Rating: FRM (light)
Timeline: S5, Checkpoint.
Synopsis: Council comes to town.
Author’s Note: As always, a very special thanks to A for looking over this fic for me.
Buffy caught up to him quickly, falling into step next to him as he followed the trail that led to a clearing in the woods on the outskirts of town. She looked up at him as he shoved his hands in his pockets and kicked a pine cone as he walked.
“Are you okay?”
He chuckled mirthlessly. “Perfectly fine. Perfectly obvious, isn’t it?”
“Hey!” She narrowed her eyes, grabbing his arm and forcing him to stop. “There’s no need to be a jerk to me. I didn’t do anything to you.”
He blew out a breath and rubbed his left hand over his face. “I know. I’m sorry.”
“You know I’m not going to let them take you from me, right? They can do their stupid tests and say that I failed or whatever, but we’ve kept Sunnydale on the map for two years without them.” She moved to stand in front of him and waited until he looked down at her. “I am not going to let them take you from me.”
He pulled away from her and sat down on a log that had obviously been pushed off of the trail at some point after the last storm. “If we were talking about demons, I’d have mass amounts of faith in that. But, we’re not. We’re talking about the Council, Buffy. And, like it or not, they can easily cut a few strings and pull a few more and have me deported…no issues.”
“Okay, so we come up with our own plan then. Because, I’ll be damned if I’m losing you…not after everything we’ve been through.” She sat down next to him and rested her head against his shoulder. “And especially not after we’ve finally found one another.”
“Their plan is to force us to play their game…and withhold information from us until we give in to them.” He said, frustration dripping from his words as he slid his arm around her. “It’s a power play. And they’re very good at it.”
“Then we don’t give in to them. We force them to play our game.” She replied, placing her hand on his thigh.
“We…don’t have a game, Buffy. We’ve never had a game.”
She looked up at him and shrugged her shoulder. ”We’ve never needed a game until now.”
Giles was quiet for a moment and then sighed heavily. “They could have me back in England tomorrow.”
“Then I’d come with you and Sunnydale could fucking implode, for all I care.” Buffy replied angrily.
“Buffy – ”
“No, I’m serious, Giles.” She interrupted. “We take our friends, our family…and we fucking go to England. To…where in England?”
“Bath.” He answered, the hint of a smile playing at his lips.
“We all go to Bath and the Council can try to find Faith and rehabilitate her if they want a fucking Slayer. Because I’m done. I’m done with their threats, I’m done with their tests…and I’m done with them holding you ransom.” She stood up and paced back and forth as she continued her tirade. “We can find a way to hide Dawn, we hide ourselves…and they can deal with Glory however they see fit. Let her kick Faith’s ass back and forth across town a few times. And me and you? We live happily ever after and make little Gileses and spend the rest of our lives not worrying about what’s going on at any bloody Hellmouth anywhere. And the Council can just…”
She paused and took a deep breath, running her fingers through her hair. And then she balled her hands into fists and screamed as loud as she could.
“Fuck them! FUCK THEM!”
Giles stood up quickly and pulled her into his arms. “Buffy, shh…it’s okay, love.”
“Fuck them…” She cried, wrapping her arms around him and curling her fingers into the back of his jacket.
He held her tightly, leaning down to place a kiss on top her head. When she sniffled and snuggled against his chest, he sighed heavily.
“So…do you have a plan?”
She chuckled wetly and shook her head. “Again with the me coming up with a plan. Never good enough that I just have a basic outline of an idea, is it?”
“We can’t run away, Buffy. You know we have to see this through.” He replied, lovingly rubbing her back.
“We need the fucking Council, don’t we?”
He hesitated for a second and then gave a nod as she looked up at him. “Their information, at the very least. They know something about Glory, that I’m certain of.”
“Can’t we just go back to your place and forget about Glory, my sister, the Council…just for a little while?” She asked, moving her right hand to his chest and gently rubbing small circles with her index finger.
“Just a little while, Giles. Please.” She whispered, leaning up and brushing her lips across his chin.
His hands stopped moving over her back. She felt his heartrate increase and she smiled, allowing her lips to glide down his throat. He inhaled sharply as her mouth made its way to the side of his neck, her tongue teasingly flicking against his skin.
She pressed her palm against his chest as his left hand moved to the back of her head, encouraging her to continue. With a gentle nip against his skin, she moved her mouth up the side of his neck towards his ear. He trembled as she nibbled his earlobe before whispering a thick “please, Giles…” into his ear.
