Rating: FRAO (light, but still FRAO to be safe)
Timeline: S5’ish. Riley’s gone, Joyce didn’t die, no Dawn, no Glory, no death of Buffy. Definitely AU.
Synopsis: A simple gesture leads to much more.
Author’s Note: Special thanks to wyvernwolf!
Giles smiled softly as he walked down the sidewalk, Buffy at his side. She’d had a rough time over the past couple of months. Joyce had been ill, but the doctors at Sunnydale Memorial were very competent and had found and rectified the problem fairly quickly. He had never seen Buffy so worried before. It was almost as though Buffy hadn’t realized before that her mother could, and eventually would, die.
Buffy was the hero of Sunnydale, but even heroes had heroes of their own. Joyce was Buffy’s and heroes are supposed to be invincible…at least, that’s how heroes are perceived. And so, when Buffy’s hero became ill, Giles dropped everything to be there for his Slayer…his hero. At the time, he couldn’t understand why Riley hadn’t been around. He had only found out later that Riley had been dealing with his own issues.
Giles’ smile faded somewhat at the thought of the young man. Riley had left three weeks ago…only a couple of days before Joyce’s surgery, as if Buffy hadn’t had enough to deal with at the time. Instead of talking to Buffy about his problems, or anyone else for that matter, Riley had decided that the best course of action would be to head over to the local Sunnydale suck house. And all hell had broken loose when Buffy found out.
Giles had to admit to himself that secretly he was relieved. Riley wasn’t good for Buffy. He had been too competitive, too controlling, just too…Riley. Even though Giles didn’t really care for the young man, he understood the appeal of the suck house. After all, in his Ripper days he had visited more than one himself.
Though at that point in his life, he had been young and stupid and somewhat suicidal. But, still…he understood the appeal and had tried to explain that much to Buffy, but she hadn’t wanted to hear anything about it. The next thing Giles knew, Riley had rejoined the military and was on his way to some jungle on a demon hunt.
And Giles couldn’t remember ever feeling this…nervous. Or scared.
Buffy looked up at him in concern when he didn’t answer her question. She touched his forearm to get his attention and stopped walking, causing him to stop as well and look down at her in some confusion.
“Are you okay?”
He gave her a crooked smile and nodded. “Yes, why?”
“You were a bit frowny and…you looked a little lost in thought. You’re not researching something in your head again, are you?”
He chuckled softly and plucked a light purple flower from the hedge lining the sidewalk. Without thinking, he lifted his hand and slipped the stem of the flower behind her right ear as he looked into her eyes.
“No research, Buffy. Just…thoughts. I assure you, everything is fine.”
Buffy looked at him curiously, even as the butterflies fluttered in her stomach. It wasn’t as if they’d been on a date. They’d merely gone for ice cream…and listened to one another’s set of current woes. She wanted to tell him that she remembered what happened that night a year ago, but figured that if he knew that piece of information, he’d panic.
They were in a good place right now…and that was something she didn’t want to risk. So, instead, she allowed her smile to return to her lips.
“As long as they’re good thoughts…and not end of the world thoughts.”
Giles chuckled, his eyes shining as he shook his head. “No end of the world thoughts. Would you like me to walk you home?”
She glanced down the street and sighed. “Actually…I thought maybe we could talk some more?”
He heard the slight twinge of sadness in her voice and gave her a nod. “Of course, Buffy.”
And with that settled, they crossed the street instead of turning right at the next intersection. As they made their way to his apartment in a comfortable silence, her memories of that night flooded her mind.
What she didn’t know was that the details of that night were running through Giles’ mind as well.
* * *
Giles’ hands moved over her back, caressing her skin as he returned her heated kiss. Only when her tongue plunged into his mouth and he tasted the beer that she had consumed earlier that night did he pull away from the kiss.
His heart raced as he looked into her wild eyes. He wanted her, that much was certain. That much had been certain for months now. But…there was Olivia. And there was the fact that Buffy wasn’t exactly herself at the moment. Her moves, her speech…it was more animalistic than it was Buffy.
He glanced at her red, swollen lips and ached to taste her again.
He took a deep breath and then took a step back, shaking his head as Buffy gave a light growl and stepped forward, reaching for his shirt.
