Rating: FRM (light)
Timeline: AU, S5ish…no Dawn, no Riley, no Glory.
Synopsis: When filters are lost…
Author’s Note: As always, thank you A.
Giles opened his eyes and then immediately closed them. He took a deep breath and opened them again, this time much slower and not as wide.
He saw Buffy smiling down at him, felt her fingers gently running through his hair. And that’s when he realised that he was lying on the ground and that his head was resting on her thigh.
“Well then, I have an idea of how my attempts to help turned out this time…” He said dryly, moving to sit up.
She quickly placed her right hand on his chest, holding him down. “Yeah, but you’re going to be just fine.”
He attempted to shift his body into a more comfortable position, and that was when the sudden stabbing sensation flared in his right leg.
“Oh…holy fuck…” He groaned, grimacing in pain. “What the hell -- ”
Buffy interrupted quickly. “Good news is…your head is fine. You’re moving around, so that’s good too…no paralysis.”
“Paralysis? You were concerned about…” He narrowed his eyes and looked up at her. “What the hell happened?”
“Pretty sure your ankle’s broken.” She quickly moved her hand to the side of his face, holding him still when he started to look. “Don’t look right now, okay?”
“It’s that bad?” He asked, suddenly confused at the slight tinge of panic underlying her soft tone. “It doesn’t feel that bad…”
“Yeah, that would be because I was able to get you to swallow some pain meds a little while ago. They must be kicking in.” She said softly, her thumb rubbing against his cheek. “It’s a bad break, Giles. Trust me on this.”
That was when he noticed that even though she was telling him that it was bad, she wasn’t looking at his injury herself. That concerned him more than he wanted to admit.
“How long have we been here?” He asked quietly. “And…whose pain meds?”
“Not that long, really. About an hour, maybe? And they’re your pain meds.” When his confusion shone in his eyes, she smiled and continued. “Battery in my phone was almost dead – had enough time to make one call, so I called Xander. He stopped by your place and grabbed the first aid kit and the first bottle of pain meds he could find – and I think that’s something we need to talk about as well...the mass amounts of narcotics in your medicine cabinet.”
“Xander’s here?” He asked, quickly steering her thoughts to another path.
“Yeah. Well, he’s about a half mile away…waiting on the ambulance so he can direct them here so we can get you to the hospital.”
“Oh…” He licked his dry lips and thought about something she had said earlier. “Why were you concerned about paralysis?”
Her hand moved back to his chest, her fingers lightly rubbing against his sternum. “You hit your back pretty hard. Looking at your ankle, I was worried about…well, it sounded really bad. But, I think it’s okay…your back, I mean. Not your ankle...like I said, it’s bad.”
“How bad is bad, Buffy?” He asked, trying to remain calm.
Before she could answer him, a rustle of heavy feet on dead leaves sounded from their right. A low growl followed the rustle.
Buffy calmly picked up the loaded crossbow that was beside her, leaning against the crypt wall, and blindly pointed it towards the newly arrived vampire. Without taking her eyes off of Giles, she pulled the trigger and smiled softly as the vampire screamed and exploded into ash.
“That bad, huh?” He closed his eyes, inhaling deeply and concentrating on the sensation of her fingers stroking his hair.
“I’m thinking surgery, I’m thinking a long recovery period, and I’m thinking I’m going to move in to help you out.” She replied softly.
He opened his eyes again and stared up at her. “Move in?”
She nodded slowly, as she reloaded the crossbow…just in case. “I’ll get the guys to help me move your things into the guest room downstairs – there’s no way you’re going to be able to deal with the stairs to the loft for a while.”
“I like the loft. That’s why I chose to put the bed up there.” He complained before suddenly clenching his jaw. “Fuck me…”
“Might be a while for that too.” She said with a smile, hoping to lighten the mood a bit.
He relaxed as the wave of pain dissipated and then shrugged a shoulder. “Not if you’re on top.”
She met his eyes…his more than slightly glassy eyes. Her smile faded as she stroked his cheek with her fingers. “Sounds like the drugs have well and truly kicked in.”
“This is why I don’t take opioids.” Giles sighed and closed his eyes. “They always make me betray myself.”
Buffy furrowed her brow as she stared at him. When she felt the tension start to leave his body, she shook her head…making a mental note to put that on the list of things to talk to him about later.
