Rating: FRM (light)
Timeline: AU, Post-series.
Synopsis: There’s alcohol. There’s Buffy. There’s Giles. And a bit of uncertainty.
Author’s Note: As always, thank you A.
“You sure it’s okay for me to stay here tonight?” Buffy asked, trying her best not to slur her words.
Giles stared at her, holding three empty wine bottles in his hands. “As if I’d let you leave, Buffy. It’s late, we’re both a bit tipsy…”
“Drunk.” She corrected him with a grin. “We’re not tipsy, we’re drunk.”
Giles laughed, stumbling briefly as he carried the bottles into the kitchen. She followed him, focusing very hard on not bumping into anything. Her focus was so great that she walked right into Giles’ back, knocking him against the counter.
“Oh…oh, I’m SO sorry, Giles!”
He laughed again and turned to face her. “No harm done. You alright?”
She nodded and then furrowed her brow. “I think I need to go to bed.”
“Probably not a bad assessment.” He agreed, grinning at her. “Guest room is all yours.”
“Thanks.” She replied, returning his grin before glancing down the hall. “That’s…a very long hall…”
“You’ll be fine, just stick close to the wall.” He chuckled. “Goodnight, Buffy.”
He leaned down, intending to place a kiss on her cheek. She turned at the last second, intending to wish him a goodnight as well. What neither of them intended was for their lips to meet in a soft kiss.
They both pulled back quickly and he met her eyes, opening his mouth to utter a sincere apology. However, no sound came…and they stood there, staring at one another for a very long moment. And then moved back to each other, lips meeting again…tentatively at first, but quickly fully crossing the line into passion.
He allowed her tongue entry into his mouth, groaning softly as he turned and pushed her against the nearest surface…which happened to be the fridge. A couple of magnets fell to the floor, but neither of them seemed to notice. He rocked his hips against her, pressing harder when she moaned into his mouth. It was only when he felt her pull at the buttons of his shirt that he broke the kiss and pulled back, breathing heavily as he stared into her eyes.
“We…this shouldn’t happen. Not like this…”
Giles gave a quick shake of his head, interrupting her. “Buffy, we’re drunk. Inhibitions lowered. And…” His eyes darted back to her kiss swollen lips. “Christ, I don’t want to stop kissing you…”
“Then don’t.” She offered, sliding her hands up his chest to his shoulders. “We both obviously want this.”
“A drunken romp is not what I want, Buffy.” He took a step back from her and ran his hand through his hair. “Go to bed. We’ll talk about this tomorrow, okay?”
“But, we won’t. We won’t talk about it.” She said, sadness tinging her tone. “We didn’t before, we won’t now. It’ll just be swept under the carpet and forgotten about. Again.”
“What?” He asked, eyes widening. “What?”
“You thought I’d forgotten, but I was just waiting for you to start the conversation. You never did. Even though you said the same thing then… ‘we’ll talk about this tomorrow’. Tomorrow never came, Giles.”
“I…well, I…you remembered?” He licked his lips and rubbed the back of his neck. “I just assumed…you acted completely normal the next morning.”
She took a slightly unsteady step towards him, placing her hand on his chest. “I remember. I remembered then, I remember now.” Her hand slid down his chest, pausing at his belt buckle. Her fingers teasingly poised over his obvious erection. “Please, Giles…let’s just – ”
“Don’t ask me to go to bed with you.” He interrupted swiftly, swallowing hard as he pulled her hand away.
“Please don’t ask. I…won’t be able to say no this time. So, please…please, just don’t ask right now.”
“Oh…” She smiled softly in understanding. “You remember that too, huh?”
“Is that why you didn’t ask about it the next morning? Because I said no?” When she nodded, he sighed heavily. “I only said no because we were drunk and I didn’t want you to regret it in the morning.”
“You really were going to talk to me that morning, weren’t you?” Her eyes glistened as she read the answer in his slightly glazed eyes. “I’m an idiot.”
“No, no you’re not…”
“Promise me we’ll talk in the morning?”
He nodded, slipping his hands into his pockets to keep himself from pulling her to him. “But, bed now. Both of us…um…separately, but now.” His brow furrowed as he realised he was babbling.
