Title: This Kind of Stupid
Timeline: AU, S6.
Synopsis: Buffy needs to talk to Giles, but that conversation is put on hold when disaster strikes. Again.
Author’s Note: As always, thank you A.
“This is nice.” Buffy said, twirling her stake.
“Hm?” Giles murmured, glancing around their surroundings as he walked beside of her.
“Patrolling with you. It’s been a long time.” She playfully nudged her shoulder against him. “I’ve missed it…you.”
He smiled softly as he looked down at her. “As have I.”
“There are some things I’ve been meaning to talk to you about.”
“Oh? What things?”
Buffy opened her mouth to respond and then sighed heavily as a large vampire stepped out from behind a crypt. “It’ll have to wait.”
“Plunge and move on, Buffy.” He reminded gently.
“Yeah, yeah…” She grinned up at him.
He exhaled and leaned against a tombstone as he watched her.
* * *
She disposed of the vampire quickly. Well, quickly by Buffy’s standards at any rate. It wasn’t exactly a ‘plunge and move on’ fight, but she figured that Giles would be happy with her performance.
She dusted her hands and turned towards her Watcher, a bright smile on her face. Her smile faded when she saw two vampires behind him…both even larger than the one she had just staked.
“Giles!!” She screamed, just as they grabbed him.
He met her eyes and shook his head as she started towards them. “Remember what I’ve always told you. Remember!”
Buffy paused as the vampires dragged Giles backwards towards the line of trees. She paused only a second before taking off at a run towards them. A third vampire rushed her from the side, barrelling into her and knocking her into a large headstone.
The headstone shattered with the impact. Giles screamed her name.
Buffy looked up just in time to see her Watcher disappear into the trees.
And then she was alone.
“Remember what he told me…” She whispered, tears falling down her cheeks. “Don’t follow, it will be a trap…”
She pushed herself up and ran towards the trees.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Buffy paced back and forth in her living room. Xander sat between Anya and Willow on the lounge. Tara was in the kitchen making tea. Dawn was upstairs, sound asleep…unaware of what was going on.
“You didn’t look for him?” Anya asked, narrowing her eyes.
Buffy stopped pacing and glared at her. “Of course, I fucking looked for him. Do you think that I would just let him be taken?”
Xander held up a hand in a calming motion. Or one that was intended to be calming.
“Hold on, Buffy. Anya just meant – ”
“Exactly what I asked.” Anya interrupted, staring at Xander. “Buffy hasn’t exactly been her normal self since she came back.”
“Yeah, well…dying will do that to you.” Willow said, shaking her head in frustration towards Anya. “But, there’s no way that Buffy would have just walked away knowing that Giles was in trouble. We’re talking about Giles.”
“I searched everywhere. Down every path…there was no sign of them. No blood, no screams….nothing.”
“Well, they probably just knocked him out and carried him.”
Xander slowly turned towards Anya. “Not really helping there, Anya.”
“I’m just saying – ”
“Shut up.” Buffy said gruffly. “Just…shut up.”
Tara came in with a tray laden with tea things, placing it on the coffee table before sitting down next to Willow. “Why would they take Giles?”
Buffy thought and then sighed heavily, shrugging a shoulder. “He could have information they want. It could be a way to get to me. It could be…anything. I just don’t know.”
“How long has it been now?” Willow asked, not really sure why she was asking.
Buffy glanced at the clock. “Six hours.”
“And you haven’t heard anything from them. That rules out a ransom.” Anya said quietly, a tone of sadness in her voice.
Buffy ran her fingers through her hair. “Yeah…”
“You don’t think they’d kill him, do you?” Tara asked, handing a cup of tea to Willow.
“They’re vampires. That’s kind of what they do.” Xander replied, staring at his hands.
“Yeah…” Buffy repeated, going to the window and looking outside. “Maybe Spike can help.”
“The sun’ll be up in about twenty minutes…what’s he going to be able to do?” Anya asked as gently as she could.
Buffy wiped a tear from her cheek and then crossed her arms over her chest, still staring out the window.
* * *
They spent the day walking through the woods, looking for any clue they could possibly find. The only thing they did find was Giles’ glasses…about three hundred feet into the woods. Buffy held them gently in her hands as if they were the most precious treasure she’d ever found.
She turned towards her sister and smiled softly. “We’ll find him, Dawn. We have to find him.”
“You didn’t get the chance to talk to him, did you?”
Buffy glanced at the others, who were still searching for…anything. She shook her head sadly and slipped the glasses into her jacket pocket.
Dawn sighed and hugged Buffy. Buffy resisted for just a moment and then hugged her back.
* * *
Their search had turned up a few broken branches, a few scuff marks in the dirt…but nothing else. No blood, no body, no sign of Giles…and no clues as to which direction he had been taken. They’d come back to the house to regroup, but she couldn’t rest.
He could literally be anywhere. And the sun had set about four hours earlier.
Buffy pulled her boots on and grabbed her jacket.
“Are you sure about this?” Xander asked, looking very concerned.