“Giles?” She asked, gently rubbing his chest when he didn’t answer. “Hey…Giles, wake up…”
He shook his head slowly, not opening his eyes. “Tired. Not dying. Just…stay with me, please?”
“Yeah.” She whispered, as he placed his hand over hers on his chest. “Yeah, I’m staying. Where else would I go?”
She glanced at his ankle and looked away quickly, focusing on their surroundings again as Giles slipped into a drug-induced sleep.
She exhaled deeply, hoping that Xander and the paramedics would be there soon.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Giles was awake but hadn’t opened his eyes yet. He was trying to determine who was in the room with him. So far, he’d heard two separate doctors, a nurse, and Buffy. He smiled inwardly as Buffy asked another question from her seemingly endless list. He waited as the doctors tirelessly answered her questions and wondered what kind of pain medication they had given him. The pain wasn’t bad, but he was concerned…the last thing he needed right now was a loosened tongue.
The doctors quietly left the room and Buffy turned her eyes to Giles. She smiled softly and leaned forward, placing her hand over his.
“I know you’re awake…”
He cracked his right eye and glanced at her. “How did you know?”
“I knew as soon as you came to. Not sure how, just felt it.” She rubbed the back of his hand with her thumb. “How’s the pain?”
“Fairly non-existent at the moment. What’s the prognosis?”
“You weren’t listening?”
He rolled his head towards her and met her eyes. “I was listening to you.”
She grinned and reached over to lightly touch his hair.
“It wasn’t as bad as it looked. I mean, it was pretty fucking bad…but, they think it’s going to heal fairly well. It was dislocated, which made it look worse. And there was a lot of tendon and ligament damage. The break itself was fairly clean. So, you’ve got a plate and screws and…” She glanced down at their hands as he gently turned his under hers and laced their fingers together. “You’re going to be okay. You’ll just need to have a decent recovery period and I’ll be there to help. You may need some rehab on it…”
“Still moving in?” He smiled softly, his eyes glazed. “I do remember something about that, right?”
She nodded slowly, gently squeezing his fingers. “Yeah, so don’t try to fight it. I’m not in the mood to argue with you over it, okay?”
He glanced at the machine that was currently delivering pain medication at a steady rate. “What are they giving me?”
“Pretty sure it’s morphine.” Her fingertips stroked his forehead as he sighed heavily. “Apparently, non-opioid meds weren’t going to help your pain level with this. I did ask about it…since you seemed to be concerned about it earlier.”
“I’m sorry.” He whispered after a long moment, glancing back at her before staring at the ceiling.
“For what?” She asked, genuinely confused.
He chuckled softly and shook his head. “Actually, I’m not even sure. However, I feel certain that I said something while we were waiting on the paramedics. So, I feel certain that I owe you an apology.”
“So…you don’t remember what you said?” Her fingers continued to lightly stroke his forehead.
He exhaled deeply, automatically lifting his left hand to remove his glasses. He cursed softly when he realised they weren’t there, causing Buffy to smile in amusement. Instead, he shook his head again.
“No. But, I can well imagine what came out of my mouth.” He slowly met her eyes and sighed. “I’m sorry if I said something that distressed you.”
“Firstly, if you can’t remember what you said…why would you think it would distress me?”
“Because I know what goes on in my head…and I know that my filters disappear. It was a constant source of amusement for Ethan and the others…back in the day.”
She arched an eyebrow at the mention of Ethan’s name, but chose not to proceed down that path. Instead, she tilted her head slightly and smiled.
“Secondly…do I look distressed?”
“No.” He answered softly, but quickly. “You look…amused. And I’m actually not sure which is worse.”
She licked her lips, only slightly surprised to watch his eyes dart towards the motion. “What just went through your head, Giles?”
He looked back at her eyes and shook his head as his jaw clenched briefly. “Don’t, Buffy. Don’t play this game with me right now. One of us is bound to get hurt.”
“I’m not playing a game, Giles. As if I would play games when you’ve just come out of surgery.” She stated, sitting back and running her fingers through her hair.
He instantly missed the absence of her touch along his brow.
“But, I am sorry.” She continued softly. “Because my timing sucks…and you’ve just come out of surgery.” She repeated with a nervous laugh. “Obviously this isn’t the best time to have this conversation, but I’m worried that we just won’t have this conversation. And…it’s a conversation that I think needs to be had.”
His glazed eyes softened somewhat as he stared at her. “I…have no fucking clue as to what you just said.”
