! Okay, Willow. Keep the cool. Deep breaths. Look calm. Indifferent. No victory dance. Result!! Check out the queen witch of shadchens!! Okay, way with the indifference there. ‘Knew that too. Still not with you on the sorries though.’ Ah. Calmness revisited. Good girl.

Buffy winced, suddenly remembering the conversation she’d overheard at Giles’. Of course she knew. Although...

      ‘But I’ve done something bad! Really bad. Like dancing with Xander bad. Not that dancing with Xander is bad. Except for the Snoopy dance. But I mean Buffy bad dancing with Xander dancing...’ Buffy stopped and reviewed her rant. ‘bad’ she finished sheepishly. Not wholly of the comprehensible. But adequate. She was determined to make Willow understand what a terrible person she was. ‘Willow, I... kissed him.’

      ‘Kissed who? Xander?’ Willow stared at her friend in total bewilderment.

      ‘No. Giles!’ Buffy almost growled in frustration.

      ‘Oh. Did you? Good. I’m sure he liked that.’ Willow’s suspiciously innocent face revealed only polite concern.

      ‘I mean it’s not like I meant to... okay, so of course I meant to, but not rea...’ Buffy’s brain finally caught up. ‘I’m sorry, but huh??’

Willow eyed the Slayer nervously. Okay. Moment of truth. Wait a minute; was her health insurance in order?? And she really should have made a will... Oh, just get on with it already!!

      ‘Umm... I’m sure he liked that?’ The young witch smiled awkwardly. ‘Because actually there’s nothing going on between Giles and me. His feelings are sort of elsewhere engaged.’

Buffy gave her a blank look.

      ‘H-huh?’ she repeated. Her disorientated brain tried to puzzle facts together, but all it could muster was a slightly mystified ‘Who?’

Willow rolled her eyes. For an intelligent woman Buffy could be really thick on occasion... She looked into the Slayer’s wounded eyes and realized that she had ventured her thoughts aloud. Damn again. And blast.

      ‘You, poophead. Giles is in love with you.’

Hope, incredulity and a flicker of anger fought a ferocious battle in Buffy’s eyes. Giles was in love with her? Giles was in love with her! But why had they...

      ‘But why did you... Why, Wil? Do you hate me? Is that it? Let’s hurt the bitch?’ She couldn’t quite hide the bitterness in her voice.

      ‘No!! It wasn’t like that at all!!’ Willow’s eyes filled with tears. ‘I mean it was just so obvious. Everyone saw it. Well, not Giles of course, but you know Giles...’ Willow made a dismissive gesture and Buffy managed a feeble grin. She knew Giles. Knowledge Guy could be totally clueless sometimes. It was so adorable. Not to mention when he... Ahum. Willow. Explaining. Priorities, okay?! ‘...and even Xander had noticed. I mean Xander!! Mr Oblivious himself. So... it really was that obvious. And Giles was just so unhappy. So we sorta thought... I sorta thought... umm...’ She gave Buffy a pleading look, too out of breath from her wordy explanation to be able to continue.
Buffy thoughtfully studied the distraught Wicca. Okay, so fire bad. Willow still good. And Giles loved her. Now there was a good. A very good. She smiled as she felt her resentment evaporating. It all made a sort of twisted sense somehow. And she could of course always slay them later if needed.
      ‘It’s okay, Willow. I kinda understand. I was being Ignorant Girl. Hurting people I care about. I needed to be stopped.’ She grinned ruefully. ‘But next time try some kryptonite, okay. Or a baseball bat. Or a small rocket launcher. The Giles method? Way too painful.’

      ‘No Gilesy torture. Check’ Willow nodded vigorously before looking down and drawing a steadying breath. ‘Umm... Buffy? There’s... another thing. You remember Tara, don’t you?’ Buffy indicated that, despite her alleged thickness, she did. Willow shot her a panicky glance. ‘Well... uh... me and Tara are sorta... uh... me and Tara..?’

The Slayer’s brow furrowed – and then realization slowly dawned.

      ‘Are you saying what I think you’re saying here, Wils?’ she asked carefully. Willow gave a small nod and Buffy lit up in a delighted smile.

      ‘Cool!’

      ‘Are you sure?’ the Wicca asked cautiously, not certain that Buffy had understood her properly. Buffy’s expression softened.

      ‘Willow, if you love Tara I’m sure I will too.’ She grinned. ‘And besides… If you already have a girlfriend I don’t have to feel so bad about stealing your boyfriend.’

Willow gave her a grave look.

      ‘Giles loves you so much, Buffy. I don’t think he could take it if you ever hurt him again like you’ve done these last months. And he means a lot to me.’ The witch looked thoughtful and added as an afterthought. ‘And I have access to some quite powerful spells.’

Buffy met Willow’s serious eyes, realizing that the threat was made only half in jest.

      ‘I’ll remember’ she promised solemnly. Her eyes narrowed. ‘I will also remember that you and Xander are the schemiest, most backstabbing friends a Slayer can have.’

      ‘Yes. And you’re welcome’ Willow answered with a calm smile. ‘So. You’re off to Giles’ then?’

Buffy nodded.

      ‘Yup. Don’t wait up...’ She grinned roguishly at her friend before darting through the door. Willow’s eyes glazed over and she was forced to recite several Latin incantations before finally evicting some uninvited – and very graphic – images of the Watcher and his Slayer.
 


The green eyed monster part 5


Sunnydale wasn’t really the place for romantic strolls after dark, but the restaurant was close, the evening was warm, and the quartet was heavily armed. Besides, most vamps were inclined to stay well out of the Slayer’s personal life. There tended to be less dust flying about that way.
With a firm grip on Buffy’s hand Riley deliberately slowed their pace to put some space between them and the other couple. Buffy gave him a questioning glance.

      ‘Aren’t we a little too old for adult supervision?’ he asked crabbily.

Buffy glared at him, his foul mood beginning to rub off on her.

      ‘What do you mean?’

      ‘Him.’

Riley nodded at the tall man in front of them. Buffy’s stomach jolted as she watched Giles bend his head towards the small redhead beside him.

      ‘What about him?’ she enquired quietly, icicles adorning her voice.

      ‘Why are we having dinner with your old high school librarian? Shouldn’t he be socializing with people his own age?’ He scowled. ‘At the retirement home’ he added under his breath.

Buffy’s head snapped round and her eyes blazed at him.

      ‘What… did… you… just… say??’ she demanded through gritted teeth. Riley had the good sense to look embarrassed.

      ‘I just don’t understand why a grown man wants to hang around a group of teenagers. It’s pretty freaky.’

      ‘Well, I guess we’re just lucky that way, then.’ She shrugged and tried to walk away, but Riley weren’t finished.

      ‘There is a word for men like that, you know. Sexual predators.’

Buffy almost laughed out loud at the thought of her gentle Watcher as a predator.

      ‘Firstly that’s two words’ she observed tetchily. ‘Secondly there already is a word for Giles. Watcher. My Watcher.’ Riley sneered.