“I can’t stop until I find him, Xander. Even if I only find his body.”
“No, what I mean is…going out there alone.”
“Oh…” She looked around the room, registering all of the worried and concerned faces looking back at her. “Yeah. Yeah, I’m sure about that.”
“We can help…”
Buffy smiled sadly and nodded. “I guess keep studying the maps and stuff. I’ll check in each hour and I’ll be back when I can.”
She left them in the dining room, a table full of papers and maps and books. She opened the door to leave and her eyes widened.
“Giles!” She gasped.
Just as she started to step out, she stopped. Giles stood there with a sad smile on his face…his clothes dirty and ripped here and there. His collar dark red with dried blood.
Buffy swallowed thickly. “Giles…”
“I…need some help, Buffy.” He said quietly.
Buffy looked at him closely, her eyes glistening with unshed tears as she took a step back from the door. “Come in, Giles.”
Giles’ eyes widened in surprise. “Why would you – ”
“I can’t help you if you’re out there.” A tear slipped down her cheek. “Come in.”
He tentatively stepped over the threshold, not taking his eyes from her. “Buffy…”
“What kind of help am I supposed to give you? Follow you back to the den? Stake you?” She shook her head slowly. “How the hell am I supposed to stake you?”
His eyes flashed amber for just a moment and then he shoved his hands into his pockets. “Save me.”
“It’s not like I have a time machine, Giles!”
“Kill my sire before I feed.”
Buffy stared at him. “I don’t understand…why aren’t you attacking me, us?”
Giles looked around and would have sighed heavily if he’d been able to. “Interesting thing about new vampires. They still have a sliver of their soul until they feed for the first time. When that happens, that sliver disappears into the ether, never to return. Unless you have an Orb of Thesulah and a Gypsy curse at your disposal.”
He shook his head when he registered the flash of hope in her eyes. “No, Buffy. That’s not how I want to live. If I can’t be human, then you’ll need to stake me.”
“Hey, Buffy, you’re still here.” Willow said, coming down the hall towards her. “We found…”
Willow’s eyes followed Buffy’s gaze to see a more than slightly dishevelled Giles standing in the living room. “Giles! You’re here!”
Giles gave her a slight nod, holding up his hand as she started to run towards him. Then he turned his attention back to Buffy. “Is everyone here?”
Buffy nodded and spoke to Willow as she stared into Giles’ eyes. “Willow, emergency Scooby meeting now. Get everyone in here.”
“What’s going on?” Willow asked, furrowing her brow.
“Go get everyone. We have a situation.”
As Willow ran back towards the dining room, Giles chuckled softly.
“Is this a trap, Giles? Is this a way of getting me to follow you back to wherever they are? Or can I really save you?”
“Can you really trust anything I say right now?” He asked in response, leaning against the back of the sofa.
“I invited you in.”
“Stupid thing to do, really. You invited me in before I could say anything. What if I weren’t telling the truth?”
“But, you are. Aren’t you?”
He nodded slowly and gestured towards the phone with a nod of his head. “Call Angel. He’ll tell you.”
Before she could say anything else, it sounded like a herd of elephants was coming towards them. The Scoobies all ran into the living room. Just as Xander started to rush over to Giles, Anya grabbed his arm.
“He’s a vampire.”
“What?” Xander asked, completely confused.
Giles rubbed the back of his neck and then gestured towards the sofa. “Please…everyone sit down. Buffy needs to make a phone call and then we’ll have a discussion.”
“You’re not saying she’s wrong.” Willow said, grabbing Dawn’s forearm as Buffy dialled a number on the phone.
“No, I’m not.” He cleared his throat and moved to stand away from everyone, but stayed within everyone’s line of sight. “It’s probably not one hundred percent safe to be near me, but my intention is to not hurt anyone.”
“How…why…what…why?” Xander asked, sinking onto the sofa.
Giles gestured towards his neck. “Standard vampire attack. To bring Buffy to them. They want a Slayer – well, a Slayer’s blood. Best way to get that is to turn her Watcher. Because I’m holding on to what I have left for as long as I can, as tightly as I can…in hopes that Buffy can reverse this.”
Tara tilted her head slightly. “That can be done? Reversing?”
Giles nodded slowly. “If the sire is killed before the fledgling feeds for the first time, yes.”
“You haven’t fed?” Dawn asked, pulling her arm from Willow’s grasp and taking a step towards him.
“No.” He crossed his arms over his chest. “It’s not my intention to feed, yet…should any of you start to bleed for any reason whatsoever, it would be in your best interest to get as far away from me as you possibly can, as quickly as you can.”
“How did you talk Buffy into letting you in here?” Anya asked, furrowing her brow. “I mean, she would’ve known instantly that you were…not exactly you.”
“He didn’t talk me into it. He asked for help, I invited him in.” Buffy answered, hanging up the phone as she walked back into the room.
Xander’s mouth dropped open. “He could have killed us all!”