Buffy chuckled. “I’m not surprised. When you’re off the morphine, we need to talk. So, when I bring it up later…I need you to not run away or change the subject or deflect. It’s a talk we need to have, Giles. I’m serious.”
“Lovely.” He replied quietly, struggling to keep his eyes open. “I can already feel the blind panic...”
She leaned over and pressed her lips against his brow. “Sleep, Giles. I’ll be here when you wake up. And we’ll talk about things that don’t relate to things that may or may not have anything to do with certain feelings that one or both of us are hiding from the other.”
“Jesus Christ…” He mumbled sleepily as he closed his eyes. “Promise you won’t be this confusing when I wake up?”
She laughed gently and squeezed his hand again. “I’ll try.”
“Mm.” He murmured, sleep finding him before he could utter another sound.
She watched him sleep for a few minutes and then untangled their fingers, gently pulling her hand from his. She pulled the phone out of her pocket and dialled a number, sitting back in the chair and sighing.
“Hey, how is he?” Willow asked in lieu of a simple ‘hello?’.
“He’s going to be okay, how’s everything going there?”
“Xander and Anya are arguing over which side of the bed to put his lamp. Fun times here.”
Buffy shook her head in amusement. “He sleeps on the right side of the bed, so the lamp goes on the right.”
There was a slight pause.
“Um…how do you know which side of the bed he sleeps on?”
Buffy could almost hear Willow’s eyebrow arch as she asked the question.
“Because I sleep on the left.” She replied, continuing quickly before Willow got the wrong idea. “We talked about it one time. I’m not even sure why or how it came up. One of those weird Watcher/Slayer talks that we have once in a while. I found it interesting that we sleep on opposite sides of the bed. I guess because he’s left-handed and I’m not.”
“Oh…” Willow said, carefully placing the books she was carrying on the table. “That makes sense…I guess.”
“More sense than what I actually need to talk to you about.” Buffy paused for a moment and looked at Giles as he shifted in his sleep. “Can you come by the hospital later? I think I need to get your advice on some things…”
“Sure. Like magic stuff?”
“No, not exactly.” When Giles’ brow furrowed and he shifted again, she reached over and placed her hand on his arm. She smiled as he quickly relaxed. “More like…relationship stuff.”
“Relationship stuff? Is Riley coming back?”
“Um, no…we’re not going there again. Ever.”
Willow hesitated. “Buffy…you’re not talking about Spike, are you? Because…that’s not going – ”
“Oh my God, Willow…no. I’m talking about Giles.” Buffy blurted, a little more loudly than intended.
Buffy narrowed her eyes. “Oh…okay then?”
“Well, yeah…what did you expect me to say? It’s about time? Finally, you two are seeing what’s right in front of you?” Willow chuckled softly when Buffy didn’t respond. “You’re actually surprised about this, aren’t you? Your feelings for him, his for you?”
“He…wait…his what for me? For me? Him? What?”
Willow’s chuckle turned into a full-blown laugh. “I’ll be by soon. We have lots to talk about, apparently.”
Buffy nodded, lowering the phone after Willow ended the call. “Uh, yeah…apparently.”
* * *
Willow smiled as she quietly entered Giles’ hospital room. He was sleeping peacefully, Buffy was sitting in the chair next to his bed – staring at him.
Buffy jumped slightly and turned towards her. “Hey.”
Willow glanced at Giles, wincing as her eyes came to rest on the cast on his right ankle. “He’s going to hate that.”
Buffy chuckled. “He already does. He’s cursed it no less than six times…”
Willow moved towards the bed, leaning over and pressing a soft kiss to Giles’ forehead. She sighed softly and then took a step back.
“It’s weird seeing him in a hospital bed.”
“Yeah, he hates that too. I’m not sure how long we’re going to be able to keep him here.”
Willow laughed gently and sat down in the other chair. “Well, his bedroom has successfully been moved to the guest room downstairs…and the bed from the guest room is now in the loft, for you. Unless, you know…you’ll be in the guest room with him…”
Buffy’s eyes snapped to Willow’s. “Um…no, no I don’t think so. We need to talk – me and Giles…because he said something, but…there were drugs involved and…”
Willow leaned forward slightly, her smile widening. “Let me tell you a secret, Buffy. What Giles says when he’s taken narcotics is the truth. He can’t…filter…himself.”