      ‘Watcher. Yes, I’m sure he’s been enjoying himself watching you in your slutty outfits.’

      ‘God, Riley, what is your problem?’ she asked hotly.

      ‘Him. You and him. You and that old man over there. That’s my problem’ he answered just as angrily. Buffy stared blankly at him.

      ‘Giles isn’t old. He’s just... Giles...’ She frowned, annoyed that she couldn’t explain her feelings better. ‘And if you haven’t noticed - it’s not me and him. It’s Willow and him’ she continued, the thought making her feel like crying.

      ‘Only because he can’t have you’ Riley persisted. ‘I’ve seen the way he looks at you.’

      ‘And how is that?’ she asked snappily.

      ‘Like he wants to get into your pants’ the young man snarled.

Giles and Willow had noticed that the other two were missing and were by now hanging about trying hard not to look like they were listening in on the row. Giles winced at Riley’s last remark.

      ‘He’s more perceptive than I give him credit for, the little prat’ he muttered. Willow nodded absentmindedly, too absorbed by the scene in front of them to answer.

      ‘Not as much as I want to get into his.’ The Slayer’s response was hushed, but distinct enough for the two spectators to hear.

 

*****

 

With everyone deeply absorbed in their own thoughts the atmosphere round the restaurant table was inevitably tense. Buffy had kept her eyes downcast ever since the incident, abhorred that she had revealed her forbidden feelings not only to Riley but also to the two people those feelings concerned. The deflated Riley kept glancing over at his girlfriend. He was aware that he had pushed the question and wasn’t too happy with the way it had blown up in his face. Where did it leave them? More accurate – where did it leave him? He scowled at the older man sitting beside his girlfriend. And above all - where did it leave him?
Willow’s eyes darted curiously from face to strained face. She’d been confident that Buffy loved Giles. Now it was clear that she also wanted him. So. What was she waiting for? What was he waiting for for that matter?? She sighed impatiently. Matchmaking really was hard on the nerves. Why did they keep stalling when there was a happily ever after to be lived??
Giles’ mind was on the same track as Willow’s. It was seriously disgruntled, and it was letting the rest of him know all about it. Unfortunately it was up against a conscience skilled in guilt and self deprecation, and the battle was an even one.
You bloody tosser! The woman you love all but tells you that she wants you, and what do you do? Bugger all, that’s what!! His mind gave a disgusted shrug and Giles had to admit that it had a point. He had watched Buffy walk away from her boyfriend after that momentous remark. Watched her come towards him. And he had wanted nothing more than to lean down and kiss her. But he hadn’t. So the moment had passed. And now it was too late. Probably for the best, too. The toy soldier had put her on the spot so maybe she’d said it just to hurt him. And even if she had meant it – he was 25 years her elder for fuck’s sake. Was it fair to burden her with a relationship like that? Not to mention trick her into feelings she might not even have? His Slayer deserved so much more than that!
His mind rolled its eyes in resignation. Yup. Bloody tosser sounded about right.

 

*****

 

The waiter assigned to their table gave the brooding foursome a cautious look as he arrived with the menus. Why was it he always got the loonies? He straightened his shoulders and pasted on the expected look of cheerful servitude.

      ‘Can I get you something to drink?’ he asked with his pen hovering over the pad.

      ‘Wine?’ Giles looked questioningly at his companions. Willow and Buffy nodded their consent. Riley just gave him a nasty glare which Giles warily ignored. He looked back at the waiter. ‘Wine’ he confirmed.

The waiter gave the females a hesitant look. He really hated this part.

      ‘How old are the young ladies?’ he asked nervously.

      ‘Hmm?’ Giles gave him an empty stare.

      ‘Your daughters. How old are they?’

Two heads snapped angrily towards the confused waiter. Giles gave him his best Ripper glare, making the poor man take two steps backwards. Willow’s eyes narrowed as if she was contemplating an adequate spell. Giles quickly put his hand hinderingly over hers. He might not be very found of the waiter, but Willow’s spells weren’t a safe punishment for anyone. Buffy’s eyes were flashing alarmingly too, her muscles ready to pounce. Giles quickly put a hindering hand over hers as well. He felt her tension fade even if she still frowned after the terrified waiter who had hurriedly fled the scene. Giles let go of the girls’ hands and gave his cutlery a resentful stare.

      ‘Bloody berk’ he muttered glumly, not sure whether he meant himself or the waiter. Buffy looked at her Watcher, wanting nothing more than to erase the lines of dejection from the handsome face. She reached for his hand.

      ‘Giles?’ He didn’t look up, so she squeezed his fingers and tried again. ‘Giles?’ This time he looked at her, and she smiled earnestly into his miserable eyes. ‘Giles, don’t listen to that…’ she glared after the waiter, searching for the right epithet for him and grinned happily when she found it ‘pillock.’ She looked hopefully at him and was delighted to see his clouded eyes light up into their usual luminous green. ‘You really have to tell me what a pillock is one of these days by the way, but I’m quite sure that guy was one. And you aren’t old. What you are is a wonderful, kind, brave, sexy man who makes me really happy just by being in my life. Everything I am I have you to thank for. You’re the most important person in my life, Giles. Don’t ever forget that.’

His eyes softened into a blissful smile.

      ‘Thank you, love’ he said quietly.
 

 

*****

 

Willow and Buffy weren’t old enough to order wine. Riley was. And he had taken advantage of the fact.

      ’You like younger women, don’t you, Mr Giles? So why don’t you tell us how long you’ve been jonesing for Buffy then?’ he slurred. Giles gave him an impassive stare. ‘Come on, Mr Giles. I’m sure she’ll be thrilled to know that her forty something out of work ex librarian wants to jump her.’ Riley snorted condescendingly. ‘You’re as old as her father for goodness sake.’

      ‘No he’s not, he’s a year younger’ Buffy said defiantly. The others shot her questioning looks and she shrugged. ‘What? Willow told me, okay?! Besides, he’s like fifteen years younger than Harrison Ford. And so much sexier!’ Willow’s eyes grew saucer sized and Giles spluttered a surprised mouthful of water across the tablecloth. Buffy gasped and squeezed her eyes shut. ‘So not what I was going to say...’
Buffy’s protest was slowly oozing its way through Riley’s inebriated brain and he gave her a wounded look.

      ‘It was never Angel, was it? That kept you holding back. I thought it was because of Angel – and all the time it was because of him!’ Riley nearly spat the last word out.

Oh, hadn’t this been a brilliant idea... Buffy reluctantly opened her eyes to give Giles an apologetic glance, but the indifferent interest with which he was eyeing Riley comforted her. And then she looked over at Riley and caught the murderous glare he bestowed on her Watcher... Right. This was obviously going to be very, very bad. She sighed. Well, at least it should take care of the breaking up with Riley problem. Thanks, Wil...

      ‘Just admit it. You’re in love with that... that... sugar daddy.’