“No, Buffy. We…we can’t…”
Giles closed his eyes briefly. “God, how I wish that were true.” He opened his eyes to find her staring at him in confusion. “But, it’s not. You don’t want me, Buffy. You’re hurting…you’re confused…and you’re not yourself. I can’t allow this to go any further. Hopefully, you’ll remember none of this once the cursed beer is out of your system.”
Giles sighed heavily and shook his head sadly. “Perhaps it would be better if you stayed
* * *
Buffy’s thoughts continued to race as she watched Giles’ hand as he unlocked the door to his apartment.
everything that had happened that night, though she pretended that she
didn’t. It was easier that way…and far
less embarrassing for her. For the past
year, nothing had been mentioned of that night.
Well, except for the occasional ‘beer good’ and ‘beer foamy’ comments
Giles had never mentioned the kiss. In fact, he never acted any differently than he had prior to the kiss. She wondered if he even thought about it…or did he just chalk it up to the non-existent inhibitions of CaveBuffy?
For the past year, the memories had eaten at her. The feel of his hands on her skin, the taste of his mouth on hers. She couldn't forget…and she had tried. She had even gotten herself a boyfriend. And Giles had had a girlfriend at the time.
She bit her lip as her thoughts made a quick left turn…as they normally did when she was overly nervous. She didn’t want to think about Giles’ ex…was she a girlfriend or just someone Giles cared about? It didn’t matter now anyway.
Olivia had come and gone…for good that last time. Giles had been his usual stoic self when he told Buffy that his relationship with Olivia was over, but she knew that he was hurt.
And it just made her feel worse to know that she felt happy that Olivia was gone and Giles was free…even if Buffy herself still had a boyfriend.
But, now…Riley was gone as well.
And the memories of what had happened between her and Giles a year ago were still eating at her.
She lightly touched the flower that he had put behind her ear and gave him a shy smile as he held the door open for her.
“Thanks.” She whispered as she brushed past him to enter the apartment.
* * *
He’d offered her tea when they first entered the apartment. She’d declined…and instead, asked for a glass of wine. He’d raised an eyebrow at her request, but then decided that a glass of wine wouldn’t hurt either of them. So, he opened a bottle and retrieved two wine glasses from the cabinet.
Before he realized it, one glass of wine each had turned into two empty bottles…and less than a quarter remaining in a third.
The result was a giggly Slayer and a Watcher who, despite his best efforts, could not keep his eyes from wandering over his Slayer’s body as she told him story after story about whatever was in her head. To be very honest, he wasn’t paying attention to her stories…
Not until he heard her say three words.
“I remember, Giles.”
He looked into her eyes and grinned drunkenly. “And what do you remember, Buffy?”
“The taste of your lips…the feel of your tongue against mine.” She whispered hurriedly.
The disappearance of his grin was nearly instantaneous. As his eyes widened and panic began to fill them, Buffy quickly shook her head and grabbed at his arm as he tried to stand. She succeeded in spilling two glasses of wine on the rug, but also succeeded in keeping him from leaving.
She had the brief thought of being glad that the last bottle he’d opened had been white and not red.
Before he had a chance to question her, she moved…cupping the left side of his face with her hand and covering his mouth with hers. He hesitated only a moment before giving in to what he’d wanted for so very long.
She moaned into his mouth as he began to return the kiss, sliding his arms around her and holding her tightly as his tongue slipped between her lips. When he felt her fingers in his hair, he deepened the kiss and allowed his right hand to edge under the hem of her shirt to touch her skin.
* * *
He broke the kiss as she laid back. He glanced around the room and narrowed his eyes in confusion. He had no idea how they’d gotten into his bedroom. He could only assume that he’d carried her up the stairs. How he’d managed that, considering his level of intoxication, he didn’t know. But, he was thankful that he’d been able to do so without killing one or both of them.
He snapped his eyes back to hers and smiled as her fingers traced his lips. “Hm?”
“Please stop thinking…and just kiss me again.”
Kicking off his shoes, he moved onto the bed and lowered his body next to hers. “Are you sure about this, Buffy?”
“Never been more sure about anything.” She whispered as she moved her hand to the back of his neck and drew him back to her mouth.
He kissed her slowly, relishing the sensation of the passion building between them. He shifted slightly when he felt her hands move down his back, pulling his shirt out of its tucked position. When her hands slid under his shirt, touching his bare skin, he groaned and moved his mouth to her neck as his left hand slipped under the shirt she was wearing.
