Title: Standing Still
Timeline: Late S5. No Riley, no Dawn, no Glory. Joyce did die, though. AU.
Author’s Note: wyvernwolf, thank you!
“Buffy isn’t here yet?”
Giles shook his head
while staring at the wobbly, yet colorful, items that
had been carefully placed on four different plates. “No. I
would assume she’s still on patrol.” He
looked up slowly and met
“No, no…that’s not what I’m saying.” Giles back-pedalled quickly. “They’re very creative, I just…well, is there a special occasion of which I’m unaware?”
Anya raised an eyebrow. “I don’t. I think there’s something very wrong with eating something that jiggles.”
“Okay. Everyone likes
Jell-O except for Anya.”
Xander grinned as he poked his finger at the purple Jell-O that formed his name. “You made mine in grape! Grape’s my favourite!”
She cast a quick glance at Giles. “You do like lime, right? I couldn’t remember your favourite flavour…so I chose green. Green seems to be a safe bet with just about everyone.”
“Not me.” Anya piped up, grimacing as Xander smacked a purple ‘d’ with the back of a spoon.
Giles smiled affectionately. “Lime is fine, Willow.”
He didn’t have the
heart to tell her that he would have preferred the black cherry. He also knew for a fact that Buffy’s
favourite had always been the bright green gelatin…sometimes
with diced pears added to it before it set.
He briefly wondered how
Xander grinned playfully at Anya. “You know…Jell-O isn’t only good for eating.”
Giles rolled his eyes in an exasperated manner. “I refuse to allow my flat to become a Jell-O wrestling ring.”
Xander’s eyes widened as he stared at Giles. Giles huffed as he leaned against the counter and crossed his arms over his chest.
“I’m not that old, Xander. We did have such things when I was in my early twenties…earlier than that, even. And though I do appreciate a good match, I refuse to allow it to take place in my living room.”
He felt a sense of satisfaction as Xander was rendered speechless. He glanced at the front door as it opened, a gentle smile appearing on his face as Buffy strolled in.
“Hey, Giles.” She glanced around and arched an eyebrow. “Spontaneous Scooby Meeting?”
Giles chuckled and shook his head. “Not exactly.”
When Buffy glanced at
“I just figured that you’d come by to give your patrol report. What better way to end a day than with Jell-O?”
“Sex.” Anya looked up from the magazine she was reading to find
everyone staring at her. “
Slightly embarrased, Giles cleared his throat and met Buffy’s amused eyes. “How was patrol?”
“A little busier than normal. Hence, the lateness. Found something for you though.” She dug a small medallion out of her pocket as she walked over to the breakfast counter. “This pinkish rubbery demon dropped it in the cemetery on Tenth. He started to come back for it, but then decided not to when he saw me jump over a headstone.”
Giles narrowed his eyes as she dropped the triangular-shaped object onto his palm. “Interesting…”
Buffy rolled her eyes playfully and then glanced at the two plates on the counter in front of her. “Hey, our names in Jell-O. Very cool!”
“Um…how come Giles’
name is green and mine is…” She looked
“Giles likes cherry. I like lime.” Buffy looked confused for a moment before shrugging her shoulders. “No big though. We’ll switch. He can have Buffy and I’ll eat Giles.”
choked on the Jell-O he had just spooned into his mouth while
“Where’s the Redi-Whip?”
Giles merely stared at Buffy, his skin slowly reddening above his collar. Without another word, he left the kitchen and made his way down the hall towards the bathroom.
Buffy’s brow furrowed. “Well, that was weird.”
Anya snorted again. “No weirder than you saying you were going to eat Giles and then asking for whipped cream.”
“And on that note…along with some scarily strange mental images…I think it’s movie time.” Xander offered helplessly, placing his empty plate and spoon on the counter and stood up.
They'd just needed a gentle nudge in the right direction. And a seemingly innocent mistake of Jell-O flavour choices had been just the perfect nudge that they needed. Hopefully.
“Um…do you want to come with us, Buffy?”
Buffy shook her head
slowly, glancing at
Anya raised an eyebrow. “Oh?”
“Yeah, uh…about the…pinkish rubbery demon…from earlier.”
Anya grinned and shot a quick wink to
Before Buffy could
reply, Xander grabbed Anya and
Xander rolled his eyes. “Goodnight, Buffy. We’ll see you tomorrow, okay?”
Buffy stood there numbly, staring at the door even after it had closed and they were gone. She slowly pulled herself up on one of the stools and stared at the two remaining plates of Jell-O.
She heard Giles’ familiar footsteps come back into the living room, but she didn’t bother looking up. He cleared his throat softly and pulled a book from the bookcase closest to the kitchen.
“This ‘pinkish rubbery demon’…are there any other features that might help me identify it?”
“I’m sorry.” She whispered, her eyes focused on the green ‘G’ on the plate in front of her.
“Whatever for?” He asked after a brief hesitation.
She exhaled deeply. “For not thinking before I said what I said. I made you uncomfortable and I didn’t mean to.”
“I’m trying, Giles…really hard.” Her voice trembled as she spoke.
He sighed sadly, not needing to ask what she was talking about. He knew perfectly well. Three weeks earlier, she had caught him…caught him looking where he shouldn’t have been looking. He had had no choice but to admit his feelings. What had surprised him was the fact that she had some admissions of her own.
He had been overjoyed, but then had quickly sobered when she added that she couldn’t…not now. It was too soon. Too soon after Riley’s departure. Too soon after her mother’s death. Too soon for her to allow herself to fall completely in love with him.