“He said something about that earlier. About his filters disappearing.” She tilted her head and regarded her friend carefully. “How do you know about this?”
“A few months ago I stopped by his place to check on him. He’d gotten thrown against a tree on patrol. He said he was okay, but he was also holding his ribs when he thought we weren’t looking…”
Buffy narrowed her eyes. “When was this? I don’t remember that.”
“You…weren’t with us. You had a Riley thing…”
“Oh…” Buffy replied, almost inaudibly.
“Anyway, I stopped by and he had taken something for the pain. So, it must’ve been pretty bad…especially since he doesn’t like taking them.”
Buffy nodded slowly, glancing at Giles with a sad expression on her face.
Willow continued with a soft sigh. “I mentioned something about it being a good idea to call you to let you know what had happened. He shot that idea down pretty fast. I asked him what was going on and he got really agitated…saying you couldn’t be there because he’d taken something. I asked what that was supposed to mean and he said ‘the last thing she needs to know is how badly I want her – and if she comes here now, I’ll want her to come later’.”
Willow’s face reddened as she recounted the discussion. Buffy’s mouth dropped open in shock.
“And then he swore me to secrecy.” Willow shrugged a shoulder and glanced at Giles as he stirred. “Which…I obviously broke just now…”
“I never…” Buffy shook her head to clear the racing thoughts. “I didn’t…why didn’t he say anything?”
“Maybe because you were too busy fucking around with Riley and the commandos.” Giles answered gruffly. “Or maybe because there simply wasn’t any fucking point to it.”
Buffy and Willow both stared at him. It wasn’t his words that startled them…well, not much. But the tone in which he said them was…concerning…to both of them.
“Giles…” Willow started, only to hesitate when Giles turned his eyes towards her.
“You had no right, Willow. You promised me you’d say nothing.” He shook his head slowly, his jaw clenching and then releasing. “Just…just go. Both of you.”
Buffy leaned over and touched his arm, biting her lip as he jerked away from her touch. “Hey…”
His eyes softened somewhat as he looked at Buffy, but she could still see the anger in them.
“Not right now, Buffy. Please…not right now.”
“Giles, I’m really sorry. I just thought – ”
Giles’ eyes darkened as he glared at Willow. “I need you to leave before I say something I’ll regret. I care a great deal about you, Willow…but, right now I’m furious with you. It doesn’t matter what you thought. We’ll discuss this later.”
Willow’s eyes filled with tears as she quickly jumped up and ran out of the room. Buffy watched her leave and then turned back to Giles.
“That was a bit harsh.”
“I can’t stop you from moving into the loft while I’m recovering. But, this…what she said to you…this is not up for discussion at any point.”
“Um…we will be discussing this.” Buffy countered, standing up and looking down at him. “I get you’re angry. Totally get it. You trusted her, she…told. But, we will be discussing this because it doesn’t affect just you. You’re not the only one feeling things, Giles.”
“We can’t, Buffy.” Giles whispered, tearing his eyes away from hers. “If the Council – “
“In case you’ve forgotten something, neither of us work for the Council – we haven’t for a couple of years now.” Buffy interrupted as she shook her head slowly, before leaning down and brushing her lips across his forehead. “I’m going to go talk to Willow now, but I will be back…and while we may not discuss this further right now, this discussion isn’t over yet.”
Giles closed his eyes as Buffy turned and walked out, gently closing the door behind her.
“Fuck…” He muttered in annoyance, simultaneously hoping and fearing that the next push of morphine into his veins would be coming soon.
* * *
Buffy wrapped Willow in a hug and rubbed her back. “It’ll be okay, Will.”
Willow shook her head, snuffling as she wiped the tears from her face. “No, he’s so mad at me. And, he has every right to be. I’ve never seen that look in his eyes before…not directed at me. The Mayor, yeah. Spike, yeah. But…not me.”
“I have.” Buffy sighed heavily. “And we got through it.”
Willow met Buffy’s eyes and furrowed her brow. “When?”
“When he found out that Angel was back.” She admitted softly. “I really thought things would never be the same between us. He…said a lot of things that he had every right to say.”
“I don’t remember that. I remember him defending you…”
Buffy nodded slowly. “Yeah, in front of you guys. But, when I went to thank him…it was a completely different story. And he was right to be angry and hurt by me. I disrespected him in the worst way by hiding Angel.”
Willow lowered her eyes, her tears threatening to reappear. Buffy gently stroked her back.
