Timeline: S5, no Riley, no Glory, no Joyce. There is Dawn, however.
Synopsis: Giles is a noble man in the Scoobies’ eyes. But how noble is he, really?
Author’s Note: Thank you wyvernwolf!
Buffy leaned back in her chair, looking over the top of her book and watching Giles unpack a box of figurines. When he bent over to pick up the invoice that had fallen to the floor, her gaze followed his movement. Willow looked up from her book and furrowed her brow...and then she followed Buffy’s gaze.
Willow arched an eyebrow at the realization that Buffy was indeed watching Giles. Closely too, by the looks of it.
“Hm?” She murmured, sighing softly as Giles stood back up and placed the invoice on the countertop.
“What’s going on?”
“With?” Buffy responded, reluctantly tearing her gaze from Giles and looking at her best friend.
Willow glanced pointedly at Giles and then met Buffy’s eyes. “With him.”
“Nothing.” Buffy stated softly, lowering her eyes. “Nothing at all. Just...a lot of training and lecturing and...”
“Watching.” Willow finished with a gentle smile.
Buffy took a deep breath and exhaled slowly as she nodded. “Yeah...a lot of watching.”
“You want to talk about it?”
Buffy looked up and stared at Willow. “You don’t seem surprised. At all. I’m surprised...why aren’t you?”
Willow closed her book and shrugged a shoulder. “I’ve been watching the two of you for like...five years now. The changes in your relationship have been subtle...but, they’re there. And you’ve been watching him a lot more since Riley left.”
“He’s my Watcher.” Buffy stated, a soft sadness in her tone.
“He’s more than your Watcher, Buffy. And once you realize that...the better off you’ll both be.”
Willow gave her a wink and then pushed her chair back and stood. “Talk to him, Buffy. That’s all I’m saying.”
Buffy scoffed and crossed her arms over her chest. “Yeah, I can see that working out in a non-apocalypt-y way. ‘Hey, Giles...we should have sex. Non-ritualistic, non-demon raising sex...’.”
Willow cleared her throat and sat back down. “I was thinking more along the lines of you asking him out to dinner, but...um...is that all you want from him?”
Buffy shook her head slowly, uncrossing her arms and running her fingers through her hair. “No. I want everything with him.”
“Everything?” Willow’s eyes widened slightly.
Buffy swallowed nervously and looked over at Giles, who was now arguing with Anya over where to put the figurines. “He makes me want things that I thought I’d never have. How am I supposed to tell him that?”
Willow paused for a moment, understanding clearing in her mind. “Buffy, he’s not like other guys. You can be honest with him...and not just jump straight into sex. In fact...he’d more than likely reject sex for a dinner with you.”
“Great. You're saying he wouldn’t even want to have sex with me?”
“What? No...” Willow shook her head in confusion. “That’s not what I’m saying. I’m just saying that...I don’t think he’s the kind of guy who’s going to rush to bed with someone he cares about.”
“Have you seen him talking to furniture lately?”
Willow’s brow furrowed once more. “Huh?”
“When he cares about someone...he practices on furniture. At least he did with Jenny, remember?” Buffy sighed heavily. “I haven’t noticed him talking to any chairs in the past few months.”
“Oh.” Willow whispered as she glanced at Giles, who was now looking at them curiously. “No, I haven’t...but I have noticed him watching you...like you were watching him earlier.”
Seeing him make his way around the counter, Willow spoke quickly in a hushed tone. “He’s coming over here now, so I’m going over there...talk to him, Buffy.”
Buffy heaved another deep sigh and leaned forward, resting her elbows on the table. She could smell his aftershave as he approached, but didn’t look up...even when she heard him pull out the chair next to her and sit down.
Giles cast a worried glance to Willow, which was met with a shy smile as she stood up...gently squeezing Buffy’s shoulder before walking away. Giles watched her walk over to Anya and then turned his still-worried gaze back to Buffy.
“Yeah?” She mumbled, her head resting in her hands.