“It was my idea.” She continued softly, still not meeting his eyes. “It was my idea to wait…and I’m the one who can’t get you out of my head.”
He sat on the edge of the table and watched her, remaining silent as her finger lightly prodded the green ‘s’.
“I thought it was too soon. But, maybe…maybe I was wrong. Maybe it wasn’t too soon, but I was still scared. I mean…I don’t have the best track record with it comes to guys. So, maybe it was just the right time, but…I told you it wasn’t because I didn’t want to lose you.”
He nearly smiled as she furrowed her brow and shook her head.
“And that doesn’t make any sense. I know it doesn’t.” She took a deep breath, lifting her eyes and looking at him. “And because I ran right past it, maybe…maybe it’s already gone and it’s too late. Because even if I get back to where I was, maybe what I’m trying to get back to will already be gone.”
Giles licked his lips and placed the book on the table. He laced his fingers together and tilted his head slightly as he looked at her.
“I’m rather sure that what you’re trying to get back to will still be there, Buffy.”
Her eyes glistened as she swallowed the sudden lump in her throat. “How can you be so sure?”
“Because.” He started and then paused, gathering his thoughts.
She sighed heavily. “Well, that’s a compelling argument, Giles.”
A small smile tugged at the corner of his mouth. “Because…what you ran from, the…person you ran from…he’s been standing still in hopes that you would return.”
Buffy gasped, a tear spilling down her cheek as he stood and made his way to her. His hand trembled lightly as he gently brushed the tear from her skin.
“It’s not too late, Buffy. I’m not sure it would ever be too late.” He whispered emotionally as he tilted her head until he was gazing into her eyes. “I’m in love with you…that’s not something I can just walk away from.”
He leaned down and brushed his lips across hers, sighing as she placed a shaking hand on his chest. He kissed her again, allowing his lips to linger for a few moments before pulling back and offering her a gentle smile.
“When you’re ready, come back to me. You’ll find that I’m standing exactly where you left me.”
His eyes sparkled as he shook his head, lightly tracing her lips with his thumb. “In answer to your earlier question, the Redi-Whip is in the refrigerator. Why you insist on smothering your jelly with it, I’ll never know.”
A slow smile appeared
on her face, her lips pressing a warm kiss to his thumb before she spoke. “Jell-O, Giles. It’s called Jell-O in the
“Bloody Colonial.” He murmured as he leaned down to capture her lips once more.
His lips were mere millimetres from hers, close enough that he could nearly taste her lip gloss, when she stopped him with a whispered statement.
“She did it on purpose.”
He paused, pulling back slowly and sitting down on the stool next to her. “I’m sorry?”
Buffy gestured to the
plates of Jell-O, her smile growing. “
Giles picked up a spoon from the counter and slowly cut through the bottom part of the ‘s’. He furrowed his brow in thought as he lifted the spoon to Buffy’s lips.
“I must admit that I was curious as to how she could have forgotten that particular detail.” He sighed softly as her lips closed over the spoon, pulling the Jell-O into her mouth. “Why would she purposely give me lime?”
“Nor have I.” He replied softly, his eyes darting to her lips. “I…I would never push you, Buffy.”
“I know.” She whispered, unconsciously leaning towards him.
“But…Lord, I want to kiss you again.”
She slid her hand up his chest and over his shoulder. “Is it too soon? To come back, I mean…”
He shook his head slowly as he pushed a strand of hair back behind her ear. “You could never be too soon, nor could you be too late. As long as you come at some point.”
His face reddened as she laughed at his wording. “Um…I meant – ”
“I know.” She chuckled, resting her hand against the side of his neck. “We both seem to be saying things incorrectly tonight. Me eating you, you wanting me to come at some point…”
She bit her lip and watched his eyes darken. Her own vision was becoming blurry, so she assumed that he could see the desire in hers as well.
“Or…maybe we said things just right.” She amended as she pulled him down for a kiss.
He sighed as her lips touched his. He groaned as her lips parted, her tongue nudging his lips apart. He growled as her tongue slipped into his mouth and slid along his.
The kiss seemed to go on forever, control alternating between the two of them. Neither of them broke the kiss when he stood, lifting her into his arms and carrying her to the couch. She did break it however when she realized that he had sat down and she was straddling his hips.
He gave her an understanding smile and ran his fingers down her cheek. “It doesn’t have to go any further tonight, Buffy. We can take our time from here.”
“I just…I don’t want to rush it.” She lowered her eyes from his when she felt the unmistakeable bulge underneath her. “But, I don’t want you to think I’m teasing you either.”
He felt a sudden rush of love for her and sighed as he ducked his head to catch her gaze again. “I don’t think you’re teasing me, Buffy. This isn’t the first time that I’ve had such a reaction to you.”
Her fingers gently stroked his temple, her voice lowering to a whisper. “I do want you.”
“Don’t rush it, love.” He whispered back. “Just be here with me now. We’ll know when it’s right…tonight isn’t the night that we make love. But, it is the night that we give in to the love we feel.”
Buffy furrowed her brow in confusion. “What?”
Giles smiled and ran his fingers through her hair. “Kiss me, Buffy. Just kiss me tonight.”
“But…” Her gaze darted down and then back up to his eyes. “Um…”
“Let me worry about that.” He stated softly as he gently pulled her back down.
“I love you.” She whispered a millisecond before they reignited their kiss.
He smiled inwardly, pouring his love for her into the union.
He’d have to remember
And that was far more important than any speech he could ever come up with.