Title: Chip Tooth Smile
Rating: FRAO Overall/FRT This chapter
Timeline: AU, one year post-series...no Dawn, Anya survived Sunnydale.
Synopsis: A year after Sunnydale, there are quite a few changes in the Scoobies' lives. There are more changes to come.
Author’s Note: Special thanks to A for taking the time to go through this project for me. This fic is inspired by the album Chip Tooth Smile by Rob Thomas. This is not a typical songfic. (Lyrics and .mp3s can be found on the CTS index page)
Chapter Six - The Man to Hold the Water
Buffy woke slowly, stretching her aching muscles as she yawned. She opened her eyes, glancing towards the window and sighing when she realised that there was no sun creeping through the curtains. The sun wasn’t up, but Giles was…and he was currently smiling at her as his fingers lightly stroked her back.
“What time is it?” She asked, kissing his chest softly before shifting to move from her current position of being stretched out half on top of him.
“A little after three…and please don’t move.” He replied, pressing his hand flat against her back to keep her from sliding off of him. “Unless, you’re uncomfortable…”
“No, I’m good…I just didn’t mean to use you as a body pillow.” She said, snuggling back against him and resting her head on his shoulder.
He turned his head slightly and kissed her forehead, his fingers resuming their light caresses across her back. “It feels amazing having you here like this.”
“Why are you awake at three in the morning?” She asked, allowing her fingers to play with his chest hair.
“Watching you sleep, thinking…”
“That must’ve been what woke me up…your thinking.” She met his eyes and exhaled softly. “What’s on your mind now?”
“I want this to be more than this.”
She merely stared at him for a second and then shook her head in confusion. “Okay, I’ve just woken up at stupid o’clock in the morning…can you translate that for me?”
“This…us. I want it to be more than this…sex.”
“Like…you want to date me?” She closed her eyes and groaned. “God, forget I said something that lame.”
He chuckled and rolled onto his side, gently rolling her as well. “I want to have a relationship with you. If that is defined as dating you, then yes…I want to date you.”
“A proper relationship?”
He smiled, nodding as he brushed the hair back from her face. “You’re really not at your best for conversation at this hour, are you?”
“No, I’m sorry…” She returned his smile. “It’s been a while since I’ve had a need to be up at this time of morning.”
Her smile faded as she looked at his neck. “Wow, um…you’re going to need some creative wardrobe work to cover that…”
“Yours will fade away by daybreak.” He lightly traced the faint bruise on her throat. “Pity, really…”
She arched an eyebrow at him, circling the dark bite mark with her fingertip. “What’s the deal, Giles? With the wanting to be bitten?”
He took a deep breath and exhaled slowly, obviously considering his words. “Blood is life. It’s not necessarily about wanting to be bitten…but, more that I want to give you my life. A part of me that no one else could have. Fairly simple, at the end of the day…”
“You couldn’t just give me a rose and ask me to be your girlfriend or something?”
“I will never give you roses. I’m sure at some point I will give you flowers…but, it will never be a rose. Besides, it was a more…primal…act than that. I…” He shook his head and lowered his gaze from hers. “I don’t know how to explain it, to be honest.”
“I think I get it…at least to an extent. It’s not like I hated it myself, you know.”
“Can this be more, Buffy?” He asked quietly.
Her smile sparkled in her eyes as she lifted her hand to his cheek. “It’s always been more, didn’t you know that? It’s been more for…well, longer than I’ve been in England. Why do you think I came here?”
“To help with the Slayers, rebuilding the Council…”
She shook her head slowly, her smile growing. “I came here to be with you, Giles. For us to be together…stronger than Watcher/Slayer, deeper than teacher/student. I just didn’t know if you wanted the same thing.”
“When I left, after the implosion, I was almost certain that I’d never see you again.” He whispered sadly. “I didn’t really know how to deal with that…which is why I threw myself into the rebuild so deeply and quickly. God, how I missed you.”
“I think I knew fairly quickly that I was going to forgive you for everything you had ever done.” She leaned into him and kissed his lips. “I want this too, Giles. Remember back when I said that I was tired of the dichotomy of my existence? And that I wanted to be able to have a real relationship…a proper relationship?”
“I do. I remember that vividly.”
“I was talking about you. A real relationship with you. Something more than being your Slayer.”
“We’re a pair, aren’t we?” He remarked with a small smile. “I’d very much like to take you out…dinner, movie, patrol…whatever you want.”
“I’d like that too. Well, maybe not a patrol. I’d rather focus on you and not have to worry about you being knocked unconscious…” She rubbed her eyes and draped her arm over his side as he laughed gently. “Do you think we can figure this out when it’s a bit more light outside?”
He nodded and ran his thumb along her ear. “Of course. Go back to sleep, Buffy.”
She yawned and cuddled closer to him. “You going back to sleep too?”
“Mm…soon.” He curled a strand of her hair around his finger.
She rolled her eyes and sighed. “You think far too much, Giles.”
“Always have.” He lightly ran his finger along the fading bruise on her shoulder. “Good night.”
“Mm…g’night…” She murmured sleepily.
It wasn’t long before she was fast asleep again. He watched her for quite a while before finally allowing sleep to take him over as well.