“Is something bothering you?” When she didn’t answer him, he reached out and placed his hand on her shoulder in a comforting manner. “Would you like to talk about it?”
Buffy thought about what Willow had said...and she knew deep down that she was right. She had to talk to him...she had to...
She raised her head and looked at him. As soon as she met his eyes, she shifted her gaze. And then her nerves completely consumed her once more. Shaking her head, she stood and turned to walk away.
His hand quickly wrapped around her wrist, stopping her motion and causing her to turn back to him. He looked at her through concerned eyes and sighed heavily.
“I...I know you normally would talk to someone other than me, but I’m here...for you...should you need me.” His thumb gently stroked the back of her hand. “You can tell me anything, Buffy...”
A sudden, but brief, wave of courage swept through her and she leaned down, gently brushing her lips across his before whispering a soft ‘thank you’. Startled by the kiss, Giles stared at her as she pulled her hand from his grasp and quickly made her way to, and out, the door.
He didn’t notice Anya and Willow staring at him. In fact, he didn’t notice anything except for the ringing of the bell as the door closed behind Buffy’s rushed exit. Well, that and the pounding of his heart and the tingling sensation on his lips.
Stunned, he stood up and cleared his throat. “Willow? Are you okay to stay and help Anya with the shop today?”
Willow nodded quickly as Giles pulled his car keys from his pocket. “Yeah, no problem, Giles. Where are you going?”
He swallowed thickly and chanced a quick look at the two young women staring at him. “I, uh...I’m not sure.”
Anya grinned at him. “Well, if I were you, I’d – ”
“He’s not you, Anya.” Willow interrupted quickly.
Anya rolled her eyes. “Obviously.”
Giles opened his mouth and then closed it again, not knowing what to say anyway. Anya sighed and made her way over to him, looking up at him as she smiled.
“What I was going to say was...you should probably talk to her now.”
Giles tilted his head and looked into her eyes. “You know.”
“Hard to miss with the way you look at her.”
Giles shook his head and glanced at the door. “I wouldn’t even know where to begin looking for her.”
Willow smiled brightly. “She’d go home.”
Giles gave a half-chuckle, slightly amused at himself for not even considering to look for her at her home. When he had continued to stand there for what Anya and Willow had apparently deemed ‘too long’, Anya gave him a gentle push towards the door.
“Just go already.”
Giles started to argue, but then quickly realized that he’d lose the argument. And so, with a heavy sigh, he headed out the front door of the shop. Anya and Willow shared a bright, knowing smile and then Anya narrowed her eyes.
“Just because you’re helping me doesn’t mean you get to ‘borrow’ things for spells to cast with your girlfriend.”
Willow rolled her eyes and started unpacking a second box that Giles had left on the counter.
* * *
Giles stood on the front porch, staring at the door as he attempted to gather his thoughts. Taking a deep breath and clearing his throat, he lifted his hand to knock on the door. He was startled by the door suddenly swinging open and jerked his hand back.
Dawn looked up at him in amusement. “Hi, Giles.”
“Hi, um…hello, Dawn.” He looked past her nervously and cleared his throat again. “Is, uh…is Buffy here?”
Dawn nodded and jerked her thumb towards the stairs. “Yeah, she’s in her room. Be warned though, she didn’t seem like she was in the best of moods when she came home. I’m heading over to Janice’s for a while. Unless…is something bad getting ready to happen?”
Giles met her eyes and furrowed his brow. “Bad?”
“Yeah…like the end of the world or brain-eating zombies from another planet or…”
“Zombies do not eat brains, Dawn. You watch far too much television.” Giles chuckled softly and shook his head. “However, according to your definition of the word ‘bad’…no, there is nothing bad getting ready to happen.”
“Oh…okay, well I’ll see you later then. Have fun with miss grumpy-pants.”
Giles stepped to the side as Dawn pushed past him and then watched her walk down the driveway towards the sidewalk. When she was out of sight, he took a deep breath to steel his nerves and stepped into the house.