“Just give him some time to process, Will. And then, maybe just give him a hug and tell him that you’re sorry.” Buffy smiled as Willow looked back up. “It won’t work right now, but it will work. Trust me. He cares too much about you to let it fester – that’s why he asked you to leave.”
“But he asked you to leave too…”
“Yeah, because he was...upset, embarrassed, frustrated – I’m not really sure. But, I know that if I had overheard you telling him how much I wanted to be with him…sexually…I wouldn’t want to be around him until I processed. I wouldn’t be comfortable.”
“Is he still going to let you help him once he’s home? Because, he’s going to need help…”
Buffy smiled softly. “Yeah. He knows he can’t stop that. He thinks he can stop a discussion, but…I think he’s wrong on that one.”
Willow was quiet for a long moment and exhaled shakily. “I think I should probably just go home. Are you staying?”
Buffy nodded and ran her fingers through her hair. “I’ll go back in in a little while. I might go grab a coffee…give him a little time…”
Willow nodded as she stood. She gave Buffy a hug and then stepped back. “Let me know if there’s anything you…or he…need?”
“Sure thing, Will.”
She watched as Willow walked towards the elevators. She waved as Willow gave her a small sad smile as she stepped into the first elevator to open. And then she took a deep breath and glanced down the hall towards Giles’ room.
“First…coffee…” She mumbled to herself, turning the opposite direction.
* * *
A little over two hours later, Buffy carefully opened the door to Giles’ room, balancing a cup of coffee and a cup of tea in her left hand. She smiled at the sight of Giles watching the tv that was bolted to the wall. She cleared her throat softly and closed the door behind her.
Giles sighed heavily and flicked the power button on the remote. “I’m sorry for my earlier outburst. Is Willow alright?”
Buffy raised an eyebrow. “You sound more like yourself.”
He gestured towards the machine next to his bed. “Out of morphine…”
“Giles…” Buffy rushed over and placed both cups on the table. “Did you call the nurse?”
Giles shook his head slowly, glancing at her briefly. “I don’t want it, Buffy. The morphine. I’d rather deal with the pain.”
“I get that. I really, really get that.” She said, exhaling deeply. “But…if you’re in pain, all of your energy is going to go towards that…and not towards helping your body heal. It’s going to take longer.”
He nodded, but said nothing. She sat down in the chair and gestured towards the table.
“I brought you some tea. It’s not what you normally drink, but it’s all they had.”
He glanced at the cups and then met her eyes. “Thank you.”
His soft tone nearly brought tears to her eyes. She held them back and picked up her coffee.
“What were you watching?”
“To be honest, I have no idea. Nothing worth watching, I’m sure.” He sighed and took a sip of his tea. “Did they say anything to you about how long I’m supposed to be here?”
Buffy nodded and chuckled softly. “They suggested at least five nights.”
“And what did you say?”
“I said they’d be lucky to keep you two.”
He chuckled and lifted his cup of tea towards her in a silent toast.
They were both quiet for a few moments before Giles cleared his throat.
“I, uh…I should probably call Willow.”
“No…let her come to you, Giles.” Buffy gave him a slightly sad smile as he turned his head to look at her. “I remember what it’s like to be on the receiving end of a completely justified outburst from you. She needs to work through her own guilt and then come to you…with her own apology.”
Giles tilted his head slightly. “When did you grow up?”
“Some point within the last six months or so, I guess.” She replied with a grin.
Her grin faded as he grimaced in obvious pain. “Giles…”
Before she could finish or he could wave her concern off, the nurse walked through the door. “How are you feeling, Mr Giles?”
She looked up from the chart in her hand and narrowed her eyes. The patient was in obvious discomfort and his visitor was in obvious distress. She rushed over to the pump administering his pain medication and scowled at him.
“You should have called for me, Mr Giles.”
Giles shook his head. “No, I would much prefer to have no further morphine…”
“Tylenol isn’t going to cut it.” The nurse responded quickly, gesturing towards his ankle. “You’ve had surgery, involving tendon and ligament repairs on top of a broken bone. You’re going to exhaust yourself by allowing your energy to go towards pain relief instead of healing…meaning, you’ll be here for longer.”
“That’s what I tried to tell him.” Buffy said, not taking her eyes off of Giles.
Giles rolled his eyes.
“Roll your eyes all you want, you know it’s the truth.”