* * *
Seven hours later, she sat on the island in his kitchen…watching him slice fruit as she sipped a mug of tea. “How come you never have cantaloupe?”
He turned to look at her. “Seriously?”
“You know, I don’t think I’ve ever seen you eat it…” She placed her mug on the countertop and gently swung her feet.
“There’s a reason for that.” He stated as he quickly sliced two bananas and tossed them into the large bowl.
“And that is?” She asked, reaching into the bowl and grabbing a slice of strawberry.
“It’s disgusting and infects every other fruit and then everything tastes of melon.”
She laughed and held a piece of strawberry to his lips. He held her gaze as he gently took the proffered fruit before licking her thumb. He smiled as she inhaled sharply.
“You know…I thought I knew the better part of me.” He said, seemingly apropos of nothing.
She tilted her head in confusion and narrowed her eyes. “Huh?”
“Watcher, languages, magick…I’m confident in my abilities. But, you made me strive to be even better…which makes me wonder if you’re actually the better part of me.”
“How can I be the better part of you when you are you and I am me?”
He tilted his head and grinned. “That was very I Am the Walrus-esque.”
“Are you even speaking English?” She asked, obviously very confused.
He laughed loudly and reached over to slide his fingers along her jaw. She crossed her arms over her chest and glared at him.
“I’m sorry, I’m not laughing at you…”
“Well, you’re not laughing with me…because I’m too confused to laugh. Where the hell are you going with this?”
“I want to be there for you, wherever you need me…whenever you need me. I want to be there for your victories, I want to help you when you fall apart…”
“But, you’ve always been all of that, Giles.”
“As your friend, as your Watcher.” He took a deep breath and gazed into her eyes. “I want to be that as a man, your partner.”
“My lover?” She asked, pulling him to her with a gentle tug on his shirt.
“Yes.” He replied simply, placing his hand on her knee as he stepped between her thighs. “I want you to know that if life gets too hard, you can count on me without question. No matter where I am…close your eyes, say my name…I’ll be there.”
“I know.” She whispered, sliding her arms around his neck. “And I do count on you for so much.”
“I want to kiss you.” As she smiled questioningly, he licked his lips. “If I kiss you now, I’ll want more…”
“You say that like it’s a bad thing.”
His hands moved to her thighs, his fingers gently stroking against the denim. “It’s not necessarily – ”
He sighed as his phone rang, glancing towards the offending object. He turned back to her and she smiled, gesturing towards the phone.
“You should probably get that.”
He rolled his eyes, grumbling something about inopportune timing as he walked over and grabbed the phone.
She smiled as she listened to his side of the conversation. It was obviously Willow calling to check on him. He suddenly turned to look at her and she was somewhat surprised to hear her own name.
“Buffy? Oh, yes, well…uh…yes, she is here. Is there a problem?” He paused for a moment as he listened to her and then cleared his throat, glancing at the clock. “Ah, yes…of course. An hour should be fine.” He met Buffy’s eyes. “Yes, yes…she’ll still be here, I’m sure. I’ll ask her to stay until you arrive.”
Buffy smiled warmly and reached into the bowl, pulling out another piece of fruit as Giles said goodbye to Willow. When he hung up the phone, she grinned at him.
“So…Will’s coming here, huh?”
“Do you think she has any idea that I’ve been here since last night?”
He shook his head. “No. I’m not sure why she would…”
She glanced at his neck and her grin grew. “Then we better do something about that then, huh?”
“Hm?” He looked at her in confusion, his eyes widening when she gestured towards his neck. “Oh, fucking hell…”
Buffy laughed and jumped from the countertop. “It’s not that bad, Giles. Well, no…it’s bad…but, it’s not as high up on your neck as I thought it was and the bruising isn’t nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be. But, it’s very obviously a bite mark. You should be able to hide it with a normal collared shirt…or at least hide most of it. If she mentions the bruising, we can always say that I hit you with a staff during training.”
When he glared at her, she laughed again. “What? It’s not like that’s never happened before!”
He closed his eyes and sighed heavily. She made her way over to him and gently rubbed his chest.
“Hey…we’ll take care of it, okay?”
“It’s not that. It’s…” He opened his eyes and shook his head. “I don’t want to hide us, Buffy. But, I’d rather them not find out like this either.”
“I get it…I feel the same.” She took hold of his hand and leaned up to kiss him. “You know I want you to be able to count on me too, right?”
He smiled and gave her a nod. “I do…”
She sighed heavily and rubbed the back of his hand with her thumb. “Wish we had more than an hour…”
“Would you like to go out with me tonight?” He asked, gazing into her eyes.
She nodded and then paused, shaking her head. “I have patrol tonight.”
“I’m well aware.”
She stared at him incredulously. “You want our first date to be a patrol? I’m pretty sure we discussed that in the wee hours of this morning…”
He stepped closer to her, placing her hand on his chest. “I promise I won’t get knocked unconscious…”
She laughed softly and shook her head in amusement. “If we end up at the hospital, I’m going to be really pissed off.”
He grinned and leaned down, dropping a soft kiss onto her lips.
Chapter Seven - We Were Beautiful
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