Closing the door, he stood there and stared at the stairs for a few moments. He wasn’t sure where this conversation was going to lead, but…he knew that it had to happen.
* * *
Buffy was staring at her ceiling when a soft knock sounded on her bedroom door. She bit back her groan of annoyance.
“I thought you were going to Janice’s house.”
Buffy sat up and stared at the door. She nervously ran her hand through her hair and took a shaky breath.
“Oh. Oh, um…it’s open.”
After a couple of seconds, he opened the door and walked into the room. He wasn’t sure what he was expecting, but her sitting on her bed with a nervous smile playing on her lips wasn’t it. He swallowed and grabbed the chair at her desk and pulled it over to the side of the bed.
As he sat down in front of her, he blew out a deep breath and looked into her eyes. “Before I make a complete fool of myself, I need to know what the meaning was behind what happened at the Magic Box.”
Buffy tilted her head, definitely not expecting him to just launch into what happened. She was expecting stammers and blushes and the polishing of glasses.
“When you…um…well, there was…” He lowered his eyes briefly, missing the gentle smile she gave him as he stammered. “Was it…to say ‘thank you’? Or…was there another meaning behind it?”
She was quiet, waiting for him to meet her eyes once more. He was nervous, he was stammering, and she had noticed a slight redness of his skin just above his collar. She needed to see his eyes.
When she had hesitated in her answer for too long, he looked up with the intention of apologizing for disturbing her. What he found was Buffy staring at him.
She leaned forward quickly, placing her hand on the side of his neck and pressing her lips against his…just for a moment. Feeling his gasp, she kissed him again. And then again.
On the fourth kiss, he began to respond…moving his left hand to her cheek as he tilted his head in an effort to slightly deepen the kiss. She followed his lead, opening her mouth to him as the kiss intensified.
He moved from the chair, not breaking the kiss as he sat beside of her. And then he felt it, the gentle flick of her tongue against his. And suddenly, there was a new urgency introduced…pushing the kiss into a more frenzied state.
Tongues battled for control, hands roamed over backs…and when she felt him begin to push her down to the mattress, she didn’t stop him. He leaned over her, sliding his left hand down her side to her hip as her fingers moved into his hair.
As his mouth moved to her neck, she groaned and scratched her nails against his scalp…smiling as he moaned against her skin.
“Willow was wrong…” She whispered, moving her right hand to the knot of his tie and gently tugging it loose.
“Mm?” He murmured, his fingers edging under the hem of her t-shirt.
Buffy gasped as his fingertips touched her bare skin. “Said you’d turn down sex…for dinner…”
His fingers stopped instantly and he slowly lifted his head. When their eyes met, he swallowed thickly.
He pushed himself up and looked around the room. “This wasn’t supposed to happen…not like this.”
She sat back up and toyed with his tie with her fingers. “What was supposed to happen?”
He licked his lips and gave a soft chuckle. “We were supposed to talk…perhaps ending the conversation with me asking you to dinner…”
“I’d say yes to dinner.” Buffy whispered, finally pulling the tie free as she knelt beside of him. “I’d say yes to a lot more than dinner…”
He looked at her sharply, grabbing her wrist as she started to unbutton his shirt. “This…I didn’t come here for sex, Buffy.”
A small smile tugged at the corners of her mouth as she gave him a soft nod. “Maybe Willow was right…”
Giles sighed and tenderly tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. “I want more than what it would be if we let this happen now.”
Her eyes darted to his lips. “But…you do want this?”
“Yes.” He whispered, gliding his fingertips down the side of her neck. “Yes, I do want this, Buffy.”
“What if I want the same thing? I mean…the more part. Not just the this part. What if we both want the same thing?”
His eyes sparkled as he took her hand in his, rubbing his thumb in slow circles against the back of her wrist. “Have dinner with me. Let’s start there.”
“Tonight?” She glanced at the clock as he nodded. “What time? It’s…it’s 4:30 now.”
He dropped his gaze to her kiss-swollen lips and fought the urge to pull her back into his arms. “6:30?”