“Buffy…” He turned to look at her again and lowered his voice. “I don’t…want it…”
She leaned towards him and covered his hand with hers. “Giles, I don’t want you in pain. I can take a few unexpected…things. Okay?”
“Unexpected…that’s a word for it.” Giles muttered, then closed his eyes against a wave of pain. “It is quite uncomfortable at the moment.”
“Unexpected…not necessarily unwelcomed.” Buffy stated softly before looking at the nurse. “Can you refill that thing for him?”
“Mr Giles?” The nurse prompted, smiling as he opened his eyes and looked at her.
He nodded silently and then sighed heavily.
Buffy gently squeezed his hand and then sat back in her chair.
* * *
Buffy smiled as Giles rambled on and on about whatever popped into his head. At the moment, he was recounting an incident from when he was in the Academy – at least that’s what she gathered. He was having a difficult time not laughing long enough to actually talk.
“You had to be there, I suppose. But, it really was rather hilarious…” He finished, wiping the tears of laughter from his eyes. “God, I miss those days sometimes. Not often, but…sometimes.”
“I wonder if we would’ve been friends. You know, if we were from the same era and whatnot.” Buffy mused.
Giles grinned at her, unsure if she actually meant to voice that aloud or if it was meant to be a thought in her head. “I would’ve definitely wanted to be your…friend. You know, if we were from the same era and whatnot.”
Buffy blushed lightly, mainly at the hesitation before ‘friend’. She cleared her throat and looked at him. “So…this filterless thing that happens…”
“Mm…it’s gotten me into trouble more than once.” He chuckled, his fingers playing with the edge of the sheet covering him. “Sometimes, it would work out in my favour…sometimes, I would end up in a fight or in a discussion with an officer…”
She thought for a moment, twisting a ring on her finger. “Is it a general no filter thing? Or is it…you know…reserved for the more impure thoughts that bounce around in there?”
Amusement danced in his glazed green eyes. “I’m just as likely to say that my nurse reminds me of a Lindost demon as I am to say that I wonder what your lip gloss tastes like.”
Buffy’s eyes widened slightly. Giles’ eyes darkened for a brief moment as he glanced at her lips.
“It’s a general no filter thing.” He said softly. “I just say whatever I think.”
“What’s a Lindost demon?” She asked shakily.
“What does your lip gloss taste like?” He asked, instead of answering her question. “I’m imaging honey…it looks like honey…”
“Giles…” She whispered.
“I desperately would like to know.” He continued, his eyes darting between her lips and her eyes. “Can you tell me? Or…show me?”
“I’m not going to kiss you for the first time in a hospital room.” She blurted, immediately closing her eyes. “Damn it…”
He grinned and reached over, allowing his fingers to rest against her thigh. When she opened her eyes and looked at him, his grin grew. “Want to go for a walk then?”
She paused, staring at him, and then laughed. “Yeah, let’s go for a walk…you and your recently repaired broken ankle.”
“That’s what crutches are for.” He said, laughing with her before suddenly stopping and tilting his head quizzically at her. “You said ‘first time’…”
“Of course that registered…” She muttered.
He tapped his fingers against her thigh, lowering his voice when she met his eyes. “Buffy, do you…um…do you want to kiss me?”
She shrugged a shoulder and gave him a crooked smile. “Pretty sure I kind of alluded to that earlier…”
“Yeah, but you…you did actually say it, right?”
She licked her lips and cleared her throat. “Orange blossom.”
“What?” He asked softly.
“Orange blossom, not honey.”
“Oh…” He murmured, glancing at her lips again. “Interesting…”
“What’s interesting?” She asked, smiling nervously as his eyes moved back to hers.
“What does orange blossom taste like? Is it floral or…fruity, citrus..y?” He exhaled slowly, sliding his fingers over her thigh. “Please…I’d really like to know.”
“What’s happening here?” She whispered, covering his hand with hers.
“I think I’m trying to determine what flavour orange blossom is…” He glanced at their hands and shifted carefully in the bed. “I’m also doing my very best to not ask you to allow me to kiss you right now. Because…you don’t want our first kiss to be in a hospital room. And I want to respect that. But, goddamn it’s hard.”
She rubbed her thumb over the back of his hand, remaining silent as he quietly continued.
“I also want more than a kiss, and I don’t want you to think this is all about sex…but, I feel like maybe that’s exactly what you’re concerned about. Which makes me wonder what it was that I said to you in the cemetery.” He saw a flicker in her eyes and licked his suddenly dry lips. “What did I say to you, Buffy?”