Buffy winced. Of all the four-letter words Riley could have used he’d had to pick on that one. She looked at Giles again and groaned under her breath. The way his lips twitched probably meant he’d picked up on the love part. Which made her want to hit him. Or kiss him. She decided on simply ignoring him. As she did the giggling Willow. Now if she could only do the same with her very soon to be ex boyfriend. But that was rapidly proving impossible.

      ‘So has she given you any samples yet? Or do you want me to tell you what it’s like?’ Riley’s ice-cold eyes never left the older man’s face. ‘Do you want me to tell you what it’s like to fuck her?’

Oh, goody. Again with the four-letter words. She smiled thinly. Although this one wasn’t quite as condemnable as the L one... or... oh, God, it was... She apprehensively looked up in the face of the suddenly very tense man by her side. The rapid change in the Watcher was unsettling. Gone was the mask of amused composure. His eyes blazed dangerously as he leant forward, intimidating the hastily sobering Riley not only with his superior size but also with his barely contained wrath. Giles could be very intimidating when provoked.

      ‘You will never speak about Buffy like that again.’ There was nothing but cold conviction in Giles’ voice. ‘Because if you do...’ he smiled unpleasantly, not needing to finish the sentence. Riley’s nervously bobbing Adam’s apple demonstrated that he had understood. Buffy put a hand on the enraged Watcher’s arm and nearly shrank back when he turned towards her and she met the wild-eyed Ripper glare head on. Fury had turned his gentle eyes into a deadly dark green, and his left hand was hovering alarmingly close to the stake concealed in his inside pocket. She gave him a small, reassuring smile.

      ‘Giles. Please?’

She didn’t know what else to say so she slowly slid her hand down his arm, clutching soothingly at his cold fingers. His glare eased from homicidal to merely bloodthirsty and she exhaled audibly. The risk for imminent Rileycide was averted. She turned an arctic stare towards the commando.

      ‘I think we’d better continue this outside’ she stated evenly. Riley gave the still seething Watcher a nervous glance and nodded. He staggered off on wobbly legs closely followed by the small, irate blonde. Five minutes later she was back. Riley wasn’t.

 

*****

 

The very wide awake Buffy glared enviously at her sleeping roommate. Her brain was showing reruns of the evening’s highlights, reruns not really carved out to leave the Slayer particularly sleep inclined. Or amused. Single again, huh? Maybe she should give up men altogether. Angel. Parker. Riley. The road kill that was her personal life was certainly no sleep inducement. She smiled wistfully. But through that list there had been Giles...
Images of her Watcher suddenly filled her mind. How he’d always been there for her. Offering his support. A shoulder to cry on. Ice cream. Always loved her. Always... wait a minute. Back up the truck there, huh!? “Always loved her”?? Her subconscious shrugged. Yes? Point being? She tried to give herself a bemused look. Giles loved her?? Umm... yes..? Like in loved her loved her? Uh... still with the yes here..? So why didn’t this come up earlier? Like before him and Willow took off for smoochie land?! Oh, come on. Wake up and smell the denial!! And besides. The smoochie land isn’t quite as smoochie filled as one would have expected, or haven’t I noticed? What’s that supposed mean? And cut the snootiness or find someone else to pester, okay?! Her subconscious gave an exasperated sigh. Whatever. Do I remember how Willow was with Oz? Of course I remember how Willow was with Oz. How stupid do I think I am? Umm... do I want me to answer that..? Shut up and get back to the point. Exactly how am I supposed to shut up and get back to the point..? Improvise!!
Her subconscious noticed the implied menace and decided to drop the mocking. For the moment. Okay. Willow. Oz. Not really restricted with the smoochies, were they? Buffy, who’d walked in on the couple more times than she cared to remember, grinned faintly. Okay. Willow and Oz not of the PG rated. So? Her subconscious sighed again, clearly indicating that it was sharing its body with Southern California’s most challenged mind. Willow and Giles not doing well with the NC17 stuff, are they? Buffy considered this and had to admit that she was right. But Giles was English. Although with a background that had rendered him the nickname Ripper. Not quite indicating restraint with the nookie, did it..? Yeah, but he wasn’t Ripper any more. He was Giles. And Giles wouldn’t... umm... would he..? For once both voices were silent as they contemplated the image of Giles woulding. She whimpered slightly, suddenly very certain that he would. And equally certain that she wanted him to would with her.
Willow muttered something unintelligible in her sleep and Buffy slumped dejectedly. She wasn’t the one Giles would be woulding with, now was she. Oh, just get a grip, dimwit! And enough with the woulds already!! Her subconscious was getting slightly narked and was in no mood to be gracious about it. He isn’t woulding with Willow. And Willow isn’t woulding with him. And now I’ve got me doing the damn would thing as well. Anyway, what does that tell me?? Uh... She couldn’t come up with the slightest reason for Willow to keep her hands off that delicious body. Her subconscious smirked maddeningly. Exactly. Rebound... Buffy thoughtfully chewed her lower lip. Rebound? Yup. That... actually made sense. Sort of. But... what about Giles? And don’t even think about mentioning Olivia... Wouldn’t dream of it. Good. Umm... Then why? You. Me. Us. Us? I mean me?? Uh-huh. But... Me? Really?? I think he... in love? With me?? Ooh... that... actually... fits... Memories of all things Gilesy flooded her mind. Oh yes. It very much fitted. She yawned. And tomorrow she would... talk to... umm... rebound... Giles... love... tomor...
The Slayer smiled in her sleep. Tomorrow...


The green eyed monster part 4


      ‘Hello, Rupert. We weren’t expecting you until tomorrow night. Or are you here to seduce the lunch crowd as well?’ The waitress tilted her head and gave Giles a big smile.

      ‘Still strictly on evening duty, Clare. I’m simply here for the food.’ The flirtatious smile was lost on the oblivious Watcher. Clare heaved a small, disappointed sigh.

      ‘Ah. And to keep the fan base happy I see. Hi, Willow. And Tara, right?’ Buffy got a tentative glance, and Giles quickly introduced her. ‘Hello, Buffy. No Xander today then? I’ll go tell the chef the happy news, shall I... So what can I get you lot to drink?’

Buffy fumed silently as the waitress’ eyes roamed over Giles’ body, occasionally resting on a spot of particular interest. Her subconscious raised an eyebrow in polite interest.
So. Jealous that someone’s checking your best friend’s boyfriend out, are you? Only for Willow’s sake, okay! Yeah, right. Of course. For Willow’s sake... Buffy sulked at the jeering tone. Just shut up already! And oh God. She would really have to talk to Willow about this. Umm... She was going to talk to Willow about the waitress drooling over Giles?? Her subconscious seemed genuinely puzzled by the idea. Buffy rolled her eyes. No. And weren’t you supposed to shut up?? Besides, the talk would be more likely to concern her own drooling habits. Although she should probably not be too specific about those, right? Anyway. Maybe she could ask Willow to be a little less obvious with the whole relationship thingy? At least until she’d had a chance to adjust. 25 to 30 years should probably be enough.