Reaching around her, he opened the fridge and pulled out a bottle of water. As he handed it to her, he smiled. “Drink some before you go to sleep, with two aspirin. When you wake up, repeat. It’ll help.”
When her eyes darted to his lips, he smiled nervously. “Please, go now.”
“Just one more?”
He seriously considered it for a moment, but shook his head. “One more will be my downfall. I want to, please don’t think otherwise. I just…we just…can’t. Not right now. Please understand.”
“I do understand, Giles.” She whispered, holding his gaze again. “So…water, aspirin, sleep…talking in the morning?”
“Yes.” He replied, not trusting himself to say more.
“Okay. Goodnight, Giles.”
“Goodnight, Buffy.” He said on a whisper, sighing as she turned and made her way down the hall.
He watched her slip into the guest room and then exhaled deeply, opening the fridge and pulling out a second bottle of water.
“Water, aspirin, sleep…talk in the morning.” He murmured to himself.
He twisted the cap off and took a long drink before heading to his own room. He paused briefly at her door and then went into his room and closed the door behind him.
* * *
Giles smiled as Buffy walked into the kitchen, hair still damp from her shower. “Good morning. How are you feeling?”
“A little bit dusty, how about you?” She replied, smiling back at him. “And…you’re cooking breakfast?”
He glanced at the clock as he turned the heat down on the oven. “Brunch…ish. And, I’m middling…food will help.”
“Please tell me you’re using butter in the eggs…”
Giles chuckled as he turned the kettle on. “Absolutely.”
She took a moment to look at him. Really look at him. He was nervous, but composed. Tense, but receptive. Caring, but…scared. He turned to look at her, his smile fading when he recognised the confusion in her eyes.
“Why are you scared?” She asked softly. “Do I scare you?”
“What are you scared about?”
He exhaled deeply and pulled two mugs from the cupboard. “So, right into then?”
“Kissing me scares you?” She asked, taking a step closer to him.
He barked out a laugh as he shook his head. “God, no. Kissing you…sets me on fire. Not knowing what that means in the grand scheme of things? That scares me.”
“Oh…” She murmured, not exactly sure what he meant. “Not literal fire, I hope.”
“Not yet.” He smiled, gesturing towards the cupboard in front of her. “Would you mind grabbing a couple of plates?”
She opened the cupboard and pulled out two plates, furrowing her brow slightly as she placed them on the counter. “Giles? We’ve kissed twice now…”
Giles cleared his throat. “Technically, there were two instances of kissing. There were multiple kisses in the first instance. But, yes…we have.”
“We were drunk both…instances.” She looked up at him. “Have you wanted to kiss me when we’re sober?”
“Yes.” He replied simply.
“Why haven’t you?”
He inhaled sharply, quickly filling the two plates with food as the kettle clicked off. “So many reasons…”
“Our age difference?” She asked, moving around him to fill the mugs with boiling water.
“Interestingly, that has not been one of them. Is that a reason for you?” When she hesitated in her answer, he cleared his throat again. “I mean, if you had wanted to kiss me while sober…would that have been a reason to…not?”
“Giles, I’ve wanted to kiss you since I was…” She stopped herself and took a deep breath. “No, that’s never been a reason for me.”
He stared at her, holding two plates of food in his hands. “Since you were…what?”
“Let’s just say it’s been a while, okay?” She replied quickly, carrying the two mugs of tea to the table. She looked over at him as she sat down. “Come on, let’s eat…”
“Ah, yes…yes, right.” He shook his head lightly and made his way to the table. “Buffy…”
“What are your reasons?” She asked, picking up a fork and stabbing it into the perfectly scrambled eggs on her plate.
“Mainly…fear. Fear of losing you…your friendship, your respect. Fear of losing me…in you, because that would be very easy to do. The uncertainty of what all of that entails…well, I don’t like uncertainty. I much prefer knowing what the outcome will be…which, really makes no sense in cases such as this.”
“Kissing me is a ‘case’?”
He stared at her and shook his head. “Affairs of the heart are the cases I’m referencing.”
He lowered his eyes and pushed a piece of sausage around on his plate. “As casual as I can be, I can’t be with you. And that terrifies me.”
“That’s why you stopped me from asking last night?”