With a throaty growl…the kind that always made her shiver…he took half a step back and cradled her face between his hands. He stared into her eyes for a moment and then smiled, lowering his mouth to hers. He kissed her slowly, deeply…allowing her tongue to slip into his mouth. Her fingers curled in the front of his shirt as she moaned softly.
They kissed for long minutes…hands wandering, his fingers edging under the hem of her shirt while hers tugged his tie loose. Giles took a step forward, his eyes opening at the sound of a twig snapping under his foot. He gently pulled from the kiss, lifting his hand to her cheek. He smiled in understanding as Buffy whimpered softly.
“I love you, Buffy.” He whispered, his thumb caressing her cheekbone.
“I love you too.” She replied just as softly, biting her bottom lip as her fingers toyed with a button on his shirt. “We’re not going back to your place right now, are we?”
He shook his head slowly, glancing at her lips. “I’m sorry, love.”
He nodded, meeting her eyes. “I…should get back to the shop.”
“Do you want me to come?”
His eyes darkened slightly, causing her to grin at him.
“I actually did mean come with you to the shop…”
He returned her grin, letting his hand drift to the side of her neck. “Why don’t you go spend some time with your mother and Dawn. Come by the shop later, we’ll talk to…them...see what we can get out of them, if anything. And then, you can come home with me after.”
She thought for a moment and then sighed, nodding in agreement. “Okay…”
“Can I give you a ride?” He asked, lowering his hand but not moving back from her.
When her grin widened, he tilted his head slightly in confusion. And then understanding hit him. He chuckled and shook his head.
“To your house…can I give you a ride to your house?” He clarified.
Buffy reached up and gently ran her fingers through his hair. “Nah…it’s not that far and the walk will do me good.”
He gave her a quick nod and took a step back, taking her hand in his as they walked back up the trail.
* * *
“Your Slayer’s late.” Travers noted, sipping a cup of tea.
Giles rolled his eyes and then glanced at the weapons cabinet in the corner. “She’ll be here, I assure you.”
“Mm-hm.” Travers looked towards the door and then smiled at Giles. “Have a nice walk this afternoon?”
Giles slowly turned his eyes towards Travers. “Pardon?”
“I would’ve thought you would’ve been more careful, Rupert.” Travers chuckled and shook his head. “A relationship with your Slayer?”
Giles stood up and stared at Travers, his eyes darkening slightly. “I’m in a relationship with Buffy. Though I don’t expect you to understand the difference.”
Travers glanced up towards the balcony and gestured to their friends. “And do they…understand the difference?”
Willow narrowed her eyes. “You’re damn right we do!”
Anya tilted her head slightly and stared down at the older Council member. “Would it matter if we didn’t?”
Giles gave her a half-smile. Quentin stared back at her.
“And what do you mean by that?”
“What business is it of ours who he…” She paused for a second when Xander put his hand on her knee. “…loves? And he does. Love her, I mean. Even if you have him deported, do you really think that will stop them from being them? They make each other who they are – you can’t stop that. No matter how many power cards you play.”
Before Quentin could reply, the bell sounded over the front door. Quentin rolled his eyes as he turned to find Buffy walking towards Giles.
“You’re late, Miss Summers.”
“Yeah.” Buffy said distractedly, glancing at Giles.
Giles looked at the unfamiliar sword in her hand. “Are you alright? Was there an attack?”
Buffy nodded slowly. “Yeah.”
She handed the sword to Giles as Quentin started speaking. She shook her head in annoyance and quickly interrupted him.
“There isn’t going to be a review. No interrogation, no questions you know I can’t answer. No hoops, no jumps…” She turned and stared at a Council member who started to speak. “…and no interruptions.”
Giles placed the sword on the table and slipped his hands into his pockets as he watched her pace. He smiled as she stared Quentin directly in the eye and stated that she had figured out why everyone had been giving her such a hard time over the past few days. And it all came down to power…and the fact that she had it, not them.
His smile faded when she announced that Glory had been in her home.
“What? Buffy, are you – ”
“I’m fine.” She answered softly, giving him a gentle smile before continuing. “She came to talk, to tell me that she could squash me in a second like a bug.” She turned her eyes to Travers. “But, she didn’t. Because she needs something from me. I have power over her.”
She moved next to Giles and glared at Travers as she gestured towards the Council members standing there. “Just like I have power over all of you. You need me to give your jobs…your lives…some semblance of meaning. That’s why you’re here…because you want me to let you back in.”
One of the Watchers started to speak. Buffy grabbed the sword from the table and threw it across the room. The Watcher stepped back in shock as the sword embedded into the wall right in front of his face.