There was something about the way she spoke his name. He heard the passion and desire in her tone…but there was also the slight slur that caused him to lift his head and look into her eyes.
He cleared his throat and removed his hand from underneath her shirt. “Buffy…”
Her eyes began to glisten as he pulled her shirt back down to cover her abdomen. “No, don’t stop, Giles.”
He moved to her side and tenderly combed his fingers through her hair. “It shouldn’t be like this, Buffy. We’ve both had…a fair amount of alcohol…and…”
“I want you.” She whispered urgently. “I have for so long.”
His thumb brushed over her cheek as he offered her a gentle smile. “And I want you. But, not like this. Not a drunken night of passion only for there to be regrets in the morning. Please…let’s talk about this when we’re sober. I…I don’t want to damage what we…what we do have.”
She thought about his words, started to argue her point, but a moment of clarity enabled her to see his point. He didn’t want there to be any question. He wanted her…as much as she wanted him. But, he was right…as much as she hated to admit it, he was right.
Giving him a nod and a whispered ‘see you tomorrow’, she started to move off of the bed. She stopped when his hand wrapped around her wrist, causing her to turn her head to look at him.
“Please don’t go.” He whispered, green eyes pleading with her. “Stay with me.”
He sighed as she trailed off and then gave her a gentle nod. “I…I think it would be a mistake…if we should let this continue right now.”
His thumb rubbed the back of her wrist as he continued. “I want this, Buffy. I want our relationship to grow…together.”
“You’re confusing me a little here, Giles.”
“We should talk. There are things I need…want…to say to you. We’re…well, we’re drunk to put it bluntly. And…I need to make sure of what you’re feeling. I’d…I’d never forgive myself if I make love to you and then find out in the morning that…that it wasn’t what you really wanted.”
He swallowed and laid back on the pillows, pulling her with him until she was resting against him, his arm curled around her.
“Just…stay tonight. Please.” He mumbled softly as he closed his eyes, quickly falling into an alcohol-induced slumber.
Knowing she was too drunk to leave, she closed her eyes. She wouldn’t be much of a match for anything tonight if she were attacked as she stumbled home. Plus, she had to admit…lying in Giles’ bed with his arm around her…there were worse things she could be doing.
* * *
Buffy opened her eyes, and then closed them against the bright morning light almost immediately. Her head ached and she felt slightly nauseous. She also felt a warm body next to her…a warm body that had its warm arm wrapped around her. She opened her eyes again, this time more slowly, and inhaled sharply as her vision focused on the owner of the arm.
She was in Giles’ bed…with Giles…snuggled against him, his arm around her. And then the memories of the night’s events rushed through her head.
“Oh, God.” She mumbled softly.
His arm fell from around her to rest on the mattress as he exhaled slowly and opened his eyes. “Yes, well…I suppose I was right in stopping myself last night.”
Pushing herself up, she narrowed her eyes at him. “You’re awake.”
“Mm. Have been for a while.”
He coughed lightly, not meeting her eyes as he sat up and ran his hand through his hair. “I, uh…yes. Perhaps I shouldn’t have.”
She licked her dry lips. “I kissed you.”
He glanced at her and then quickly lowered his eyes. “Yes.”
“And…you kissed me back.”
He nodded slowly, but said nothing.
“And then you brought me to your bed.” She whispered.
He cleared his throat and rubbed the side of his neck. “Apparently, yes. I, uh…I don’t actually remember that part.”
“Oh.” She lowered her eyes to her folded hands and bit her lip. “So…you don’t remember what you said…”
He took a deep breath and shook his head. “I remember everything that happened before…downstairs. I remember everything that happened after I placed you on my bed. I…I just don’t remember bringing you up here.”
She raised her eyes quickly to find him looking at her. “Giles?”
“Please tell me what you’re thinking at this very moment.” He whispered, his eyes glistening.
She opened her mouth, fully intending to apologize for making a fool of herself. However, the words that spilled from her lips betrayed that intention.
“I love you.”
His eyes widened, obviously not expecting those words to be uttered. “I…I’m sorry?”
She closed her eyes, silently cursing herself. “That wasn’t what I meant to say.”
Her eyes opened when she felt the bed shift as he got up. She cursed herself again as he walked over to the window and stared outside.
“It’s alright, Buffy.”