“There’s no evil in his eyes. Yet.” She turned her focus to Giles and sighed. “Angel said it’s true. Most people aren’t able to hold out, though…and feed within moments of waking up. He said that he’s not surprised that you’re holding on. How long have you been awake?”
“Four hours and a few minutes.” He gave her a lopsided smile. “I walked around for a few hours before coming here. I had to make sure I was in control.”
“Who is your sire? How do I find him?”
“Jobari. I can take you to him.”
“And that doesn’t have ‘it’s a trap!’ written all over it?” Xander asked, completely flabbergasted to realise that Buffy was considering it. “Just because it’s Giles doesn’t mean…I mean, do you remember Vamp!Willow?”
“Mm…’Mistress of Pain’…” Giles murmured, mainly to himself.
Buffy stared at him. “Hey!”
He looked up and smiled shyly. “Sorry. A little soulless over here…”
Seeing something in her eyes, he tilted his head curiously. “What did you want to talk to me about?”
“On patrol. Before…” He gestured towards himself. “…this happened.”
Buffy’s eyes widened slightly. “You remember I wanted to talk to you?”
“I’m a vampire, Buffy. I’m still Giles, too. I retain my thoughts, my memories, my…” His eyes drifted down her body before returning to hers. “I remember everything.”
Anya arched an eyebrow. “I didn’t see that coming…”
Willow gave her a sideways glance. “Where have you been for the past couple of years?”
Buffy inhaled sharply and gestured towards the stairs. “Come on. You and I? We need to talk and we need to figure some shit out on how we’re going to do this.”
“Buffy…” Xander said quietly, leaning in to whisper into her ear. “Is that the safest thing to do right now? The two of you alone…with no backup?”
“I’m the Slayer, Xander. I can take care of myself.”
Giles grinned as he took a step towards them. “And I’m fairly certain that I wouldn’t need backup.”
“I was talking about – ” Xander started and then stared at Giles. “Hey! What’s with the insinuations and innuendoes?”
Giles chuckled, his eyes turning amber as he met Xander’s eyes. “You remember Vamp!Willow, yes?”
“Giles, stop.” Buffy said, exasperated. “Look, guys…everything’s going to be okay. I just need to talk to Giles alone to get some more information, okay?”
When no one said anything, she pushed Giles towards the stairs and followed him up. They all watched them disappear and Anya shook her head slowly.
“They’re going to have sex.”
Xander rolled his eyes. “He’s a vampire. She’s not going to have sex with a vampire.”
“Because she’s never done that before, has she?” Willow responded with a heavy sigh.
* * *
Buffy closed the door to her bedroom, not taking her eyes off of Giles. He was currently looking around her room, smiling as he picked up a framed photo on her desk. A photo of him.
“I didn’t know you had this.”
Buffy shrugged and leaned against her dresser. “I always liked that one.”
He put the frame down and turned to face her. “What were you needing to talk to me about?”
“Where did they take you?”
Giles shook his head and licked his lips. “What were you needing to talk to me about?”
Buffy blew out a deep breath, knowing he wasn’t going to allow this to drop. “My feelings for you. Which we’ll discuss when we get through this.”
“Feelings?” He asked taking a step towards her.
“Stop!” She pointed towards the bed. “Go sit down.”
She rolled her eyes as his grin grew. “By yourself. Sit down, don’t move.”
“What are you going to do? Handcuff me to your bed to make sure I stay?” He took another step towards her, entering her personal space. “Trust me, love…you don’t need to handcuff me to ensure I stay. But, if that’s what you like…”
“Jesus Christ, Giles…” She grumbled, pushing him back. “Now you decide to come onto me?”
“With the soul lies inhibitions. Most of those left when most of my soul left.” He explained, sinking down onto the bed. “I could think of better places to come though.”
“Great…a horny Watcher.” She grumbled to herself. “Fucking vampires…”
Giles looked at her closely. “I didn’t need to become a vampire to feel this way, Buffy.”
She looked up quickly. “Huh?”
“I’ve wanted you for a good couple of years now.” He cleared his throat and leaned back against her headboard. “This isn’t exactly how I wanted this to come out, of course.”
“Giles – ”
“As much as I want to, I won’t fuck you right now.” He shook his head as he stared into her eyes. “Not like this.”
“I…like to nibble and suck.” His eyes darted to the side of her neck. “Neck, breasts, inner thighs…and fuck, I want your clit between my teeth.”
At her gasp, he stood up and returned his gaze to her eyes. “But, it’s not safe. If I…accidentally break the skin or cause a bruise to form…I won’t be able to resist taking more. And then we lose. Everything.”
“How strong is your will?” She asked in disbelief.
“Hopefully, strong enough.” He reached out and placed his palm against her cheek.
She shivered and realised that she wasn’t sure if it was due to his touch, his lack of body heat, or a combination of both. When she felt his lips on hers, she shivered again and had her answer.
As his tongue slipped into her mouth, she groaned and wrapped her arms around his neck. He picked her up and sat her on top of the dresser, quickly stepping between her thighs as he allowed himself to become lost in the kiss.
When he felt her legs move to curl around his hips, he pulled from the kiss and shook his head. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have done that.”