Willow smirked, finding the Slayer’s flustered expression quite satisfactory. Buffy had looked ready to stake Clare on sight, and the waitress’ close examination of Giles’ assets didn’t seem to have left her any less inclined. Right now Willow was pretty sure the thought running through her friend’s mind was “If that waitress bats her fake eyelashes at my Watcher once more I am going to rip them off and feed them to her”.
The witch’s conscience was still giving her the occasional prod, but she was sure their deception was of the good. Well. Fairly sure. If it worked out two of her favourite people in the world would be truly happy. And if it didn’t... Uh... She really didn’t want to think about that. It had to work. Had to! She smiled wickedly. And in the meantime tormenting the Slayer was undeniably quite entertaining.
Giles gave her a knowing grin.

      ‘You really are enjoying this way too much’ he whispered.

      ‘Yes’ she acknowledged with a cheerful nod. ‘But did you see her face?’

Giles chuckled softly. Yes, he had seen her face. The blatant jealousy had been quite... umm… refreshing. He groaned as he spotted one of the Espresso Pump’s regulars sauntering over.

      ‘I just might have to kill you for this’ he muttered. Willow patted his hand reassuringly. This was even better than she had hoped for.

      ‘Oh, look everyone. Stella is here’ she happily informed the rest of the table. The by now very tense Giles looked around nervously, thereby missing Tara’s pitying smile.

      ‘What’s a Stella?’ asked Buffy, cautiously eyeing the approaching overaged, overly made up, platinum blonde.

      ‘Stella is one of Giles’ more... uh... affectionate fans’ Willow replied with a grin. Giles turned around and glowered at her.

      ‘Affectionate? Now there’s an understatement. She bloody well kissed me after last week’s gig!’ he complained resentfully.

Willow looked over at Tara and giggled.

      ‘We kinda noticed. She was very thorough, wasn’t she?’

      ‘Indeed’ he observed grimly.

Buffy gave them a confused look. Giles had been kissing other women? Why? And if he was going to kiss another woman, why hadn’t it been her?? Hey, wait a minute. He had kissed her, remember?! Her subconscious coughed expressively. Technically it was you who kissed him... Okay. Yes. Yes, she had done that. But he’d kissed her back, hadn’t he?! Her subconscious smiled happily. Ooh yes. That he had...

The three girls were attentively watching the new arrival as she did everything but sit on the uncomfortable Watcher’s lap and ask him to father her children. Buffy gave the intruder a vicious glare, feeling her patience being both tried and lacking. What the hell was going on with Giles and the women in this town anyway? Was there a spell gone awry that she’d missed?? Her stomach flipped pointedly as she met his help seeking eyes. Okay, so maybe she hadn’t missed it... And she was definitely not missing the fact that this hussy was putting the moves on her Watcher. Buffy’s temper finally snapped and without thinking she moved closer to Giles and laced their fingers together.

      ‘So. Rupert. Aren’t you going to introduce us?’ she asked in what she hoped was a husky voice. He gave her a bewildered look but obediently complied.

      ‘Are you another of Rupert’s children, dear?’ Stella asked with a patronizing smile. Buffy’s eyes narrowed dangerously.

      ‘Me and Rupert haven’t discussed children yet, have we, darling?’ she replied in a mock imitation of Stella’s drawl. ‘But I’m sure we’ll want some one day. Right, sweetie?’ Giles’ eyes widened in dazed fascination.

      ‘I-I... umm... that is...’ His questioning gaze met hers and she gave him an encouraging grin. He grinned back, gratitude flooding his eyes. ‘Of course we will, love’ he said, lifting their entwined hands to his lips and kissing her fingertips.

      ‘Excuse me?’ Stella gave Buffy a hard look.

      ‘Oh, I’m sorry. I thought you asked if we were going to have children.’ Buffy radiated innocence as she moved over and gave Giles a soft kiss on the cheek before settling comfortably on his lap. ‘Which we are. But Rupert is a bit old fashioned. He wants us to get married first.’ She stared defiantly at the woman. Stella’s eyes darted to Buffy’s hand.

      ‘Really? No ring’ she observed curtly.

      ‘See?!’ Buffy pouted at Giles. ‘I told you we should get a ring. Rupert doesn’t want us to get married while I’m still at college’ she continued chattily while playing with his earring. ‘He says that I need to focus on my education.’ She leaned in for a quick kiss. ‘But I rather focus on him.’

Buffy could feel Giles shake with silent laughter and she carefully elbowed him in the ribs. She smiled sweetly at him when he wheezed in surprise, and then snuggled closer and closed her eyes as his hot breath caressed her shoulder. Oh God. It felt so good. She almost whimpered when his arms snaked around her waist and held her tightly against him.

      ‘Funny I haven’t seen you here before’ Stella noted, still suspicious and not prepared to give up on her prey just yet.

Oops. Danger. Buffy cursed her out of loopedness. So what was it Giles actually did here? A girlfriend would know this, right?

      ‘Oh, Buffy gets quite enough of my singing at home, don’t you, sweetheart?’ The Watcher smiled lovingly down at her. ‘I’m sure she’s happy to get a quiet evening to herself once in a while.’ Giles shrugged and nibbled delicately at Buffy’s neck. She suddenly found it difficult to think clearly. Singing, huh? So that was what Willow’s friend had been talking about? Well, that made sense. Giles had a nice voice. A very... mmm... nice... Buffy’s preoccupied mind pointed out that there was a sudden lack of Stella in the vicinity and that she probably should move. And she would. Soon. Well. Soonish.

Willow exchanged triumphant glances with Tara. By George, she’d got it! And about time too...

Buffy reluctantly opened her eyes and found herself looking straight at Willow. Oh God. What on earth was she doing? Willow was her best friend and here she was all but making out with her boyfriend. Oh God. Oh God. Oh God. Unable to raise her mortified eyes to the Wicca’s she awkwardly slid over to her own chair. She could taste the metallic flavour of bile in her mouth as her stomach reacted to the violent onslaught of guilt. And still her body craved the warmth of the man opposite her. She smiled humourlessly. Of all the Hellmouths, in all the towns, in all the world, he walks into mine. Oh God. She really had to talk to Willow. And take a shower. A very, very cold shower. And probably emigrate. Wasn’t Mongolia supposed to be nice this time of year?

Willow’s conscience gave her a nasty shove at the sight of her guilt ridden friend. Oh drat!! She felt a sudden urge to hit her head against the wall. Or – preferably – Buffy’s. Of all the stubborn Slayers... It had been so close! Perhaps it was time to give up her career as a shadchen? No. Resolve face. One more try before she surrendered and threw herself at the mercy of the Slayer. Okay. Think, Willow. Think.

      ‘Uh. Buffy?’

The only answer was a noncommittal grunt. Willow mulishly pressed on.

      ’Rupert is taking me to dinner tonight. Why don’t you and Riley come as well? Make it a double date sorta thing.’