She shook her head quickly, not caring about her headache. The sadness in his voice was more important than any hangover pain she had.
“No, no…that’s not how I meant it. I do love you, Giles. I just…I didn’t mean to tell you like that.”
He turned slowly, tilting his head slightly as he looked at her. “It might be best if I make some coffee…and then we sit down and talk?”
She nodded slowly as he made his way to the stairs. As he reached for the banister, her soft voice stopped him. He looked at her, silently questioning her.
“I…well…” She swallowed nervously. “You see, there was this thing…you know, where I said something…and then – ”
He offered her a small smile as she trailed off, turning towards her and making his way back to the bed. His fingers trembled lightly as they gently touched her cheek.
“I love you too, Buffy.”
A single tear rolled down her cheek. “Then…do you think, maybe…you could kiss me?”
His smile grew as his hand moved to cradle the side of her face. “I’m fairly certain that can be arranged.”
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Giles groaned as he opened his eyes. “Jesus…”
Buffy chuckled as she ran her hand over his slightly sticky chest. “You okay?”
He slowly turned his head towards her and furrowed his brow. “Never better. Nothing like waking up on the living room floor, naked and sticky…with possibly one of the worst headaches I’ve ever had.”
She gave him a sympathetic smile and propped herself up on her elbow as she looked at him, lightly running her fingertip over the lump on his head. “Any nausea?”
“Thankfully, no. Just a few dozen jackhammers in my head.” He stated as he closed his eyes again.
“So…what demon do we blame this one on? Just a normal vampire throwing you against a crypt or something more exotic?”
He snorted a laugh. “Yes, let’s tell everyone that the Buffy demon attacked me last night and in the throes of passion I hit my head. That wouldn’t be at all embarrassing, would it?”
“Depends on what we tell them you hit your head on…” She replied playfully.
“Mm-hm.” He mumbled as his hand moved to her hip and gently squeezed.
She smiled, lowering her mouth to his chest as her hand moved down over his abdomen. She licked the sticky residue of the glass of wine she had poured over his chest last night as her fingers found his semi-erect cock. Hearing him groan softly, she lifted her head to find his dark eyes staring at her.
“I…might be able to help you with your headache…if you want.”
He licked his lips as he pulled her on top of him, positioning her already wet core over his hardening cock. “God, I love you, Buffy.”
She rocked her hips against him, loving the sensation of the shaft of his erection against her clitoris. “I love you too.”
He was sure that his headache was still there, but as he rolled her onto her back and gently sank his cock into her, he realized that he couldn’t feel it. All he felt was her warmth surrounding him.
When he saw her glance at the fireplace, he smiled and uttered a soft word as he lowered his mouth to the side of her neck.
Buffy gasped, the fire lighting as his teeth scraped along the tender flesh of her neck. Her nails scratched over his back as he continued to push her towards her orgasm. He smiled inwardly when he felt her inner muscles quiver around him, heard her moan his name. He felt her hands stop their restless movement over his back, her nails digging into his shoulder blades as her moan became a scream of ecstasy.
* * *
“Just a decaf mocha-mint, please.”
“No. He’s…resting.” Buffy replied softly.
Anya snorted a laugh, earning her a glare from Buffy. “Sorry, it’s just…well, I was over there a little while ago to tell him about an invoice that had come in for an order of books that he wanted. And he looked like hell. Like, the kind of hell that Xander looked like when we had too many lemon drops at that frat party a few years ago.”
Buffy blushed lightly. “Yeah, well…Watchers don’t have rapid healing powers.”
Anya took a sip of
her water through a straw, a thoughtful expression on her face. “Guess he’ll be needing to wear a shirt with
a collar for a while too then.” She
looked up to find
“You two have been married for over a year now. You’d think you’d be over the whole devouring each other stage by now.”
“I’m not sure I’ll ever be out of that stage.” A soft, deep voice responded as the chair next to Buffy’s was pulled away from the table. “But, I’ll take your advice on the collared shirt.”
Buffy smiled widely as she rested her head against Giles’ shoulder. “I thought you were resting.”
“Well…” He began as he motioned for the waitress, lowering his arm to the back of her chair as the waitress made her way to the table. “I remembered something that Ethan used to use…and funnily enough, it worked like a charm.”
“So, you not only had sex…you had drunken sex?” Anya asked just as the waitress appeared, order pad in hand.