“Pretty sure I said ‘no interruptions’.”
Giles successfully hid his grin as he crossed his arms over his chest.
“I know as well as all of you know…there’s nothing you can do to stop Glory. You can’t do anything with any information that you may have – because you don’t have the power. So, here’s what’s going to happen…” She stepped towards Travers and stared at him. “You’re going to tell me what you know…then you’re going to go away.”
She glanced at Giles and gave him a wink.
“You’ll contact me with any further information you come across regarding Glory. Mr Giles will stay here as my official Watcher, reinstated at full salary…”
“Retroactive…” Giles stated behind a cough.
Buffy nodded in agreement. “…to be paid retroactively from the month he was fired.”
Giles smiled broadly as she then defended each of their friends as she moved back to his side. She lightly brushed against him as she crossed her arms and looked at Travers.
“I want an answer right now from you. Because I think you’re understanding me.”
Travers cleared his throat, glancing at Giles before nodding slowly. “Your terms are acceptable.”
“Checkmate.” Giles muttered, earning him a quick glare from Travers.
Giles slid his arm around Buffy, pulling her against him in a hug. She looked up at him and furrowed her brow. He shrugged a shoulder and then leaned down to press a soft kiss to her lips.
“You are amazing.” He whispered.
“And you’ve just kissed me in front of them…” She replied, obviously very confused.
“We were followed earlier…they know.” He smiled warmly and tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. “Nothing they can do about it. They know that too.”
Buffy returned his smile and slid her hand into his, lacing their fingers together. She saw the question in his eyes…the one that asked if they could just go home now…and her smile grew.
“Just a minute…” She turned her attention back to Travers, her smile fading. “Glory. I want to know everything.”
Travers sighed and glanced at the papers on the table. “Well, there’s a lot to go through…”
Buffy rolled her eyes. “Just tell me what kind of demon I’m fighting.”
Travers hesitated for a moment, darting his eyes between Buffy and Giles. “Well, that’s the thing, you see. Glory isn’t a demon.”
Giles’ eyes narrowed. “What is she?”
Travers cleared his throat and took a deep breath. “She’s a god.”
Buffy’s fingers tightened around Giles’. “Oh…um…a god?”
* * *
“Are you alright?” Giles asked as he stopped for a red light, looking over to find her staring out the window.
“A god. A fucking god.” She shook her head and turned towards him. “A god was in my house…a god who is after The Key. The Key that is my sister…who isn’t really my sister, even though I have all of these memories that feel real. No. No, I don’t think I’m alright at all.”
“Of course.” He replied softly as the light turned green. “I’m quite thrown by this as well.”
“How do I fight a god? How do I beat a god? How can I protect my family against a fucking god?”
“I…don’t know, Buffy. I wish I had the answers, but I simply don’t. However, we’ll research and find a way. The Council will provide as much information as they possibly can now…”
“What if we can’t find a way?” She asked quietly.
He glanced at her quickly, reaching over to take her hand in his. “We will find a way, Buffy.”
She bit her lip and then sighed heavily. “I know I’m supposed to stay with you tonight, but…I have to be at the house. What if she comes back? What if she finds out about Dawn and comes back?”
“Your family should be your main priority in this, Buffy. Especially considering that she was in your home. I’ll see what I can do about wards and protection, but…I’m just not sure what will keep a god from going…well, anywhere she wants to go.”
She squeezed his hand and looked at him. “You are my family too, Giles. So…stay with me tonight?”
“Stay with…in your home? In your…bed?” He pulled into her driveway, killed the engine and turned towards her. “That wouldn’t be at all awkward, would it?”
“Mom knows we’re together, Giles.” She sighed as he ran his fingers through his hair nervously. “She knows we have an intimate relationship…”
“There is a difference, Buffy. There’s a difference in knowing your daughter is in a relationship…and knowing your daughter is in bed with a man in your own home.”
Buffy nodded slowly. “Yeah, there is. But, I need you with me – as much as I need to be here for them. Please, Giles…please stay with me.”
He opened his mouth to argue, closing it when her eyes glistened. He had never been able to tell her no when she playfully pouted at him. This wasn’t a playful pout…this was a genuine plea for him to stay – because she needed him. He had to admit that he needed her just as much.
“Bloody hell…” He murmured, pulling her into his arms. “I’ll stay, love. I’m not sure how comfortable everyone will be with me being here…with you, in your room, with your mother down the hall. But, I’ll stay with you…and I will do whatever I can to help…in any way possible.”