Since Buffy was fully occupied with her guilt trip she missed Giles’ startled expression. The dinner was news to him. And double dating with Riley?? Oh joy...

She gave Willow a hesitant look. A double date? She should say no. Would do so in a minute. Seeing Giles and Willow together hurt. Truly hurt. She chewed her lower lip thoughtfully. But at the same time she wanted to be where Giles was. Just to listen to him. Share smiles with him. Kiss him... NO!! Bad Slayer!! Oh, this was wrong. She should say no. She really should.

      ‘That would be nice’ she finally replied in a weak voice.

Willow’s smile was tinged with relief.

 

*****

 

Buffy was curled up on her bed watching Willow prepare for the date. Go on. Talk to her!! Okay. Okay. She would. She had to. Only not right now... Yes, now! Just talk to her! She frowned at her subconscious. It was really getting on her nerves. She knew it was right, of course. But still. Very much nerve getting. Her subconscious ignored her, obstinately keeping up the chant of “Talk to her! Talk to her! Talk to her!” Buffy closed her eyes and took a deep breath.

      ‘Umm... Willow?’ The redhead looked up and Buffy could feel her courage rapidly evaporate. Okay, so just say it already! Jeez!! ‘Uh... So... You and Giles...’

      ‘Yes..?’ The Wicca’s green eyes widened in anticipation.

      ‘Uh... I just wanted to say that I’m happy for you.’

Coward!! Buffy was so caught up in her own thoughts that she missed her friend’s startled yelp and nervous looks. Forcing a smile on her face she unflinchingly met Willow’s piercing eyes, and after a few seconds scrutinizing the witch lit up in a relieved grin. Buffy released her breath. Good. Her poker face must be improving.

 

*****

 

Riley was not in a particularly good mood. He had been forced into a double date he didn’t want to go on, been told to dress nicely and show up on time, and now he was being ignored while his girlfriend and her best friend were fussing over a middle aged man who seemed to be going through a severe case of midlife crisis. No. Good was definitively not the mood he was in. Giles on the other hand was more than happy to have two beautiful young women fighting for his attention, even if he knew that one of them was only acting and the other... He gave Buffy a penetrating stare and she grinned affectionately up at him.

      ‘You’re looking very handsome there, Watcher mine.’

He shrugged self consciously. Life as a Watcher on the Hellmouth didn’t really leave much room for socializing, and he felt very uncomfortable in the unfamiliar clothes. He sighed. Trust Willow to book a table at some poncy restaurant with a bloody dress code. He found himself wondering how she’d managed to get a table at such short notice and decided that he probably didn’t want to know. Shrugging again he smiled awkwardly at his Slayer.

      ‘Y-you’re looking quite nice yourself’ he said hesitantly. ‘Very becoming.’

“Quite nice”? “Very becoming”?? He winced at the stilted compliments. Suave, old man. Very suave... Buffy didn’t seem to mind though. She simply beamed at him and nodded at his earlobe.

      ‘Still liking the earring’ she said approvingly.

His hand unconsciously moved up to touch it. He had left it in since Buffy seemed to be fond of it. Apparently a good choice then. Dangerous thoughts of her playing with it crossed his mind and he hurriedly forced them away before his body thought of acting on them. The sudden warmth in his groin told him it was too late. Damn.

      ‘Um. Yes. Thank you.’

Oh, brilliant. Quite the conversationalist, aren’t you? His subconscious gave a sigh of self disgust. Buffy’s eyes grew soft at his obvious discomfort. Her feelings were on the whole warm and mushy even if the bliss of basking in Gilesy goodness was tempered with guilt from lusting after her best friend’s boyfriend. Not to mention guilt for the way she was ignoring Riley. Oh God. Riley. She would have to break up with Riley!! But not now. Not yet. Admittedly it wasn’t fair on him, but she was beyond caring about that. She needed him, if only to prevent her friends from guessing her true feelings. She could do this. She was the queen of denial, right?

Riley’s temper wasn’t particularly improved by Buffy’s transfixed expression as she looked up at the ex librarian. Something was going on and he didn’t like it. At all.

      ‘So. Are we leaving or what?’ His sullen tone draw surprised looks from the others and he irritably glared back.


The green eyed monster part 3

She woke up panting, stills of her dream running through her mind. Green eyes, dark with desire, her straddling him, his head thrown back in ecstasy, his tongue lapping against... DAMN!! She had been so close. She switched her bedside lamp on and blushed prettily as she met Willow’s sleepy eyes blinking at her in the sudden light.

      ‘Did you dream about Angelus?’ the redhead asked with deep concern in her voice.

      ‘Huh?’ Buffy gave her a bewildered look.

      ‘Were you having a nightmare?’ Willow clarified.

      ‘No. Yes. Sort of.’

Willow gave her a sympathetic smile.

      ‘That explains why you were screaming for Giles in that strained voice. You sounded like you were in serious pain. Had me worried for a while.’ The Wicca looked at Buffy’s crimson face with wide, innocent eyes.

      ‘Umm... yes... pain... right...’ Buffy screwed up her eyes and let her head fall back into the pillow, willing the aching frustration to go away.

      ‘Do you want to talk about it?’ Willow’s voice was worried.

No!! Absolutely very definitely no!!!

      ‘I’m fine, Will. Go back to sleep.’

Willow listened to Buffy tossing and turning and finally throwing the duvet aside and stomping off to the bathroom. She giggled quietly into her pillow. Buffy’s moaning had been an easy telltale as to what kind of dream she was having. Her screaming for Giles had on the other hand been completely fictional. The young witch grinned complacently at the fact that Buffy hadn’t denied it. Promising. Very, very promising...

 

*****

 

Willow smirked as the heavy eyed Buffy padded off to open the door. The poor blonde had not slept well that night. If at all. For a second she felt sorry for her friend, but memories of the pain and confusion in Giles’ eyes as he revealed his feelings for his Slayer quickly killed off any remorse. After Giles’ confession Willow had watched Buffy, scrutinized every word and look where Giles – not to mention Riley – were concerned. And she had quickly come to the conclusion that Buffy didn’t love Riley. She loved Giles. She just wasn’t allowing herself to admit it. So. Enter Willow, the meddlesome witch...
She had thought that Xander would be the weak link, but as soon as she’d outlined the plan he’d been onboard. Anya had been even easier to persuade. The only one needing some convincing had been Giles, but after Xander had talked to him he’d come around as well. She didn’t know what Xander had said, but when the two of them had emerged from Giles’ cellar it had been clear that they’d both been crying. And after that Giles had been if not enthusiastic so at least fully cooperative. Willow was awakened from her musings by a loud gasp and almost gasped herself. Wow.... Now that was... Wow.

Buffy stared straight into a broad chest covered by a very snug, white T-shirt. Her eyes moved slowly downwards, eagerly taking in the tight, faded jeans and worn boots before returning upwards, marvelling at the leather jacket casually thrown over his shoulder, the sun glasses and the...