“Inhibitions…” She whispered, sliding her right hand to rest over his heart. Tears filled her eyes as she gently stroked his chest. “That feels so wrong.”
“How my heart would pound for you.” He whispered, covering her hand with his. “Yes, it feels…wrong…inside as well. I know what I should be feeling – my heart pounding, screaming for you. But, it’s silent…and I don’t know how to cope with that right now.”
“I love you, Giles.” She looked up into his eyes, not bothering to try to hide her tears. “That’s what I wanted to talk to you about. I love you.”
“Then we need to find Jobari…and soon. Because I love you too. But I can hear your blood in your veins…and that’s not a good sign. So, please, love…help me.”
She wiped the tears from her face as he stepped back away from her. “Right. Okay…do you remember where they took you?”
He nodded slowly. “I do. But, Buffy…he’s strong.”
“He’s a King.”
Buffy’s eyes widened. As they stared at one another, the phone began to ring.
* * *
Buffy and Giles walked into the living room together as Willow was hanging up the phone.
“We have a problem.” Buffy and Willow stated simultaneously.
Willow narrowed her eyes. “You first.”
“Jobari, Giles’ sire…is a King. Which means there’s some sort of plan going on here, but Giles doesn’t know what the main plan is – just that I’m supposed to go with him to Jobari.”
Dawn stared incredulously at Buffy. “He’s the King?”
“A King.” Willow interjected. “One of three, to be precise. Rumour has it that the blood of a Slayer will give Jobari enough power to be able to overthrow the other two…leaving him to be the sole ruler.”
Everyone turned to look at Willow, who sighed and tossed the phone onto the coffee table. “That was Angel. News of this development…the Watcher to the current Slayer being turned…is making waves underground. Power is shifting quickly…the swing vote is going to the vampires.”
“Why? That makes no sense. The Slayer wasn’t turned…” Xander questioned, confusion in his eyes.
Buffy sighed. “Because they know something that we didn’t and they’re expecting me to fall apart…and they weren’t expecting Giles to be able to hold onto that sliver of his soul for as long as he has.”
“What do they know?”
Buffy and Giles glanced at one another, but Dawn was the one to answer Xander.
“They love each other. How would you feel if Anya was turned? Or…Willow, how would you feel if Tara was turned? You’d…fall apart. Buffy is pretty vulnerable right now. It’s only been a few months since her return from the dead…and now her Watcher, the man she loves, is…” Dawn shook her head and exhaled a deep breath. “We need to find this Jobari guy and get rid of him.”
“Right. So…we just go a-venturin’ into the woods to hunt down a vampire king and slay him. Simple as fuck.” Xander scoffed.
“We have a plan.” Buffy said, slipping her hand into Giles’. She looked down at their hands and furrowed her brow. It had been a few years since she had held a cold hand.
Giles gently squeezed her hand, understanding that her thoughts had drifted. She looked back up and cleared her throat.
“Giles is going to offer me to Jobari.”
Silence filled the room as they all simply stared at Buffy. And then Anya threw her hands up in the air.
“Well, that’s just a fucking brilliant idea. Jobari wants the Slayer…here, take her. Why didn’t we think of that?”
“An…” Xander said quietly, placing his hand on her back.
“It’s the stupidest thing I’ve heard today!” Anya said loudly. “Well, maybe after Giles calling Willow the Mistress of Pain. And this is serious…we’re talking about Giles being turned!”
“If it was Arnie from the chess club, it would be serious. This is Giles…this is fucking beyond serious.” Buffy argued quickly.
“Yeah, but they’re wanting you…” Xander countered, glancing at Giles and narrowing his eyes when he noticed his expression. “What the fuck are you smirking at?”
Giles rolled his eyes and stepped closer to Buffy. Buffy tightened her grip on his hand.
“Look, I can’t kill Jobari if I’m not in his presence. And Giles is holding on as hard as he can…but, even he can only hold out for so long. And once he crosses that line, all bets are off. And this world will fall into chaos, because there’s no way I’m going to know what to do without him. So, we do what we know. We fucking kill vampires.”
“And what if we’re too late?” Tara asked meekly. “I mean…no one wants to think about it, but we kind of need to. If Giles crosses that line, what do we do?”
Buffy was quiet for a moment and then swallowed the lump in her throat. “Then I do something I can’t come back from. And if that happens…you’ll need to contact the Council and find out how to get the next Slayer activated…or make sure Faith is fully rehabilitated…or something. Because I won’t be able to do this anymore.”
Willow lowered her eyes and took a deep breath. As she looked back up, she nodded. “Okay…let’s talk it out.”
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
“Do you really think this is going to work?” Buffy asked, following Giles off the path they’d been walking on.
Giles stopped and turned to look at her. “Please don’t lose faith in me now, Buffy. We’re so close.”
“I know this looks…dodgy. Me leading you off the path and into God knows what, but…I swear to you, on what soul I have left, this is not a trap.”
“I didn’t think it is. I just don’t know if this is actually going to work. He’s a fucking King.”
