Timeline: AU, S5. No Dawn, Joyce is alive, Riley is a non-issue.
Synopsis: Buffy has made a decision, but has she made it in time?
Author’s Note: As always, thank you A. This is my first offering for Summer of Giles 2020 – and the first time I’ve participated since 2011. It’s lovely to be back!
Buffy walked out of the Magic Box approximately 4 minutes and 20 seconds after Giles had left. She knew he hadn’t left yet…basically, because she had his keys. She smiled to herself, hoping that her plan would…well, go to plan. This had been a long time coming and she was more nervous than she had expected she’d be, but it was definitely time.
She walked around the corner, expecting Giles to be going through his pockets for the third time. She nearly laughed to herself at the thought. And then her laughter stuck in her throat.
Because, he wasn’t just standing there searching his pockets for his keys. He was standing there with a woman…with that shy smile on his face that she had seen all too often – but it had always been directed towards her. But, there he was…smiling at her, while she had one hand on his chest and was smiling back at him.
Buffy stood there, wanting to turn and run in the opposite direction but unable to do so. She felt the panic well within her as the woman slipped a piece of paper into Giles’ jacket pocket. Buffy was sure that it was a phone number…what else could it have been?
The woman gently rubbed Giles’ chest and allowed her hand to drop as she took a step back. She said something to Giles, but the blood rushing in Buffy’s head drowned all other noise out. But, her eyes could still see. And they saw the way Giles was watching the woman walk away.
“I waited too long, didn’t I?”
Giles jumped, clearly startled at Buffy’s presence. He turned his eyes towards her…confusion showing brightly in them.
She paused, doing her best to compose herself. There was no way that she was going to let Giles see her cry. Especially not over something like this. No…he wouldn’t see her cry, but she had to come clean. Or…clean-ish.
“I waited too long. I honestly didn’t even think that was possible, but obviously I was mistaken.”
“Buffy…what are you talking about?” He took a step towards her, stopping when she took a step back. “What’s wrong?”
“That’s how you used to look at me.” She whispered, closing her eyes briefly as she silently cursed herself.
Giles stared at her, his confusion growing by the second. “I…I really don’t know what’s going on right now…”
“No. Of course you don’t.” She sighed softly and glanced down the road. “Because I waited too long.”
And then she turned and walked in the opposite direction.
Giles stood there, staring after her…and wondering what had actually just taken place. The woman who he had just been talking to drove past, lightly beeping her horn as she did. Giles took no notice, his attention focused solely on Buffy.
He wanted to go after her, but she had seemed so upset. It had never ended well if he went after her under that circumstance. So, he’d give her some time to calm down…and then he’d go to her. And maybe, she’d talk to him.
At least he hoped she would. Because he was more confused at the moment than he had been in a very long time.
He slipped his hand into his pocket and furrowed his brow. And then he checked every other pocket…but his search came up empty. No keys…
“Damn…” He muttered, making his way back into the Magic Box to grab the spare set he kept in the cash register.
* * *
An hour and a half later, he pulled into the driveway at the Summers’ house. He glanced up at the window that he knew to be Buffy’s bedroom. He wasn’t sure she’d be here…but, it was the last place on his list. If she weren’t here…he wasn’t really sure what to do. Maybe head back to her dorm and just…wait for her.
He made his way to the front door and rang the doorbell. He slipped his hands into his pockets as he waited.
In just a few seconds the door swung open and he smiled softly. “Hello, Joyce.”
“Hi, Rupert.” She took a step back from the door, silently inviting him in.
He walked in and glanced into the living room as Joyce closed the door. “I, um…would Buffy happen to be here?”
Joyce nodded and gestured towards the stairs. “She’s in her room. I’m not sure what’s going on. I thought it had to do with her breakup with Riley, but she’s adamant that’s not it. But, she’s definitely upset.”
“Would, uh…would it be okay if I…” He tilted his head towards the stairs, unsure of how to ask.
She shrugged a shoulder and smiled. “Look, if there’s anyone she’d talk to about what’s going on…it’s you. I know things were difficult last year, but you two have been really in sync lately. It’s been good for her…her focus in school and on the slaying. Riley was really holding her back – I don’t think he was doing it intentionally. But, he never really understood what it meant to date the Slayer.”
Giles stared at her, suddenly feeling very awkward and exposed. Joyce chuckled softly.
“Not that you’d understand what it means to date the Slayer either, but…you at least understand the Slayer. Riley never did.”
“Ah…yes, no I don’t believe he did.”
“Go on…see if you can get her to come down and have some dinner. You’re welcome to stay as well.”
