Timeline: S5, follow up to Checkmate.
Synopsis: Giles has concerns...Buffy tries to alleviate them.
Author’s Note: As always, a very special thanks to A for looking over this for me.
Buffy looked up from the book she was flipping through to find Giles staring at her. Blatantly staring at her. She glanced at their friends. Willow and Tara were busy making lists of herbs and other sundries that they needed for a specific spell…Xander and Anya were busy whispering and giggling, which probably had something to do with sex. Dawn was listening to music through her headphones while she worked on her math homework. Buffy swallowed nervously and turned her eyes back to Giles.
Who was still staring at her.
“I’m sorry.” She said quietly. “You know that’s not what I meant.”
“Would you like to explain what exactly it was that you meant, then?” He asked, his stare unwavering as he lifted his mug of tea to his lips.
He lowered the mug and gave a nearly imperceptible shake of his head. “ ‘He’s more useful at the moment.’ Please…tell me what you meant by that.”
She sighed heavily and closed the book. “On patrols, Giles. Especially now.”
“He’s a vampire…who is becoming obsessed with you.” He replied, his jaw clenching.
“And you’re my Watcher…who I’m in love with.”
He broke the stare and rolled his eyes. “Useful…”
“He can’t translate texts. He can’t communicate with the Council. He can’t…he can’t do what you can do, Giles. But, he can help me on patrols. He can help us keep Dawn safe. I can’t have you out there with me right now, you know this.”
“I’m sure he’s been made aware of that as well, yes?” Giles bit back before he could stop himself.
“Please tell me you’re not jealous of him.” Buffy stared at him incredulously, shaking her head when he didn’t respond. “Jesus Christ, Giles…it’s you I come home to.”
“It’s he who follows you home.” He countered, meeting her eyes once more. “And I’m not jealous. I’m concerned.”
“If we run into Glory out there – ”
“He may have a chance against her, unlike me?” He interrupted, frustration and annoyance in his tone.
Her eyes softened as she looked at him for a long moment before moving to the chair next to him. “No. That’s not it. He would have no better chance against her than you – but, if he dies while going up against her…I’ll survive.”
She reached out and covered his hand with hers. “I can’t say the same if it were you. And that’s what this all boils down to, Giles. I can’t lose you…not to her, not like that. He’s more useful at the moment, in that sense. Please tell me you understand what I mean.”
Giles took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. “Yes. I understand…I don’t like it, but I understand.”
“Everyone knows that I’m in love with you. We’re not hiding it from anyone. If he chooses to ignore that, that’s on him. But, it doesn’t mean that he gets what he might want because he ignores the facts.” She leaned over and kissed him, smiling when she pulled back. “You have nothing to worry about, Giles.”
He nodded slowly. “What if he lets the identity of the Key slip to the wrong person? Or to Glory, herself?”
Her smile faded and her eyes darkened slightly. “Then I’ll stake him myself.”
“He’s a liability, Buffy.” He glanced around the room and shook his head. “None of this…what we’re doing to gain victory over Glory…is going to do one ounce of good if he’s involved. You know this.”
“He wants to help, Giles.” She protested gently.
Giles narrowed his eyes and leaned forward into her personal space. “He wants to fuck you.”
Sudden anger flashed in Buffy’s eyes.
“You know what you should concern yourself about, Giles? Whether or not I want to fuck him.”
The chattering of their friends stopped and they all looked towards the table where Buffy and Giles were sitting. Dawn looked up, slowly removing her headphones. Neither Buffy nor Giles noticed.
“And I’ll tell you something right fucking now -- I don’t. And if you can’t trust me on that, then we have an issue.”
Giles sat back in his chair, eyes focused on Buffy’s. “I trust you implicitly on everything, Buffy. My point is…Spike wants more than he can have – which is going to cause issues with Glory, the Key, with this entire fucking battle. This is not about me being concerned about you falling into bed…or a crypt…with Spike. Because I’m not. And if you can’t see the situation for what it is, then yes…we have an issue.”