      ‘Giles..?’ she said hesitantly.

      ‘Hmm?’

      ‘You do know you’re wearing an earring, don’t you?’

      ‘I am somewhat aware of the fact, yes’

      ‘Oh. Okay.’

Safely hidden behind his dark sunglasses Giles revelled in Buffy’s breathless expression. The corners of his mouth tilted upwards. Willow’s resolve face had bullied him into wearing one of his old Ripper outfits today. Had he known it would result in this he’d worn the old junk ages ago... He looked over at Willow and was surprised to see much the same glazed expression on her face. Having been forced to listen to some of their comments on men during research he knew that they were very picky customers. So having them ogling him in this fashion… His confidence stretched itself and smiled slyly.

Willow finally came out of her trance and grinned contentedly at the sight of the flustered Slayer. The grin took on a more evil form and she made a spinning gesture with her right hand. Giles’ mutinous glare was obvious even through the sunglasses. Willow’s resolve face made another appearance and with a final glower he followed the request.

Buffy’s mouth had gone dry at the sight of Giles’ chest and shoulders in the clingy T-shirt. When he twirled and his butt was enticingly passed before her she simply forgot to breathe. Her subconscious happily went straight into butt dribbling mood. She frowned at it. Jeez, stop looking at Giles’ butt, okay?! Why? It’s a nice butt!? But it’s Willow’s boyfriends butt. Giles’ butt! The butt of Giles! And help, I’m beginning to sound like Xander!! Her subconscious shrugged. Still a nice butt, it persisted. Yeah, I know. And shut up!! Suddenly oxygen was becoming an issue and she gulped audibly. She thought she heard a small snigger and looked up into Giles’ by now sunglass-free eyes.

      ‘Whutt? I mean what?’

Her befuddled eyes met his. Green eyes. Jade green eyes. Sexy jade gre… Oh, God, please let’s not start all that again!!

      ‘Wow, Rupert. You look nice.’

Buffy gave Willow an incredulous look. “Nice”? Were they looking at the same person?? He looked… absolutely yummy? No, that just didn’t cover it.

      ‘Umm… Will I perhaps be allowed to come in sometime in the near future?’ Giles asked politely.

She gave him a puzzled look before realizing that she was blocking the door.

      ‘Uh… yes… of course… sorry…’ The Slayer quickly stepped out of the way. Two female students passing the dorm room and enjoying the scenery was rendered a murderous glare before she irritably slammed the door shut.

Giles slowly sauntered over to Willow, a dangerous glint in his eyes. This time there was none of the awkwardness from the night before in his kiss. And this time Willow felt no desire to giggle. Slightly breathless she looked up into his sparkling eyes, realizing that there was more of Ripper in Giles than he usually let on.

      ‘So, love. You ready to spend some of my money?’ he asked with a wicked grin.

Willow nodded, uncertain if she was able to speak just yet. He was really good... Noticing her troubles his grin widened and she gave him a mock frown before turning to a very solemn looking Slayer. Once more her conscience gave her a small nudge, but Willow stubbornly ignored it. Buffy did deserve it after the way she’d treated Giles these last months. The way she’d treated all of them. And besides. Buffy’d thank them afterwards. Probably...

      ‘So. The mall. Shopping 101. Too bad you have to get to class, Buffy. We could really use your tutoring here.’ Willow leaned back to enjoy the show.

      ‘Oh, didn’t I tell you? Class is cancelled today as well’ Buffy lied fluently. Willow raised her eyebrows in what she hoped would pass for surprise. Buffy kept up her innocent front without blinking. ‘I’m yours for the rest of the day’ she added cheerfully, grabbing the arms of her two friends and resolutely settling in between them.

 

*****

 

Buffy persistently placed herself between the couple during the shopping spree, and Giles and Willow kept exchanging amused glances.

      ‘She’s good...’ Willow observed when Buffy temporarily left her station as sheepdog. Giles looked after her with a wide grin.

      ‘Indeed’ he nodded. ‘Doesn’t stop me from doing this, though.’

He nonchalantly put his arm around Willow’s shoulders, his hand just inches from her breast. She giggled. The tension in his arm proved that it wasn’t as nonchalant as it looked, and that the hand wouldn’t move any closer no matter what. From the look in Buffy’s eyes it seemed to look pretty convincing though. The Slayer roughly pushed a selection of garments into Giles’ unoccupied arm and indicated a fitting cubicle.

      ‘I think you have enough to start with there, Watcher Guy. Hop to it.’

Giles groaned but obediently hopped off. Willow went to explore the store further, but Buffy stayed glued to the spot. A small gap between the curtain and the wall gave her a perfect view of the mirror. And of Giles stripping out of his clothes. His upper body fulfilled all the promises the tight T-shirt had offered with the added bonus of blond chest hair ending in a thin line stretching down to… Buffy swallowed hard. Black boxers, huh? Okay, Willow owed her ten bucks... She grinned slightly as she recalled Xander calling commando. She wasn’t sure if she was relieved or annoyed that he hadn’t won that bet.

      ‘Seen anything you like?’

Buffy jumped at Willow’s voice just behind her. She gave the redhead a nervous look, but found nothing but friendliness tingled with a hint of laughter in her face. Buffy relaxed and shrugged innocently, not wanting to reveal that she’d been looking at something she liked very, very much.

 

*****

 

The exasperated Giles complained loudly as they exited the store with another bag added to the considerable collection he already carried.

      ‘That’s it. You have finally managed to slay the last trace of evil tweed from my wardrobe. Can we for the sake of whatever deity listening go and have lunch now?’ He looked down at the two females’ hopeful expressions and rolled his eyes. ‘Yes. My treat.’

Giles was rewarded with two 1000 watt beams and to his surprise also a quick hug from Buffy.

      ‘Thanks, Giles. You’re like the bestest Watcher ever.’

      ‘Could I get that in writing, please?’ he enquired sceptically. ‘I’m sure it would come in handy next time patrol intervenes with something more... ah... crucial.’

Buffy stuck her tongue out at him before turning her attention to more important things. Like where to go for lunch. Once again Willow’s resolve face came through, and she triumphantly marched them off towards the Espresso Pump. Buffy grumbled sourly that she had hoped for some real food. Giles, knowing fully well why Willow had decided on the Pump, wasn’t in the best of moods either. The victory parade was temporarily halted when Willow recognized someone coming towards them. Buffy gave the blonde newcomer a close examination as she sidled up to Willow.

      ‘Hello, Mr Giles’ she said shyly.

      ‘Hmm? Oh, hello Tara. Nice to meet you. Are you joining us for lunch?’ He gave the young woman a fond smile. Willow had hesitantly told him about her new relationship the week before, clearly apprehensive of his reaction. So he had told her about his feelings for Buffy. Which by the way was why he was in this mess in the first place... Ah, well...
Tara gave him a meditative look, trying to assess whether he really wanted her to accompany them or not. Willow gave her a pleading look.