Giles nodded silently and climbed the stairs. Joyce watched him for a minute and then went back to the living room.
He paused when he reached the top and took a deep breath. He wondered when she had broken up with Riley…and why hadn’t she told him? He would’ve been there for her…tub of ice cream, hot tea, and a shoulder to cry on at the ready.
He shook his head and walked down the hall to her room. He hesitated for a moment and then lifted his hand, quickly knocking on her door.
“I’m really not hungry, Mom.” Buffy said, sounding completely miserable. “I just want to rest.”
“Um…it’s Giles.” When she didn’t respond, he sighed. “Can…can I come in?”
After another moment of silence, he heard her reply…and thought he heard a slight tremor in her voice.
“Yeah, come in.”
He blew out a soft breath, as if he didn’t know exactly what to expect, and opened the door. He walked in, his eyes meeting hers instantly. He easily read the pain and confusion in her eyes. Closing the door behind him, he took off his jacket and draped it over the back of the chair at her desk before sitting down on the edge of the desk.
“Are you alright?” He asked softly.
Buffy scoffed, pushing her back against the headboard of her bed and wrapping her arms around her bent knees. “Oh, yeah…peachy.”
Buffy stared at him. “Riley has nothing to do with this.”
“Why didn’t you tell me? I could have…taken you out for ice cream or…something.”
She arched an eyebrow at him. “Something?”
He sighed heavily. “What happened at the Magic Box?”
“Before or after some woman was coming on to you in the alley?” She glanced at the desk and pointed to a spot next to him. “There are your keys.”
“My…” He looked down and picked them up. “Why do you have my keys?”
“Because I wanted to talk to you…to tell you how I…” She shook her head as she trailed off. “But, it’s too late, so it doesn’t really matter anyway.”
He tilted his head as he regarded her closely. “What’s too late, Buffy?”
“I saw the way you looked at her. There’s really no – ”
“Damn it, Buffy…just bloody well tell me!” He grumbled, pushing away from the desk as he finally lost his patience.
Sudden anger flared in her eyes as she pushed herself from the bed to stand directly in front of him. “You used to look at me the way you were looking at her. And I fucked up and waited too long to tell you how I feel. Okay? You’ve moved on and I’m still stuck here, wanting you. Are you fucking happy now?”
Giles stared at her in disbelief, as she stared at him…annoyed with herself. When he didn’t say anything, she growled in frustration and turned to storm off. He stopped her by grabbing her arm.
“You…want me?” He asked quietly.
She nodded, but didn’t turn back around. “I think you wanted me too, at one point…for a while.”
He was quiet for a moment, loosening his grip but not letting her go. “Perceptive.”
“You may not show things, but your eyes do sometimes.” She replied, heaving a deep sigh.
“I still do.”
His words were spoken so softly that she wasn’t sure he had actually said them. She turned slowly and looked up at him.
“I…didn’t know things had ended with Riley. I felt it best to try to move on.”
“Things haven’t been right with Riley for a very long time, Giles. You know that.”
He nodded, allowing his hand to drop from her arm. “I knew that. But that was a discovery you needed to make on your own.”
“Who is she?” She whispered, suddenly not sure that she actually wanted to know.
“Just a customer. She’s been…um, flirting…for a while.”
“But, you wanted her.”
“Not her, Buffy. What she could give me, yes. But, her? No…”
Buffy lowered her eyes and exhaled shakily. “Do I want to know what she could give you?”
He chuckled, shaking his head in slight amusement as she looked up at him in surprise. Then she rolled her eyes and crossed her arms over her chest.
“Okay, that was a stupid question. Of course I know what she could give you…I mean, that was pretty obv – ”
“A little moment of time to pretend to be someone else.” He interrupted, lifting his hand to tuck a strand of hair behind her ear. “Christ, Buffy…I’ve wanted you for so long that I don’t remember not wanting you.”
“But, you haven’t made a move or even said anything.”
“May I point out that neither have you?”
Buffy arched an eyebrow at him and glanced towards the door. “My mother is downstairs, Giles. And there are things that I want to do that I can’t do…not here, not now.”
Giles laughed softly and slipped his right hand into his pocket. “Like what?”
She was quiet for a moment, loving the light sound of his laughter. And then she shifted her gaze to look him directly in the eye. The time for beating around the bush was over.
“Like dropping to my knees right here and sucking your dick.”
Giles’ laughter ceased instantly. He blinked once, understanding immediately why his vision was suddenly somewhat blurred even though he was still wearing his glasses. That always happened when they glazed with desire.