They stared at each other for a few more moments before Buffy forcefully pushed her chair back and stood up. She stormed towards the back room without another word. Giles watched her until she slammed the door behind her…and then he lowered his eyes, exhaling deeply as he shook his head.
Anya regarded Giles closely and then opened her mouth. Xander quickly covered her mouth with his hand, shaking his head. She mumbled incoherently and he rolled his eyes, lowering his hand.
“I was just going to ask him if he’s okay.” She replied, slightly frustrated with Xander. “He looks so sad. And angry.”
Giles looked up and shook his head as he started to respond. His response was interrupted by the door opening forcefully and Spike rushing in, the blanket covering him smoking heavily. Giles stood as Spike dropped the blanket to the floor, stomping out a flame.
“Hello, all. What’s going on then?”
Giles narrowed his eyes. “Spike, you’re not welcome here.”
“Yeah…and, by the way, we’re working on a way to de-invite you from here. Even if it is a public place.” Willow added, crossing her arms over her chest.
Spike rolled his eyes. “Okay, now…I was afraid of this. Misrepresentations, misunderstandings, slurs, and allegations. I don’t know what Buffy told you, but the thing is – ”
Giles took two steps closer to Spike, removing his glasses and slipping them into his jacket pocket. “Spike…listen to me.”
“It’s just…I’m trying to explain.”
Giles shoved Spike into the bookshelf and then pinned him against it with his forearm. Xander caught Tara’s eye and gestured towards the back room. Tara nodded and rushed off to the training room. Dawn stood up and made her way to Willow’s side.
“We are not your friends. We are not your way to Buffy. There is no way to Buffy.” Giles’ eyes darkened in barely contained rage. “Clear out of here. And Spike…this thing? Get over it.”
Spike shook his head. “I don’t know what you mean.”
Giles curled his fingers into the lapel of Spike’s jacket and slammed him against the bookshelf again. “Yes, you do. Move the hell on.”
Buffy hurried into the room and cursed softly at the scene. “Seriously, Giles?”
Spike offered her a small grin. “Hello, pet.”
“Don’t call me that.” She replied absently, still watching Giles. “Let him go, Giles.”
Giles slowly turned to look at her, holding her gaze for a moment before jerking his arm away from Spike. Spike chuckled and smoothed his hand down the front of his jacket.
“Ooh…Watcher on a lead…”
“Shut the hell up, Spike.” Buffy ground out. “What do you want?”
“Just came by to see if you’d made any progress. Your Watcher decided to assault me.”
“I rather think I was giving you advice.” Giles replied, staring at Spike.
“Yeah…” Spike scoffed. “Threatening advice, complete with slamming me into furniture.”
Giles took a step towards him. Buffy rushed over and quickly grabbed his arm.
“Spike, you should probably leave now.” She said, glancing at Giles.
“Fine. I’ll see you tonight for patrol, then.”
“No…you’re not coming with me tonight.”
“What?” He gestured towards Giles with a wave of his hand. “You gonna take him with you? He’ll get himself and you killed out there.”
Giles’ hand curled into a fist. Buffy shook her head slowly, staring into Spike’s eyes.
“No, he’s not coming with me either. Because he is irreplaceable…and I need him to be safe – even if having him with me makes me feel the safest I’ve ever been.” She placed her hand on Spike’s chest and pushed him back against the bookshelf. “You do not make me feel safe. While you’re beneficial in a fight, you’re not irreplaceable. I will survive if you don’t. You need to understand, Spike.”
Spike glanced at Giles and then met Buffy’s eyes. “Understand what? You going to marry him? Have a house with a white picket fence…push out a couple of tweedy pups?”
“Whatever you want to happen between us will never happen, Spike. Never. You need to get that through your thick skull.”
“Never’s a long time, pet. Never’s longer than he’ll live. So…”
“Fuck off, Spike.” She growled, extending her arm behind her.
Giles leant down and picked the blanket up, placing it in Buffy’s outstretched hand. Buffy pushed the blanket against Spike’s chest and shook her head.
“Fine.” Spike pulled the blanket out of her grasp and took a step to the side. “Don’t come crawling to me when Niblet needs a babysitter or when Glory kicks your ass again.”