“I would have said yes. I would have willingly fallen into bed with you. And in the morning, if you had decided that it had been a mistake…” He sighed and looked back up at her. “I have to be sure, Buffy. If alcohol brings us together, it can tear us apart. And…I’m rather certain that I wouldn’t handle that very well.”
“Are, uh…are you saying that you…have feelings for me?” She asked tentatively.
“I’m saying I can’t have casual sex with you. Because…it would mean more to me than that.” He shrugged a shoulder and took a sip of his tea. “So, yes…I suppose that’s exactly what I’m saying.”
Silence fell around them for quite a few minutes. Long enough that Giles was beginning to become concerned. And then Buffy lowered her fork, folded her hands together, and met his eyes.
“I haven’t kissed you while we’re sober because I was scared that the night we kissed…that first night…I thought it was a fluke. I thought…you were drunk, we were drunk…it didn’t really mean anything to you, you probably didn’t even remember it. And then, last night…it was so accidental, so innocent…and it made my blood boil. That can’t be a fluke. Right?”
“Flukes tend not to boil blood.” Giles said quietly. “Flukes can ignite passion, lust…but lust, for me, has never made me feel like I would burn.”
“Me neither.” Buffy whispered, biting her lip.
She watched his eyes darken slightly, his gaze darting to her lips before resettling on her eyes. “Giles?”
He said nothing as he pushed his chair back and stood up. Her eyes followed him as he walked towards her and leaned against the edge of the table. When he extended his hand to her, she quickly stood and slipped her hand into his. She looked down at their hands, more than a little surprised to feel the tremble in his touch.
“I can’t take this further, Buffy. If it’s more that you want, you’ll need to take the next step. But, please…don’t take it if you’re unsure – if it’s nothing more than simple desire, please say so. On the other hand, if you truly feel something for me within you…and you feel that it could become more. Then…please take that next step, because I – ”
She cut him off with a sudden kiss, sliding her free hand to the back of his neck as she kissed him slowly. His hand tightened around hers as she poured her affection, her love into the kiss. And then he lowered his walls and wrapped his arm around her lower back. He pulled her closer to him, allowing himself to return her kiss with equal passion.
He wasn’t sure how long they kissed, but when the kiss eventually ended they were both breathing heavily…both trembling with desire and need. His fingers lightly stroked the bare skin they found when her shirt had ridden up slightly. She moved her hand from his neck to his chest, smiling at the sensation of his heart pounding under her touch.
“Wow…” She whispered finally. “That was…way better than the drunk kisses we’ve had.”
“Mm-hm…without a doubt.” He nodded in agreement, smiling nervously as he pressed his palm against her lower back. “Does, um…does this mean that you feel something for me? That it’s more than…”
She gently rubbed her fingers in small circles over his heart. “You need to think more highly of yourself, Giles. The confidence you showed when Olivia was in Sunnydale…”
“That…was very different, Buffy.” He interjected quickly. “She was never my…girlfriend. We were companions for a time – giving each other what we were both needing at the time, but…though I obviously cared for her, she never held my heart.”
He cleared his throat and continued before she could say anything.
“Saying that…I’m very confident in my feelings for you. I’m very confident in the thought that I could make you…happy, given the opportunity.”
She raised an eyebrow. “That was an interesting pause.”
“I’m confident in my abilities to turn you on, Buffy. I’m confident in knowing that I could sate your desires.” He looked down at their hands when he felt her fingers lace with his. “I just need a little confirmation from you.”
“I’ve never really been casual girl, you know?” When Giles raised an eyebrow, she rolled her eyes. “Okay, well not until the past year or so – and you were never supposed to know about that.”
“Then you probably shouldn’t have frequented my local pub.”
“I was looking for you.” She said, lowering her eyes briefly. “Each time I was there, I was looking for you. Waiting for you – you were never there on those nights.”
“So, you’d just – ”
“It was never like that, Giles. I just felt that I wanted something that was completely unattainable. And I’d get myself so worked up over thinking of you…and, I needed…”
“Release.” He offered softly.
He nodded slowly. “I understand that more than I care to admit.”
“Can you just kiss me again?”
He smiled and ran his fingers through her hair before tenderly caressing her cheek. “I love you so, Buffy.”
Before she had a chance to respond, he captured her lips once more.
They’d talk more later, she was sure of it.
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