Buffy watched his eyes darken slightly and bit her bottom lip nervously. “Did I…say the wrong thing?”
He cleared his throat, but didn’t break their mutual gaze. “Only if you didn’t mean it.”
She took a step closer to him, tilting her head up to maintain eye contact. “So…you’d want me to?”
His jaw tensed slightly as he lifted his left hand and placed it on the side of her neck. He searched her eyes and, after finding what he was looking for, pulled her to him as he lowered his mouth towards hers. Her lips parted, granting him immediate access…which he took with no hesitation.
Her hands slid up his chest, pausing briefly to press against his nipples…which, surprisingly to her, caused him to moan into her mouth. She catalogued that reaction for future reference. When her arms attempted to curl around his neck, he picked her up…easing the task for her.
She wrapped her legs around him and she felt the rumble in his chest as she settled against his clearly evident erection. Her fingers moved into his hair, nails lightly scratching his scalp as their kisses began to deepen further. He turned and pressed her against the closed door, not bothering to stop himself when he began to rock his hips against her.
She pulled from the kiss and gasped. He moved his mouth to her neck, lightly nibbling at her skin. When she groaned his name a little too loudly, he stopped and inhaled sharply. Lifting his head, he stared into her eyes.
“We shouldn’t do this. Not here, not now.” He murmured, gripping her hip to hold her still when she began to move again.
“Huh?” She mumbled, her eyes cloudy with desire and a bit of confusion.
He licked his lips and offered her a gentle smile. “Your…mother…”
“Oh.” She whispered, distracted by the tip of his tongue wetting his lips.
“Buffy…” He waited until she lifted her eyes to his. “Your mother…is downstairs.”
She nodded absently and then her eyes suddenly widened. “Oh!”
He chuckled softly, still holding her against the back of the door. “There you are…”
“Giles…we need to – ”
“Go for ice cream, talk…” He interrupted, loosening his grip on her hip.
She furrowed her brow and allowed her hands to rest on his shoulders. “Okay…I was going to say ‘go to your place…like, now’. But, if you want ice cream…”
He lightly brushed his lips across hers and then reached behind him, guiding her leg from around him. As he stepped back and gently lowered her to the ground, he sighed.
“I’d very much like that. But…I think we need to talk this through before we rush into something we’re not ready for.”
“Oh, I’m ready.” She blurted. And then blushed as he gave her a lop-sided grin. “You know what I mean…”
“Mm, I do.” He confirmed, glancing at her kiss-swollen lips. “But, there are some things we need to be very clear about before we go any further.”
“And you want to clear those things up over ice cream?”
“Or coffee.” He shrugged. “I don’t much care where we go, but we need to be in a public setting.”
“Why?” She asked, genuinely curious.
He lifted his hand to her cheek, gently stroking her skin with his thumb. “Because if we’re alone, I fear that we won’t have that discussion and I’ll charge ahead…and one or both us could get hurt – if we don’t know what we’re getting into.”
“Oh…” She whispered, suddenly understanding his meaning. “Ice cream then?”
He nodded slowly, glancing at her hair. “You, uh…you’ll need to take a couple of minutes to make yourself presentable. If you go downstairs looking as you do right now, your mother will have my hide and this will be all for naught.”
“What about you? Looking all…hot and bothered.” She glanced down and sighed. “And…hard.”
He ran his hand through his hair and slipped his jacket back on. At her look of disappointment, he smiled. “Better?”
“How did you do that?”
He gave her a wink and rubbed the back of his neck. “Ages of practice. I couldn’t very well let you see me in this state, now could I?”
As her eyes widened, he opened her bedroom door and walked out. He allowed her to see the desire in his eyes once more before he locked it away.
“I’ll be waiting downstairs for you.”
She nodded, leaning against the doorframe as she watched him walk down the hall as if nothing had just happened.
* * *
Giles cast a dubious look at the bowl of ice cream in front of Buffy. “I think that needs more whipped cream.”
Buffy glanced down and then laughed. “Yeah, I think they went a bit overboard.”
He smiled at her as she put three spoonfuls of the cream onto his ice cream. “Well, that wasn’t at all necessary.”
She licked her spoon and shrugged a shoulder. “You didn’t have any.”
“Mm…because I don’t care for it on ice cream.” He laughed, reaching over and dropping a cherry onto her sundae.
“What do you ‘care for it’ on?” She asked playfully before licking her spoon clean.
She met his eyes and paused at the desire showing clearly in them. “Oh…”
“We need to have this conversation, Buffy. Because I’m having thoughts of simply pulling you into the alley and fucking you.” He continued quickly when she gasped, his voice low and thick. “I won’t do that – you deserve much better than that. But, my need for you is…palpable.”