“Okay…” She licked her lips and leaned into him. “Can I have another kiss?”
He nodded slowly and lowered his lips to hers. He kissed her slowly, ending the kiss before either of them took the opportunity to deepen it. With a warm smile, he stood up and quickly retied his tie.
She watched his hands gracefully slide the knot into place and smiled. “Giles?”
She met his eyes and her smile grew. “I wouldn’t say no to you wearing jeans tonight.”
He matched her smile and slipped his right hand into his pants pocket. “I’ll be back at six.”
“I’ll be ready.”
He chuckled and shook his head in amusement as he stepped into the hall. “I’ll believe that when I see it.”
She laughed and gave a shooing motion with her hand. “The longer you’re here now, the longer it’s gonna take me to get ready. Go…”
Giles gave her a bright grin and a wink…and then he made his way down the stairs.
When Buffy heard the front door close, she jumped off the bed and ran to her closet.
* * *
Giles glanced at the clock when a knock sounded on his front door. It was quarter to six. Whoever was there would just have to leave. With a determined gait, he walked to the door and pulled it open…ready to make it clear that this was not the time for visitors.
And then he smiled and leaned against the doorframe.
“I thought I was picking you up.”
“Thought I’d surprise you.” Buffy replied, her eyes taking in his attire. “You look nice.”
“As do you.” He moved to the side and gestured towards the living room. “Would you like to come in?”
“I’d like to kiss you.” She answered without thought…and then blushed heavily.
Giles chuckled and gently pulled her over the threshold. “Then perhaps you should come in.”
“We’ll be late…” She glanced over towards the kitchen and smiled when she noticed that the table was set. She sniffed the air and then raised an eyebrow at him. “Or…not?”
“Short notice, no tables available at any of the restaurants where I wanted to take you. I, uh…I hope this is alright with you.”
“It’s fine with me.” She smiled and placed her hand on his chest, rubbing her fingers over the smooth material of his shirt. “This is nice…is it new?”
“Not particularly.” He answered vaguely, slipping her bag from her shoulder and dropping it onto the desk as he closed the door. “I’ve just not had the occasion to wear it before.”
“This is such an occasion?”
He smiled at her wording and curled a strand of her hair around his finger as he looked into her eyes. “I thought you’d like it.”
“I do.” She whispered, slipping her hand around to the back of his neck and gently drawing him down to her.
He closed his eyes as their lips met in the sweetest of kisses. When he pulled back, she realized what was different about him.
“You’re not wearing your glasses…”
“I don’t plan on reading anything tonight.” He smiled and then stepped away, heading towards the breakfast bar.
She watched him uncork a bottle of wine. She never imagined that the task could actually be somewhat arousing…however, she realized differently as she watched him place the cork onto the counter. “I’ve always thought you have beautiful eyes…I just rarely get to see them without the glasses.”
He looked up from pouring two glasses and smiled brightly. “Thank you. Perhaps I should consider contact lenses, then.”
Buffy laughed and shook her head. “No. If you did that, then you’d have nothing to polish when you’re doing your avoidance thing.”
“Very true.” He replied as he handed her a glass. “You look rather beautiful tonight, Buffy.”
Buffy smiled and took a sip of the red wine…hoping that there would be no interruptions of the hellmouthy kind tonight.
* * *
“I thought pumpkin was for Jack O’Lanterns and pie.” Buffy stated softly, poking the orange cube with her fork.
Giles chuckled and reached over, stabbing the vegetable with his own fork and lifting it to her lips. “You thought incorrectly. Try it.”
She opened her mouth obediently. He tried to ignore the feeling in the pit of his stomach as he watched her lips close around his fork and then slide down the tines. She chewed experimentally, smiling after she swallowed the morsel.
“Huh…it’s pretty good.”
He nodded slowly, lowering the fork to his plate. “Mm-hm.”
“It’s…all…pretty good.” She whispered as she met his eyes briefly before turning her attention back to her meal. “In fact…it’s all very good.”