“You fought a god…”
“I died in that battle, if you’ll remember.”
“I remember.” He whispered, lifting his hand to the side of her neck. He glanced at his hand and swallowed. “But, your heart beats…I feel it as strongly as…”
He lowered his hand suddenly, shaking his head as if he were clearing his thoughts. “I’m sorry…”
“For putting you through this. I should have just – ”
“Come to me, just like you did.” She interrupted quickly, grabbing the front of his shirt. Her eyes glistened as his glowed softly in the darkness. “How much time do we have?”
“I don’t know.” He gently wiped her cheek as a tear fell. “I want to kiss you more than I want to bite you at the moment.”
She chuckled softly. “Well, at least there’s that.”
“But, I do want to bite you.” He continued sadly. “I can’t deny that.”
He recognised the look of her stopping herself from speaking. He lightly rubbed his thumb along her jaw. “Say it, love.”
“I won’t be able to do it. There’s no way.”
He instinctively knew what she was referring to – staking him, if needed. He leaned down and tenderly brushed his lips across hers.
“You’ll have to, Buffy.”
She shook her head, her tears beginning to fall freely. “I won’t.”
He pulled her against his chest and wrapped his arms around her. She gripped the back of his shirt as she sobbed.
“Then we need to make sure that we get this done quickly, yes? Because it’s just a matter of time. As much as I want to hold out, I’m…teetering…more than I’m comfortable with.”
“There’s going to be blood in this fight.” She whispered into the front of his shirt.
He gave a somber nod. “Yes.”
“Is that going to push you over the edge?”
“Perhaps.” He admitted, knowing there was no point in lying about the situation.
They held one another for a few more minutes and then Buffy took a step back. Giles pushed his hands into his pockets and looked into her eyes.
“I can still see you in your eyes.” She said, a hint of a smile on her lips.
“The pull is strong, love. And getting stronger.” He glanced behind him, clenching his jaw briefly. “They’re not far.”
“Do you think the guys are positioned and ready to go?”
Giles closed his eyes for a moment, tilting his head slightly to the left. He nodded as he re-opened them and looked back at her.
“They are.” He smiled lightly and shrugged a shoulder. “I can hear them.”
Buffy paused and then her eyes widened. “If you can hear them…can the rest of them? Your…what is a group of vampires called?”
“There are different terms, but Jobari prefers brood.” He answered, pulling his left hand out of his pocked and running his fingers through his hair. “They’d hear heartbeats, but they’d be unable to distinguish them from other people milling about in the woods.”
She narrowed her eyes. “There are just normal people walking around in the woods? In Sunnydale…at night? Fucking hell, no wonder I can’t have a break…people are fucking idiots.”
Giles chuckled and nodded in agreement.
* * *
Giles squeezed Buffy’s hand as they got closer to the clearing. And then he released it, moving to stand behind her as he placed his hand on her shoulder.
“Follow my lead.” He whispered into her ear.
She gave a barely imperceptible nod. He gave her shoulder an affectionate squeeze as he nudged her toward a final line of trees. And then he paused, as if he were second guessing himself.
“Let’s do this, Giles.” She whispered, narrowing her eyes as she tried to see what was ahead.
“If we make it through this…” He started, rubbing his thumb over the nape her neck. “I’m yours if you’ll have me.”
She turned to look at him, reaching behind her to touch his thigh. “I love you.”
His eyes darkened slightly. She was concerned for the briefest of moments until she realised that they had darkened with desire and nothing sinister. She offered him a gentle smile.
“If we make it through this…you’re not staying in a hotel room. You understand what I’m saying?”
He nodded slowly, glancing at her lips. “Let’s get this done.”
“Kiss me once more?”
“Buffy…” He whispered, his thumb pausing its movement against her neck.
“Please. If we don’t – ”
He cut her off with a kiss, curling his fingers around the back of her neck as he pushed his tongue into her mouth. There was an urgency to the kiss that she hadn’t expected, but understood. She returned his kiss in kind, moaning softly as he pulled her tightly against him. And then she felt the abnormally sharp edges of his teeth against her tongue.
She carefully pulled from the kiss and looked into his amber eyes. “Suited up and ready to rumble…”
He lowered his eyes and loosened his grip on her. He cleared his throat and took a half step back from her.
“I love you too.” He said quietly, turning her back to face the direction in which they needed to go. “Remember, this is a relatively small brood. There are a total of ten, not including me. I’ll take out the three guards…the others will be taken care of by our friends – hopefully, from a distance, as we agreed. That will leave you to rush Jobari…and you will need to rush him, Buffy. Don’t give him a moment to think. Fucking plunge and move on. I’m serious.”
“You’re scared.” She whispered, turning her head to look at him.
“As are you.” He whispered back. “Take a deep breath, clear your mind. Focus on what you need to do…we’ll take care of the rest.”
He waited until she gave him a nod and then he pushed her through the final line of trees.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Giles grabbed Buffy from behind and pulled her back against his chest. Jobari grinned and sauntered over towards them.