      ‘Please come. We’re going to the Pump. It will be fun!’

      ‘Oh, are you going to sing, Mr Giles? I really enjoyed the last time.’

      ‘Not today, Tara. Today my girlfriend is going to torment me into indigestion. Please come. It will be fun.’ He glared pointedly at Willow who smirked back at him. Tara, familiar with the scheme, simply grinned at them before giving Buffy an interested glance. Willow caught it and blushed.

      ‘Umm... sorry. Manners. Forgot. Tara, this is Buffy. Buffy, Tara. Please like each other. It would make my life so much easier.’ The Wicca gave them a hopeful look and Buffy and Tara smiled awkwardly at each other. They managed to exchange a couple of pleasantries before Willow once more set off towards the promised lunch. Buffy fell back a few meters, studying the three people before her. Willow talked animatedly to Tara while the tall Watcher observed them with an indulgent smile and occasionally joined the conversation. Buffy’s stomach took a sad nosedive into desolation. When had she been so thoroughly dropped from the loop? Willow had a new friend. She hadn’t introduced her to Buffy, but Giles seemed to know her well. And Giles had called Willow his girlfriend. That had pretty much felt like a stake to the heart. What was this about Giles singing by the way? And when had Giles become Sexy Guy? With her gaze attached to the Watcher’s butt she smiled sadly. She missed her Shy Tweedy Librarian Guy, but there was the occasional perk...

Aware of the sudden lack of Slayer in their midst Giles turned around and looked for her. His eyes filled with concern when he took in her unhappy expression, and then a jolt of masculine pride surged through him as he noticed exactly what she was focusing on. Buffy blushed when she realized that she’d been caught out, but Giles only gave her a gentle smile and held out his right arm invitingly. Buffy quickly skipped up to him, comfortably settling in with his arm affectionately draped over her shoulders. He gave Willow an apologetic look, but the Wicca only shrugged. So it wasn’t in the itinerary. But it was undeniably of the good.


The green eyed monster part 2


Buffy raised her eyebrows at the relatively modern TV equipment.

'Wow, G-man's gone techno guy' was Xander's impressed input.

Giles turned a stern look at him at the dreaded nickname, but relaxed and shrugged awkwardly at the implied compliment. Willow smiled proudly.

'Oh, you should see his new CD player. And the CDs. He's even got more CDs than Oz!'

Willow's face turned red at the mention of her ex boyfriend, and she turned her gutted face towards Giles. With an encouraging smile he put his arm around her shoulders and dragged her closer. Buffy gave them a disgusted look.

'So. Where is this mythical CD? And the CD collection. I think it's time for mocking the Watcher guy's taste in music.'

Wil gave Xander a mortified look.

'It's in his… uh… you know…' she waved her hand in the general direction of the stairs. They all looked thoughtfully at the stairs, knowing fully well that the only room upstairs was Giles' bedroom. Buffy felt her eyes moist over and quickly looked away. Denial was a lot easier when the evidence wasn't glaring you in the face. Blinking a couple of times she turned back again and gave the new couple a sour look. The soft look on Giles' face – the one she was beginning to recognize as his Willow look – was directed at her friend and they were exchanging a long, laughing gaze. She glanced over at Xander, hoping for an encouraging look of disapproval, but he was watching Giles and Willow with an amused expression.

'So. Are we watching a movie or what?' she asked grumpily and stalked over to the closest armchair.

'Uh. Yes. Movie. Yes. Xander?' Giles gave his young friend a questioning look, and Xander swiftly produced five DVDs.

'Didn't know what we were going for here, so I brought some back up.'

There was a heated debate before a decision was made, but finally a film was picked and snacks and soft drinks distributed. Buffy crawled up into the armchair feeling very lonely and left out. This had been a really bad idea. She looked over at the couch where Willow was comfortably curled up beside Giles with his arm protectively around her. Oh, she was SO in the mood to slay something later on. She realized that the redhead was looking back at her with a contented smile. She smiled bleakly back at her before trying to return to the film, but she just moved restlessly and sneaked another peak at Willow and Giles. Her eyes narrowed as she saw Willow whisper something into Giles' ear. And Giles' lazy grin. Her heart started misbehaving again and she quickly looked away. Her eyes kept darting towards the sofa ever so often, and every cosy detail added to her discomfort. Willow's hand on Giles' chest. His hand playing with her hair. The smiles they kept exchanging. She felt a strong urge to cry, and abruptly jumped from her seat.

'I'm getting more popcorn, does anyone else want anything?' she asked and fled to the Watcher free space of the kitchen.

Giles looked after her and then back at Willow who smiled reassuringly and indicated that he should follow his Slayer. Since Buffy had stopped just inside the door he almost fell over her when he entered, and he grabbed at her shoulders to stop himself tumbling over.

'Is anything the matter, Buffy?' he asked worriedly.

'Nope. All good. Except on the popcorn front. As in not enough of them' she answered a bit too brightly. He frowned slightly, but decided to let it go.

He looked down at her, slowly realizing that he was still holding onto her shoulders. About to let go he noticed how goose bumps were spreading from where he was holding her, and his lips twitched into a stunned grin. So Willow might be right. He made a mental note not to doubt the young Wicca again and took a step closer to his Slayer. Letting one of his hands drop down to her wrists he lightly touched her bare skin all the way down. He was pleased to see the shiver that ran through her body and the almost unnoticeable movement to lean backwards, closer to him. Smirking he leant close to her ear.

'You know you can tell me anything' he whispered huskily, making sure that she would feel his hot breath on her neck. Raising his head he watched, fascinated, as more goose bumps appeared. He forced himself to remove his hands and take a step back. Nonchalantly leaning against the door post he gave a satisfied smile as he heard a small whimper. She slowly turned around and looked at him with wide eyes. He forced his features into an innocent expression desperately hoping that she would keep her eyes above waist level or she'd realize he was far from unaffected. To his relief her confused eyes were glued to his and he had to hold on to the doorframe to keep from walking over and ravish her on the spot. But Willow had an itinerary – and so far it had exceeded all his expectations. So he fully intended to stick to it. He gave Buffy a vague smile, eagerly watching conflicting emotions flying over her face. He could see how she reached a decision and how she straightened her back to walk out of the kitchen. When she reached the door he put out an arm to stop her. He heard her gasp as his hand involuntarily brushed her breast. His heart took a giddy leap as he felt the hard nipple. And he felt something else growing harder as well. He took great care to keep that part out of harms way as he reached past her and grabbed the snacks bowl.

'Don't forget your popcorn.'

She gave the bowl a confused glance before her brain finally kicked in.

'Umm… yes. Thanks. You know me. Ditzy blonde girl.'

She was dejectedly studying the popcorn and he gave her a disturbed look.