“Thank you.” He replied, watching her as she cut a piece of the chicken breast.
She looked up at his distracted tone to find him staring at her hands. “Giles? What’s wrong?”
“Hm? Oh…oh, nothing.” He reddened slightly and turned his gaze to the food on his own plate. “I was just…thinking.”
“What about?” She questioned, picking up a broccoli floret with her fingers.
He briefly considered avoiding the question, even reaching up to remove his glasses before remembering that he wasn’t wearing them. Buffy tilted her head to the left and regarded him carefully.
“Giles? Are you…having second thoughts about this?”
“No.” His eyes met hers quickly. “Quite the opposite, really.”
“Tell me what you were thinking?”
“I was thinking that your hands are magnificent…and I’d love to feel them on…me.” He cleared his throat as her eyes widened. “I meant no disrespect in that, please understand.”
She stared at him for a moment and then reached across the table. “Giles?”
He swallowed hard as her hand covered his. “I’m rather sure I’m not as noble as Willow seems to believe.”
Her sudden anxiety eased and a smile returned to her lips. “I’m not convinced that’s a bad thing.”
“Neither am I.” He admitted softly, turning his hand under hers and wrapping his fingers around her wrist. “Perhaps a bit rushed, but...sitting here and watching you, all I can think about is...”
“Is what?” She asked as he trailed off, her voice trembling slightly.
“How you’d look underneath me...above me...” He replied, staring into her eyes as his hand tightened around her wrist.
She gasped, opening her mouth but unable to form any words. When she didn’t try to pull away from him, he took a deep breath and licked his lips.
“I want you, Buffy.”
“I know it’s soon...possibly, and even probably, too soon...but – ”
“I want you too.” She interrupted quickly, her voice deep with desire.
He stared at her intently, debating with himself whether to proceed or to do what he could to calm himself...and her. After a few moments, he pushed his chair back.
“Bugger nobility.” He murmured as he stood and pulled her up with him.
She stumbled slightly and rested her hand on his chest to maintain her balance. She could feel his heart pounding as his hands cradled her face and tilted her head back. And then his mouth was on hers and she could taste the warm red wine on his lips.
Her lips parted to release a soft moan and he took the opportunity to deepen the kiss, sweeping his tongue into her mouth as her fingers clutched at his shirt. The very expensive shirt that he had bought nearly a year ago when she had mentioned in passing that she thought that dark teal would look nice on him.
When her hands moved down and began tugging his shirttails out of his jeans, he had the sudden urge to sweep everything from the table and lay her across it. And then he felt her hands slip under his shirt and press against his heated skin.
Tearing his mouth from hers, he stared into her eyes and whispered her name. She smiled up at him, her fingers lovingly stroking his sides. And at that moment, he knew...
She deserved more than a fuck on a kitchen table...no matter how erotic that image was in his head. She deserved love...she wanted love, he could read it in her eyes as surely as she could see his devotion to her in his.
He returned her smile and ran his fingers through her hair. He wanted to give her more...he wanted to give her everything. The sun, the moon, the stars...and, as clichéd as the entire thing was, for the first time in many years…he wanted to give his heart away.
“Come upstairs with me, Buffy.” He whispered, his voice gravelled with desire.
She sighed and allowed her fingertips to glide along the waistband of his jeans. “I thought you were just going to take me here...”
“I considered it.” He admitted, swallowing thickly when her fingers grazed his stomach. “And I very well may...later. But, for now...please come upstairs with me.”
When she gave him a nod, he took an unsteady step backwards...sighing as her hands slipped out from under his shirt. As he took her hand in his and led her towards the stairs, she glanced over at her bag resting on the desk.
“Oh, um...I brought some...well, I thought maybe we would...so...”
He smiled adoringly at her and leaned down to brush his lips across hers. “I picked some up on the way home.”
“You did?” She asked as he started to climb the stairs.
“Mm. I, uh...was hopeful that we...well, that you would want...” He stopped suddenly when he reached the landing and gently pushed her against the wall. “You can change your mind at any time, Buffy. Say the word and I’ll stop. If this isn’t what you truly want, please say so.”