“You’re stronger than I gave you credit for, Rupert.” He tilted his head and gestured towards Buffy. “But, your bloodlust is growing – you can smell the power in her blood, feel it pulsing under your fingers as you do your best to stop it flowing from that lovely gash on her arm. Go on, taste it…and then give her to me.”
Giles shook his head, holding Buffy’s arm even tighter. He could hear her heart pounding frantically in her chest.
“One taste, Rupert. That’s all you need. Then you can stand at my side, your attempt at betrayal will be forgotten…we’ll blame it on that bit of soul you still have. But, once that’s gone…what a force to be reckoned with. Maybe even more beneficial than a Slayer.”
“Giles…” Buffy cried, not taking her eyes off of Jobari.
Giles closed his eyes briefly and then lowered his mouth to Buffy’s ear. “I’m sorry, love.”
“I won’t let him take you.” He whispered quickly in a tone that he was sure Jobari couldn’t hear. “But, I can’t hold off any longer. We took too long. But, you and I…we can defeat him. We can defeat the other two. We can rule the vampire kingdom together…King and Queen. We can control everything. And we can be together, as we should be.”
Buffy’s eyes widened in realisation. And then she felt his lips on her neck, his grip tightening even more…his right hand on her arm, his left arm around her waist. She felt his teeth graze her skin lightly, teasingly…and she closed her eyes.
And then there was a scream.
And she heard a gasp.
And she felt warm breath against her skin.
“Giles?” She questioned, surprised and confused.
Instead of answering her, his tongue flicked against her skin before his mouth gave her neck a strong suck. And then he was turning her in his arms, moving his mouth to cover hers.
“Well, that was closer than I had envisioned.” Willow stated, stumbling over a log.
Angel nodded slowly, watching Giles and Buffy kiss in the middle of the clearing…a double-headed axe in his right hand, a pile of ash at his feet. He cleared his throat and gestured towards the kissing couple with the axe as he slowly turned his eyes to Willow.
“When did this happen?”
“It’s been building, Angel. Since before Riley left.”
Angel furrowed his brow. “Is that why Riley left?”
“No…it’s been building. Nothing happened until…earlier tonight, I guess.”
“After he was turned?”
“She was going to talk to him before he was turned.” Dawn interjected, glancing at Angel before casting a smile in her sister’s direction. Not that Buffy would’ve seen it, she was busy exploring Giles’ mouth with her tongue. She grimaced and shook her head, looking back at Angel. “She realised she was in love with him before she died. When she came back…and he wasn’t here…”
Dawn paused and took a deep breath. “She didn’t handle that well. And then he came back…for her. And she was going to tell him how she felt when they were on patrol, but…things kinda happened.”
Willow narrowed her eyes. “How did you know?”
Dawn chuckled. “I slept on the floor in her room for the first few nights she was back. She, uh…she talks in her sleep. A lot.”
Giles slowly pulled from the kiss and looked into Buffy’s eyes. “Are you alright?”
Buffy nodded and then grimaced in pain. “Um, maybe not. My arm fucking hurts and…what the hell happened?”
Xander and Anya ran in from the right, coming to a quick stop when they saw Angel. Xander gripped the crossbow in his hand even tighter.
“What are you doing here?”
Angel rolled his eyes and gestured towards the pile of ash. “Killing Jobari before Giles completely lost his soul.”
Suddenly realising that they weren’t alone, Buffy and Giles turned towards the voices. Tara quickly made her way to Buffy, a first aid kit in her hand. Giles offered her a gentle smile as he released Buffy’s arm. The bleeding had slowed, but it wouldn’t hurt to be cleaned and dressed properly. Infection could still be an issue.
Buffy looked very confused as her eyes darted from one person to the next, before stopping on Angel. “What’s going on? How did you know to be here?”
“I heard rumblings, called Willow.” He replied, lowering the axe to his side. “Left L.A., got here just in time. Jobari was too focused on Giles, the rest of the brood’s dead…gave me all the opening I needed. I, uh…have an axe.”
Buffy nodded slowly. “So I see. Um…thank you.”
“Yes, thank you.” Giles echoed, offering Angel a nod. “That was…terrifyingly close.”
“So, are you two having orgasms?” Anya asked, arms crossed over her chest as she stared at them.
“Not together.” Buffy replied, lacing her fingers with Giles’.
“Not yet.” Giles responded at the same time, a grin playing on his lips.
Xander stared at them in disbelief. Anya nodded approvingly. Tara looked up from her task of dressing Buffy’s wound. Willow snorted a laugh. Dawn smiled, but blushed heavily. Angel stared at them for a moment and then gave a wistful smile.
They were all sure that discussions would be had later…at some point in time.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Giles sat down on the edge of the hotel bed and waited for Buffy to come in. She’d gone down to the desk to ask for a large garbage bag. There was no saving the clothes he was wearing. He glanced towards the bathroom and sighed – a shower wouldn’t exactly hurt either. He nervously scratched the back of his head, swallowing as he felt a sudden wave of emotion hit. He inhaled deeply, rubbing his face with both hands.