'Buffy?' She looked up at him and he was surprised to see tears in her eyes. 'Buffy, you are the smartest, kindest, most beautiful young woman I've ever known. Don't ever let me hear you sell yourself short again.' She was happy to see him looking at her with one of his only for Buffy smiles and she gave him a big, teary eyed one in return. He hoped she would return to her place in front of the TV since he was in dire need of a couple of minutes of alone time to have a serious conversation with his unruly body functions. He was therefore taken by surprise when she threw her arms around him for a warm hug, and he had no opportunity to hide his erection. He hesitated slightly before looking down into her wide, bewildered eyes. So. Surprises all around then…
Buffy's wide eyes slowly trailed down to the area of significance. Wow. Licking her dry lips she tried to remind herself that size didn't matter. Much. But still. Wow.
She realized that she was showing a tad more interest than the situation demanded and promptly returned her eyes to his face. Oh no. She was drooling over Willow's boyfriend again. Worse than that. She was drooling over Giles again. This was bad. Very, very bad. Although if memory served he'd certainly tasted good... Umm... she hadn't just thought that, had she? Her subconscious nodded readily. Oh. Okay. Please shut up now.

'Uhh... Buffy?'

Giles' voice woke her from her inward dialogue, and to her chagrin she noticed that her eyes had returned to his crotch.

'Umm... I probably should...' she said, nervously shuffling her feet.

'I think you'd better, yes' he agreed.

Buffy fled back to her armchair, leaving Giles to thoughtfully calm all of himself down.
 

*****

Okay, Buffy. Breathe. Deep breaths. Wow. That was a part of Giles I've never seen before. Mmhmm... Quite a big part... Stop that! Concentrate on breathing. In... out... in... And don't think about it! Uh oh. Willow's looking over. Smile back. Hmm. She's looking worried. Maybe more teeth? Okay, she's pretty much looking scared now. Less teeth. Less teeth. Oh, goody. Giles is coming back. Don't look. You've already seen quite enough of him. Don't look! Um. Maybe just a peak? HEY! Get your hand away from his thigh, you... Uh... Staring now. No staring! Look at the TV! Aaand the movie is over. Now what? Oooh. Xander is giving Giles his "please, feed me" look. Poor Giles. He's never been able to resist those pleading puppy dog eyes, has he? Pizza, huh? I like pizza. Wonder if the butterflies in my stomach like pizza too? No! No butterflies! Forget about the butterflies. Giles does not give me butterflies, okay? Except for today... Which is perfectly understandable since I accidentally kissed him earlier. That's one hell of a reason for butterflies, don't I think? Okay, ONE – how do you accidentally kiss someone? And two – what about last week? What do I mean "what about last week"? I mean last week. When I went to see Giles after patrol. Major butterfly moment there. More like pterodactyls, really. Oh. That. Probably a stomach flu going around or something. And by the way - shut up! Anyway, there he goes stomping off after his car keys. He's so cute when he sulks. WHAT? Not cute... Brute? Hmm... Yup, much better. He's such a brute when he sulks. Okay, there's Willow off as well. As if Giles couldn't get pizza on his own. Co dependent much? Umm. Why are Xander and Anya grinning at me? Better say something before they start putting one and one together. Xander is terrible at maths.

'So. Giles and Willow, huh? Anyone else wigged?'

That was good. Just the right amount of aloofness. Now to sit back and watch Xander's head explo... Wait! Xander is okay with this? What the hell does he mean "Giles and Willow makes a lot of sense"? There's no sense! It's Giles! And Willow! I mean, it's Giles and Willow! And Giles! Don't give me that "they deserve to be happy" crap. Giles was happy already, wasn't he? Okay so I haven't been around a lot these last weeks. Or months. But... umm... college! There's been a lot of college to be done. And Riley. I've done a lot of Riley. Why have I done so much Riley and so little Giles? Oh yes. Boyfriend. Riley equals boyfriend, Giles equals... Giles. Although Giles is the better kisser... NO! BAD thought! No thinking of kissing Giles. Or those warm, sultry lips. Wonder if he uses lip balm? He's got really soft lips. And there were some really accomplished tongue movement as well. Oooh yes. Much better kisser than Riley. Um. Why am I comparing Riley and Giles? Oh great. They're staring at me again - now what? Excuse me? Anya said what about Giles? "Totally orgasm friendly"? Can I hurt her now, please? No. And calm down. Breathing, remember? Killing friends is not allowed. Not even Anya. Although Anya is an ex demon, right? And I kill demons, right? Yay! Loophole! She's right about his sexy eyes, though. Mmm. And the legs. The man's got some serious legs going on. Ooh, ooh, and the way he moves! I love the way he moves! Uuh... Not love. Like. Really, really like. Nope. Was right the first time. I do love the way he moves. And that hesitant smile. Pretty much love that too. And did I mention the eyes..? Um. Am I about to reveal my undying love for my Watcher here? Cause in that case I'd like to go back to denial now, please. Her subconscious snorted impatiently.
 

*****

Buffy contemplated her inner turmoil while stubbornly chewing her way through a pizza slice. Something was definitely wrong, and she was regrettably homing in on the reason. She was jealous. And not in a "My Watcher is taking an interest in something outside the Buffy universe and I'm not happy about it" way. This was definitely the full blown "Keep your lips away from my Watcher or I'll introduce you to Mr Pointy" jealousy. And staking Willow would be of the bad, right? She glanced at Willow's fingers entwined with Giles'. Riiiiight... But she should be happy for them, right? Yeah. Probably. And she should leave them to bask in smoochie goodness, right? She smiled frostily. Like that was going to happen. A determined Buffy, seemingly oblivious to Willow's hints for need of some Buffy-free time, stubbornly hung around after Xander and Anya had left.

'I just want to make sure you get home with the same amount of blood as you left' she insisted calmly.

'But... uh... I'm sure Rupert...' Willow gave Giles a pleading look. Buffy smiled grimly. Nope. Not going to happen. Not tonight. Nor any other night if she could help it.

'Can't have my best friend getting drained. Bad for business. My reputation as Slayer would never recover.'

Buffy was her breeziest self, and her friends yielded to the inevitable. Giles glared at the front door with slight trepidation, by now aware that Willow hadn't thought every aspect of her plan through. Looking down at Willow's bemused expression he could tell that the thought just had occurred to her as well. The customary goodnight kiss... Him. And Willow. With Buffy as a spectator. Ah. Nightmares really do come true then. He exchanged an uncomfortable look with Willow as he walked her and Buffy to the door, and with an awkward smile he leant forward and brushed his lips against hers. Feeling her giggle against his mouth he swiftly moved them towards the wall so all Buffy could see was his broad back. He quickly removed his lips and tried to stifle a giggle of his own as Willow sagged helplessly against him. Meeting her eyes set them both off again, and it was quite some time before they finally surfaced. Buffy's intestines had been moving around nervously at the strangled sounds of her friends. At the look of their flushed grinning faces her stomach finally imploded. And in the aftermath she had to acknowledge it. She was in love with Giles. Her Watcher. And her best friend's boyfriend. Her subconscious leered at her. Told ya!