She swallowed and licked her lips as she discretely removed her shoe. She tilted her head slightly, watching his eyes as she lifted her foot and rested it against his groin. The only outward sign that he showed was a small clench of his jaw. When she rubbed her foot against him gently, he blinked slowly. She smiled….and continued, tracing the outline of his erection with her toes.
“What are you doing?” He asked quietly, a restrained calmness to his tone.
“Palpating.” She pressed a bit harder, licking her lips again as he swallowed. “Is that a word?”
He nodded absently, pushing his bowl of ice cream to the side and leaned forward slightly. He rested his arms on the table and folded his hands together.
“When did you and Riley break up?”
“Giles…” She sighed heavily. “I don’t want to talk about Riley. But, it was a couple of weeks ago…and I’m really okay with it.”
She traced the zipper of his trousers with her big toe. His hands tightened around themselves. She smiled and then popped a cherry into her mouth.
“What kind of things do we need to get cleared?”
He swallowed and darted his eyes to her mouth as she chewed. “Where this is going.”
She nodded slowly and dipped her finger into the chocolate sauce, licking it clean. “I want you, you want me…clear?”
He stared at her and shook his head lightly. “While that is accurate…that’s not the part we need to…clear up.”
“Then what’s the – ”
“What do you want from this revelation?”
“A night together? A casual affair? Someone to attend to your needs after an unsatisfying night of slaying? Or something…more?”
Her foot stopped moving, but remained resting against him. “What do you want?”
“At this moment, I want you to continue what you were doing.” He reached over and plucked a cherry from her bowl and popped it into his mouth. “As for later, I will be whatever you want me to be. I just need to know from the beginning what to expect.”
“What?” She asked softly.
“If it’s just a fuck for tonight, I’ll give you that. But I need to know now…so that I can protect myself.”
“Protect? Giles – ”
“You see, Buffy…I want more. But, I want it so much that I wouldn’t be able to say no to it only being one night. Does that make sense?” He waited until she gave him a nod. “So, you need to tell me what you want from this.”
She lowered her foot, reaching over to cover his hand with hers when he sighed heavily at the loss. “We need to go now, Giles.”
He shook his head slowly. “Not until – ”
“I want everything that you want to give me.” She squeezed his hand as he straightened a bit. “Do you understand what I’m saying? Am I making it…clear?”
“I need absolutes, Buffy. I need you tell me.”
“I want tonight. I want tomorrow. I want the day after. I want all of the days after. I don’t want casual, I want us together. I want our friends and families to know about us. I want dinners and movies and making out in your car. Sure, I want you to take care of my needs after an unsatisfying night of slaying, but then I want you to make love to me in the morning afterwards. I want everything that you want to give me.” She tilted her head slightly as she gazed into his eyes. “Am I making it clear now?”
He nodded slowly, his smile showing in his still darkened eyes. “How do you know I want everything?”
She shrugged a shoulder and smiled at him. “If you just wanted a fuck or a casual affair, you wouldn’t need to protect yourself.”
“Mm. Again…perceptive.” He cleared his throat, his eyes glancing at her mouth. As his thoughts shifted to what she had told him earlier in her bedroom, he exhaled deeply. “I think I’d like to leave now.”
“Yeah…me too.” She whispered, letting go of his hand.
She reached under the table and put her shoe back on. “So…are we both clear on this?”
He grinned as his eyes sparkled. “Oh, we’re very clear.”
They both stood up and made their way to the door. He paused at the rubbish bin near the door and reached into his pocket. She watched as he dropped a slip of paper into the bin before pushing the door open. As he held it open for her, she looked up at him and smiled brightly.
“You sure you don’t want to stop off by the alley first?”
“Don’t bloody tempt me.” He murmured, nudging her out of the shop.
He took hold of her hand and they started towards his car. He grinned as he looked down at her, she quirked a curious look back his way.
“I wouldn’t be opposed to making out in my car, though…”
She laughed, triggering his laugh. Which was strangely, yet adorably, interspersed with a few giggles. Who knew her Watcher giggled?
She had a feeling that this night was going to be full of surprises.
She liked surprises…except for on her birthday.
He opened the passenger door for her and she slid in. She watched him as he quickly walked to the driver’s side and climbed in. They looked at each other for a split second before he reached for her, pulling her to him and covering her mouth with his. They both groaned as their tongues found one another.
She hoped he liked surprises too…because she had a few in store, just for him.
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