Buffy’s smile faded as she entered the room, silently closing the door behind her. “You okay?”
Startled, Giles lowered his hands but didn’t look up at her. Instead, he slowly shook his head and exhaled.
She hesitated for just a moment before dropping the garbage bag on the table and sitting down next to him. “Is this about us?”
He looked at her, confusion in his eyes. “No, not at all. I’m certain about us, Buffy. I truly do love you.”
She looked around the room and furrowed her brow. “You haven’t even packed anything…”
He shook his head slowly, reaching out with a trembling hand to brush the hair back from her face. “Can we stay here? Just for tonight?”
“What’s wrong?” She leaned into his touch, tentatively placing her hand on his thigh. “You’re worrying me a little here…”
“I, uh…I may be having some difficulty processing the fact that I was actually a vampire. And nearly killed you.” He cleared his throat, glancing down at her hand. “I also want to…be with you. And I’m having some trouble pushing my way through the first part to allow myself to continue to the second.”
She looked into his eyes and shifted a bit closer to him. “Are we talking…like, PTSD?”
“I don’t know. But, it, uh…it was fairly traumatic.” He whispered. “Being dragged away from you, seeing the fear in your eyes. Knowing that they were probably going to kill me, but not knowing what I was in for beforehand. Not being able to call out to you while you were looking for me – even while they were laughing. Making me kneel…fucking kneel…before Jobari. Listening to him explain his intentions…while they held me. The grin on his face when he pulled away from me…my blood dripping from his teeth and down his chin…forcing me to drink from him as I died.”
Silent tears rolled down Buffy’s face as she listened to him. She was fairly certain that he didn’t realise that he was crying as well.
“I woke up and my first thought was of you.” He continued, chuckling sadly. “Though probably not the thought that Jobari was expecting. He wanted me to go straight to you, no questions asked…and drag you back to him. And my first thought was…Buffy can help me. So, I ran…and then I walked. And then I realised that I might be able to hold on just long enough. Because of you…for you. And then you opened the door and I could see that you figured it out within a millisecond. You saw me and you knew.”
Buffy wiped her face and nodded.
“And you invited me in. What the hell was that, Buffy? I could’ve killed you all right then and there.”
“Your eyes have never lied to me, Giles.” She replied after a moment. “I had to trust that we had time.”
He glanced at her arm, gingerly stroking the bandage with his index finger. “Your blood nearly pushed me over the edge. The smell, the heat, the feel of it oozing between my fingers…I thought I’d never wanted anything more than to just…drink you dry.”
“And then you kissed me. Right there, in that clearing…surrounded by piles of ash and our friends…and I just wanted to lose myself within you. I could feel you tremble against me, my heart racing so hard in my chest that I was worried it would explode. And then I knew I wanted more…I want more…”
“I said some fairly crass things to you in your bedroom. It may have sounded like it was merely sex I wanted.”
“It’s not. Well, I do…I do want to be with you. I want to make love with you. I want to fuck you…but, it’s so much more than that.”
“Do you?” He asked, tilting his head as he looked into her eyes. “Do you know how much I love you? That I’m in love with you? That I have been since before you died…when Riley was still in the picture? Do you know that I wept the entire flight back to Sunnydale after Willow called…because I couldn’t allow myself to believe that you were really back? And there you were, nearly breaking my ribs when you hugged me…but you were so different. And I didn’t understand. But, I do now…to a degree. I wasn’t in heaven…but I was dead. And having my soul shoved back into this body was not pleasant.”
She gently squeezed his thigh and leaned into him, placing a soft kiss on his jaw. “It hurts, doesn’t it?”
“It was excruciating.”
She pulled back and looked at him, nodding in agreement. “Yeah…”
He lowered his eyes and took a deep breath. “I should take a shower. I’m filthy and…I can still smell death on me.”
“Me too.” She shook her head slightly when his eyes darted back to hers. “I mean, on me…I can still smell death on me. Not you.”
“Would you like to shower with me? Maybe…maybe we can wash each other clean…”
When a slow smile appeared on her lips, he gave a light scoff. “That was probably one of the worst lines I’ve ever given. In my entire life.”
“But, it wasn’t meant as a line, was it?”
“No.” He inhaled deeply. “It really wasn’t.”
She gave him a nod and stood up, gently pulling him up with her. And as she led him into the bathroom, he knew that they were getting ready to turn a corner in their relationship.
* * *
“So many scratches…” Buffy commented softly as she ran the washcloth over his back.
“Probably from where they dragged me through the woods.” Giles replied, tilting his head back so that the hot spray of water hit the base of his throat. “Nothing too deep, I imagine.”
“No, not deep.” She lightly traced a thick line of scar tissue on his lower back. “What happened here?”
“My Grandmother had a dragon statue that sat in the front hall. I tripped over the rug and landed on it. It had large scales running along its spine…until they broke off in my back. One of the only times I ever saw my father actually frightened for me. It was a sobering experience.”