“Thank you.” She whispered against his chest as she wrapped her arms around him. “Thank you, Giles.”
“You’re welcome.” He whispered back, his fingers stroking her hair in an attempt to comfort her.
* * *
Giles lightly stroked Buffy’s upper arm as she slept. Her bed was smaller than his, but he wasn’t exactly bothered about it. She was currently sleeping soundly…her head on his left arm, her back against his chest. He slid his hand to her hip, holding her firmly against him as he kissed her shoulder.
She stirred lightly, turning her head enough to press her lips against the inside of his elbow. “Giles?”
“Hm?” He murmured, fingers tightening on her hip as he moved his mouth to her neck.
“Thinking about changing your mind about making love here?”
“Mm…you do make it rather hard…”
She grinned and wriggled her hips against him. “So I feel…”
He chuckled and kissed his way up her neck to her ear. “Difficult, I meant. Though, you’re not wrong.”
“Giles…” She whispered, covering his hand with hers on her hip.
“Do you want a baby?” He asked, seemingly out of nowhere.
She turned her body slowly and faced him. “What?”
“Earlier…in the woods. You mentioned something about us going to England and making little Gileses.” He shifted slightly, gazing into her eyes. “I was just wondering what you meant by that…exactly.”
“Oh…” She breathed softly, sliding her hand to his chest and gently stroking the fabric of the t-shirt he was wearing. “Okay, so don’t freak out or anything…it’s just…” She sighed and ran her index finger along the collar of his shirt. “When I think of the future…my future…you’re always there. With me, you know? We’re always together and sometimes when I think of that…I think of…our family and what it will be like and…”
She paused when he smiled. “What? Why are you smiling?”
“Why would that cause me to ‘freak out’? Do you think I see my future any differently?” He leaned forward and kissed her softly. “You’re in my future too, Buffy.”
“I pretty much just told you that I want to be with you forever and have kids…most guys would be freaked out a little.”
He laughed and rolled her onto her back, pulling his arm out from under her head as he leaned over her. “I’m not most guys, Buffy.”
She smiled up at him, placing her hand on his neck. “No, you’re really, really not.”
“So…you do want to have a baby?”
“Do you?” She asked in response.
He moved back to her side, propping his head up with his left hand as his right rested near her hip. “I think we are going to have our hands full with Glory. But, once we defeat her…I think maybe we should revisit this topic. Whether that means we discuss having a baby then or later, we’ll see. But, yes…it’s something I would very much like to discuss with you – when it’s appropriate.”
“So many words.” She teased, covering his hand with hers. “I thought we were going somewhere else with the whole you waking me up thing…”
“Fairly certain that was my intention, but…”
She glanced at his lips as she lightly scratched the back of his hand with her nails. “I can be quiet, Giles…”
He snorted a laugh and shook his head. “Not once have either one us been quiet, Buffy.”
“We’ve never had a reason to be.” She countered, sliding her free hand underneath his t-shirt. “I bet we can if we try…”
“Do you think Glory will come back here?”
“Tonight?” She asked in confusion. “No.”
“No, do you think she’ll come back at all? I’m wondering if her appearance here today was simply to show you that she could…and to try to scare you into giving her what she wants. She now knows that isn’t going to work. So…do you think she’ll come back here?”
Buffy shook her head slowly. “No, no I don’t think so. For the very reason that you just said. What’s the point of her coming back here?”
When he didn’t say anything else, she furrowed her brow. “Well, I have to say…that was an odd turn in conversation, ending with an even odder…um…ending. What’s going on?”
“I was going to suggest…” He shook his head and then rolled onto his back beside of her. “And then I realised that it would make me sound very much like a prat to even suggest. So…maybe I just shouldn’t.”
“Giles – ”
“I don’t want to ask you to stay with me for the main purpose of sex…and that’s what my suggestion would’ve entailed. That’s selfish and…” He sighed and turned to look at her. “I want you desperately, Buffy.”
“I really do bet we can be quiet if we try really hard…” She whispered thickly.
He looked at her for a long moment and then gave a sigh that Buffy immediately recognised as resignation.
“Bloody hell…” He murmured, covering her mouth with his as he pulled her on top of him.
They had much to puzzle out over the next few days, weeks, possibly months. And they were both sure that it was going to be one of the most intense battles they had ever been involved in. But, right now…these few hours were theirs, and theirs alone.
And the only puzzle he really wanted to figure out right now was…
Could they really be quiet if they tried really hard?
He grinned as she pulled his erection out of his boxers. He had serious doubts about their abilities in this, but he was game to give it a try.
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