She slid her hand up his chest and over his shoulder, gazing into his eyes as her thumb gently stroked the side of his neck. “You’re going to make love to me...”
He nodded slowly, moving his hand down to her hip. “As much as I want you...I love you more.”
Her eyes filled with tears and, for a brief moment, he thought he’d said the wrong thing to her. That thought dissipated when she drew his head down to initiate another kiss. The feeling of her mouth on his was one of the most sublime sensations he’d ever experienced and he didn’t want it to end...but the anticipation of feeling her move against him was screaming at him to end the kiss and drag her upstairs.
When her tongue slipped into his mouth, he groaned and compromised with himself. He lifted her easily, grunting softly into her mouth as she wrapped her legs around him and settled her warmth over his erection. His hips instinctively rocked against her, his hands holding her tightly against him as she tore her mouth from his and moaned loudly.
He smiled, pushing against her again and again until she stared into his eyes and whispered two words.
With a quick nod, he turned and carried her up the remaining flight of stairs that led to his bedroom. He made his way across the room and lowered her to the bed, gently brushing her hands away when she started to unbutton his shirt.
“We have all the time in the world, love...”
She shivered at the sound of his deep voice, his words drenched with desire...lust...love. She knew, as well as he did, that they didn’t have all the time in the world. But, she smiled just the same as he stretched out next to her and edged his fingers under the hem of her shirt to touch her warm skin.
And as he took his time undressing her, pressing warm kisses over the flesh that he exposed, he made her believe that they had all the time in the world. He noticed the smile in her eyes as he leaned back against the headboard and finally allowed her to unbutton his shirt.
“What is it?” He asked on a thick whisper.
She lowered her mouth to his chest, placing a line of hot, open-mouthed kisses from his throat to his left nipple before flicking her tongue against the hard nub and grinning as he gasped.
“Nobility is overrated...in my opinion.”
He chuckled adorably, his eyes darkened with desire, and reached over to the bedside table. She gave a soft laugh when he pulled a box out of the top drawer, shrugging a shoulder as he arched an eyebrow in a silent question.
“We bought the same ones...”
He smiled, opening the box and emptying the contents onto the surface of the table. Before she could say anything else, he pulled her into another kiss as he moved her hand to the button on his jeans.
She needed no further direction.
* * *
He wasn’t sure how long they’d been kissing, touching, fondling one another before she reached over to the bedside table and grabbed one of the foil packets. He supposed it didn’t really matter.
His hand tightened on her thigh as she reached between them and carefully rolled the condom onto his hard cock. She smiled lovingly at him and placed a tender kiss on his lips.
“I love you, Rupert.”
He rolled their bodies until he was nestled between her thighs and leaned down to kiss her again. “My name sounds not so bad when it’s on your tongue.”
She gasped as he shifted his hips forward, gently pushing his erection into her as he gazed down at her. He moved his mouth to her ear and whispered his love for her...his breath hot against her skin.
He pressed a tender kiss to her neck before pushing his upper body up. He looked down at her and exhaled a deep breath. Her skin flushed with arousal...damp with sweat. Her eyes dark with passion...inviting and mesmerizing. And he could feel her move against him...her thighs cradling his hips...the heel of her left foot pressed against the back of his right thigh.
He watched her, felt her nails dig into his sides as she came undone beneath him. His long thrusts interspersed with short, hard strokes that made her gasp and moan as he pushed her closer to the edge.
He smiled as she cried out his name, her inner walls quivering around his erection. And then he found himself on his back, his hands on her hips...her hands on his chest for balance as she rode him as he had her, coaxing him closer to his own orgasm with each downward plunge.
When she flooded his cock with her juices for a third time, he groaned her name in ecstasy and finally found his release. And when she collapsed on his chest, his arms moved around her in a loving embrace as their bodies calmed and he had no choice but to agree with her earlier statement.
Nobility was overrated.