“Huh…” Buffy murmured, finishing cleaning his back of grime and blood. “I was expecting a story about a demon attack or being stabbed or Ethan doing something stupid to you. Instead, I get…clumsy baby Giles falling on a statue.”
Giles chuckled softly and turned to face her. “I was hardly a baby. I was eight years old.”
Her eyes swept over his chest before coming to rest on his neck. “That will probably scar.”
He nodded slowly, gently tracing the scar on her neck. “Much like yours did, I suspect.”
“Did they…do anything to you?” She asked, carefully wiping the cloth over his chest.
“Strangely, no. I mean, other than kill me and turn me. There was no torture…physical torture, I mean. They talked a lot – about what they wanted to do with you. That was…hard…to listen to.” He took a deep breath and furrowed his brow in thought. “Actually, when I think about it…it makes sense. It’s not as if they had a great deal of time. It was basically just enough time to complete the ritual in time for me to rise in the specified time. I probably should be grateful for that.”
He rubbed his left temple and sighed. She rinsed the cloth and added more soap to it.
“Yeah, just…tired and my head hurts. Eyestrain, maybe. I’ve lost my glasses…”
“I found them in the woods. They’re in my room…on the bedside table.”
He nodded and finally allowed his gaze to drop slightly, watching her hands carefully work the cloth over his skin. “You’re beautiful, you know.”
“So are you.” She replied with a smile.
He snorted a laugh and lowered his mouth to hers.
* * *
He kissed her slowly as he gently nudged her onto the bed, sliding his hand to her hip as he lowered his body next to hers. Her fingers were currently running through his still-wet hair, neither of them having taken the time to dry off completely following their shower.
As his mouth trailed down the front of her throat, she tilted her head back slightly. She sighed as she felt his teeth lightly graze her skin.
“You really like biting?” She asked, scratching her nails against the nape of his neck.
“Hm?” He murmured, flicking his tongue against her skin.
She inhaled sharply at the contact and cleared her throat. “When we were talking before…in my room. You said you wouldn’t fuck me, even though you wanted to, because it was too dangerous…”
“Nibbling…” He said, nibbling at the base of her throat. “…and sucking…”
He followed that with a gentle suck of the skin over her collarbone, smiling as she whimpered. He hadn’t expected to hear that from her.
He lifted his head to look at her as his left hand came to a rest just under her breast. “I never said I liked biting. But, do you like to be bitten?”
She looked into his eyes, covering his hand with hers and shifting it further up to cover her breast. “I like what you’re doing to me…I like what you will do to me, what you want to do to me…”
“With you.” He whispered, gently kneading her breast. “With you, love. Not to you.”
“You’re not going to fuck me, are you?” She asked, fingering a curl of wet hair behind his ear.
“If that’s what you want, yes. But, I’d much prefer to make love with you tonight.”
Her eyes glistened, causing him to stop his ministrations. He shook his head slowly and sighed as he brushed the hair back from her face.
“He never properly made love to you, did he?”
She didn’t have to ask who he was talking about. She’d always known that he didn’t really care for her ex.
“But, you will.” She replied with a smile.
He returned her smile and nodded, sliding his left leg between hers. “I rather think we’ll make love with each other…more than likely multiple times tonight.”
His eyes narrowed slightly. “It’s my hotel room…”
“No. In Sunnydale, with me. You’ve…you’ve been hinting about going back to England.”
“I didn’t think you were picking up on those…”
“Yeah.” She said quietly. “But, I was ignoring them. Because…you know…if you ignore something, it doesn’t happen. Right?”
“Is it a physical relationship you want with me? Or is it more?”
“I told you that I’m in love with you. Remember that?” She waited until he nodded before continuing. “In the entire time I was with Riley, I never told him that. Because I wasn’t. When he left…yeah, it was hard – it’s not like I didn’t care. But, I got over it. I…don’t think I’d get over you leaving. So, please…don’t. I love you – not just as my Watcher. I love you for the man you are, for the life I could have with you. I can’t have that if you’re in England and I’m in California. So, please…stay with me.”
“You came after me. Even though I had told you that you should never do that if I were taken.” He leaned into her and kissed her warmly. “Stupid thing to do, really.”
“I was full of stupidity, if you’ll remember.”
“No, I meant…it was stupid of me to tell you never to come after me.” He clarified before smiling. “However, yes…knowingly inviting a vampire into your home is fairly stupid as well.”
“Love is kinda stupid, isn’t it?”
He nodded and moved over her, kneeling between her thighs as he kissed his way to her ear. “Stupid in the most beautiful of ways.”
She closed her eyes as he resumed his earlier task…of showing her exactly how much he enjoyed nibbling and sucking. And she hoped she’d be able to stave off her orgasm until he had her clit between his teeth, like he’d talked about earlier.
She hoped, but she wasn’t optimistic.
The smile she felt against her breast as she trembled told her that he wouldn’t be overly upset if she wasn’t able to hold on. And so she loosened her grasp and simply allowed herself to feel.
She was okay with this kind of stupid.
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