Giles cleared his throat and placed his coffee order quickly. The waitress gave him a warm smile, chuckling as she walked off.
“And…how are you,
Giles rolled his eyes and gestured towards the counter. “I think I’ll just go over there and wait for our coffees. Extra sprinkles on yours, yes?”
Buffy smiled and gave him a soft kiss. “Yeah.”
As Buffy watched
Giles walk across the coffee shop, Anya leaned forward as much as her swollen
abdomen would allow.
It was Buffy’s turn to roll her eyes. “Oh, come on…”
dramatically. “Come on, Buffy. My sex life is pretty much non-existent at
the moment and
“No details.” Buffy replied, and then smiled. “Except to say…wine, fire in the fireplace, nice billowy cushions on the floor…”
“Did you do the pouring of wine on each other and licking it off?”
Buffy merely returned
“Okay, enough with the sex talk. You know how queasy Xander gets…”
Buffy met Giles’ eyes across the room and offered him a smile. He returned the smile and then glanced at the barista as she placed three cups of coffee on a small tray.
The young lady smiled and looked over at the table to see two new arrivals sitting down at the table. As she automatically started making the coffee, Giles chuckled.
She laughed and shrugged a shoulder. “After four years of working here, seeing the same people day in, day out…you learn. But, you’re not as predictable as the rest of them.”
Giles grinned and gestured towards the table with a tilt of his head. “I’d better get this to Buffy before she goes into mocha-mint withdrawals. I’ll send Xander over for his and Tara’s.”
“No problem. I’ll bring it over.”
“Thank you, Lea.”
Lea shook her head in amusement as Giles made his way back to the table. There was something different about this group of people, but she couldn’t put her finger on it. One of these days, she would. But, until then…she was quite happy to make their coffee for them.
Giles handed out the coffee as he bid hello to Xander and Tara. As he sat back down next to Buffy, Anya raised an eyebrow. Giles sighed in exasperation.
“So…what was the celebration for?”
“Celebration?” Xander asked as he looked around the table. “There was a party and we weren’t invited? What gives?”
Anya smiled patiently and patted Xander’s thigh. “Not the kind of celebration you would want to be invited to, honey.”
“Huh? Oh…uh…” He looked up as Lea placed a cup of coffee in front of him. “Thank you.”
Giles took a sip of his coffee and looked at Buffy. “Might as well tell them.”
Buffy smiled brightly. “Three years ago yesterday, Giles gave me a flower.”
Everyone stared at Buffy. Even Xander was surprised when she didn’t continue.
“A flower? That’s it? He gives you a flower and you commemorate that with drunken sex every year?”
Xander shook his head. “So didn’t need the drunken sex image, but…kinda understand where Anya’s coming from here.”
“I think it’s
sweet.” Tara stated with a soft smile as
she glanced at
“So do we…” Anya declared, gesturing to Xander.
Xander chuckled and lifted his cup of coffee. “Yeah, I know that I’ve never been able to look at a juice box the same since our first…um…”
Anya smacked his
shoulder, causing him to wince and the others to laugh. Tara placed her hand over
“I really do think it’s sweet. It may sound like just a flower to us…but, it signifies something in your relationship.”
“Like drunken sex.” Anya offered with a broad smile.
Giles shrugged a shoulder, hiding his grin behind the cup of coffee as he felt Buffy’s hand on his thigh. It didn’t matter what else had happened on that night three years ago…or what had happened the following morning.
It all started with the light purple flower that he plucked from the hedge lining the sidewalk as they walked down the street after going out for ice cream and a talk. The moment he slid the flower behind her ear was the moment he silently gave her his heart. It was also the moment that she knew that he was the one she wanted to spend the rest of her life with.
She had kept the flower…a Wild Heliotrope, Giles had called it. She didn’t care what it was called…she thought it was beautiful, more for the memories than the flower itself. And so she had kept it and pressed it into the first page of the first photo album that was theirs.
Buffy had led the others to believe that they’d been drunk the night before. But, that wasn’t the case. Yes, there had been wine…but, Giles had only had a few glasses…and all she had was the small amount that she had licked from his skin after pouring a glass onto his chest.
The story of the flower was true. It had been three years ago yesterday. That was also the reason she chose that date to tell her husband something. That was the real reason for the celebration they had last night.
And in five weeks or so, they’d let the others know that their family was growing.