Buffy hesitated for a moment and then took a deep breath. “We were talking about moving your bedroom downstairs because it’s going to be a while before you’re going to be able to deal with the stairs. You moved your leg…it must’ve hurt because you cursed…”
“I…cursed? What did I say?” He glanced briefly at the morphine pump as it whirred softly, signalling another push of relief.
“You said...’fuck me’.” She paused as his eyes snapped back to her and widened slightly. “I said that it might be a while for that too. You know, just…trying to make you laugh or something. Break the tension…take your mind off of things…”
“I’m guessing I didn’t laugh?” He asked in a curious tone.
“You, uh…you said…not if I was on top.”
“Oh…” He pulled his hand out from under hers and lifted it to the back of his neck. “While accurate, it’s not something I would have normally allowed to slip from my thoughts.”
“I know.” She waited a moment and then continued. “Is that something you think about?”
He narrowed his eyes at her. “I thought we weren’t discussing this here…or now.”
She nodded slowly, noticing that his pupils had dilated. “Yeah, that was the original plan…but, color me curious. Do you think about it?”
“Every fucking day of my life.” He murmured without hesitation, licking his lips. “But, it’s more…it’s not just sex I want, Buffy. I want…with you, I want…”
“You’re fighting it…the lack of filter thing.” She whispered. “Why?”
“Because it’s not just sex.” He answered matter of factly.
“You want a relationship?” She asked nervously.
“A chance at a relationship, at the very least.” He nodded, swallowing hard. “But, right now, I’d settle for figuring out what orange blossom tastes like.”
She regarded him carefully for a moment before standing up. He lowered his eyes and sighed, assuming she was leaving. When she walked around to the other side of his bed, he looked back up and furrowed his brow.
“What are you doing?”
“If you can move over just a bit, I’m going to lay down with you.”
“Um…what?” He asked, even as he automatically shifted over to give her room.
She carefully climbed onto the bed and stretched out next to him, resting her head on his outstretched left arm as she rolled onto her side to face him.
“Buffy?” He whispered, lifting his right hand to her face and gliding his thumb along her bottom lip.
She gasped softly as he moved his thumb to his mouth, gently licking the pad while he gazed into her eyes.
“Interesting. It’s not at all what I was expect – “
She cut him off with a sudden kiss, sliding her left hand to his cheek as he immediately responded. He groaned softly as her tongue slipped between his parted lips, his right hand moving to her hip and pulling her closer to him. She carefully shifted, sliding her leg over his as she deepened the kiss even more. As her knee gently brushed over his quickly emerging erection, he pulled from the kiss and stared into her eyes.
“As much as I want you, I’m not coming in a hospital bed.”
She looked confused for a moment and then glanced down, blushing lightly when she realized where her knee was resting. “Oh…oh, I’m sorry.”
He grinned as she slowly moved her leg, but remained on the bed with him. “I wasn’t expecting that either.”
Her blush deepened as his fingers traced her collarbone through her shirt. “Yeah, I uh…it’s your fault. You know, with the whole sexy licking your thumb thing….”
He chuckled softly, leaning into her and brushing his lips across hers. “I was just tasting your lip gloss…”
She rolled her eyes at him. “You knew exactly what you were doing.”
“Hey…you got into bed with me, love.” He whispered, sliding his right hand over her thigh and back to her hip.
“You…you should stop that.” She whispered shakily.
He licked his lips as he watched her eyes darken with desire. “I said that I'm not coming in a hospital bed…I’m not opposed to you coming in it…”
She was leaning into him again when the door opened and the nurse walked in. Buffy pulled back quickly, causing Giles to chuckle. The nurse grinned knowingly, but went about her business of checking the morphine pump before looking at Giles.
“I’ll need to check your blood pressure, but I can come back in a little while for that.” She gave Giles a wink and left the room as quickly as she had appeared.
Buffy closed her eyes and groaned in embarrassment.
Giles took a deep breath and cleared his throat. “So, there’s a subtle orange flavour there…not really floral at all.”
She snorted a soft laugh and draped her arm over his chest. “I do have a honey lip gloss…”
He laughed sleepily, curling his left arm around her back. “Can you use that one tomorrow?”
She nodded silently, content to rest with him as he relaxed…another rush of morphine pushing him towards sleep.
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