They all watched as Spike draped the blanket over him and stormed out of the Magic Box. As the door closed, Giles exhaled a slow, deep breath. Buffy turned to look at him.
He gave a slow nod and ran his hand through his hair. “It’s not that I don’t trust you, Buffy.”
“I know. I get it.” She said, shaking her head. “I understand your concerns, I really do. But, he’s not a complete liability.”
“He’s not a complete asset, either.”
“He’s an assability.” Anya said with a smile on her face. When everyone turned to look at her, she shrugged a shoulder. “Well, he is.”
Buffy smiled and then turned back to Giles, her smile fading as she placed her hand on his arm. “Are we okay?”
Giles sighed and pulled her into an embrace. “I love you more than I hate him.”
She slipped her arms around him and rested her head against his chest. “I guess that means you love me a lot, because you really really hate him.”
“Yes, well…” He chuckled softly. “To be fair, I hated him before this new development.”
“I think you should patrol with me tonight.”
Giles pulled back and looked down at her. “I’m sorry?”
“We need to patrol together – I think we both need for that to happen.”
“I’m fairly certain I just heard you say that I couldn’t because I’m ‘irreplaceable’.” He tilted his head slightly and furrowed his brow. “Also, Dawn…”
“You are irreplaceable, but this is something we need to do. And, Dawn…well…”
“Is standing right here.” Dawn muttered, crossing her arms over her chest.
Xander cleared his throat. “She can stay with us tonight. Games, movies, popcorn…a place that Glory doesn’t know exists. What do you say, Dawn?”
Dawn’s eyes brightened. “Yeah, I mean…can I?”
Buffy nodded, glancing at Giles and then Anya. “Okay, if you’re sure.”
“Oh, yes.” Anya said, nodding happily. “But, I’m not playing The Game of Life with her again.”
Xander grinned at Buffy’s look of confusion. “Dawn won’t let her sell the children for more money.”
“Is that in the rule book?” Tara asked, causing Willow to smile.
“No, it’s not! But, apparently just because it’s not in the rule book doesn’t mean that you can do it.” Anya replied, obviously still annoyed over the situation.
Buffy nodded, looking up at Giles. “You okay with that?”
“With not selling children for more money? Yes, I would agree with Dawn…” When Buffy rolled her eyes, he smiled adoringly at her. “I’m also okay with Dawn spending time with Xander and Anya tonight. She’ll be safe there.”
“Sorted.” Buffy said, gesturing towards the books on the table. “So…back to the books?”
Giles nodded and then lowered his head towards Buffy, gently brushing his lips across hers. Buffy smiled, knowing the argument was over.
For now, at least.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Giles followed Buffy through the courtyard that led to his front door, hands in his pockets. “Well, that was quite successful, if I say so myself.”
Buffy laughed, pulling her keys out of her pocket. “Yep, vampires dusted…and you didn’t even lose consciousness.”
“I felt…useful.” Giles smiled, stopping directly behind her and pulling his left hand from his pocket. He lowered his voice and ran his fingers down her back. “All in all, a good night.”
“You are useful, Giles.” She shivered lightly, sighing when he rested his hand on her hip. “And tonight could end even better…”
“Mm-hm.” He murmured, leaning down to place a kiss along the curve of her ear. “If you get the door unlocked…”
“Why aren’t you unlocking the door? It’s your door…” She said playfully, finally slipping the key into the lock and turning it. “Can I stay tonight?”
When he hesitated in his answer, she opened the door and looked around at him. “Dawn is spending the night at Xander’s…”
He smiled warmly and gently nudged her inside, following her and closing the door behind them.
As the door closed, Spike stepped out from the shadows where he had been watching and dropped a nearly finished cigarette on the ground. “Bugger that!”
He strode with purpose towards the door. Just as he reached out to take hold of the door knob, the door shook as though something had fallen against it. Spike leaned closer, his eyes narrowing when he heard Buffy moan Giles’ name.
* * *
As soon as Giles closed the door, Buffy pushed him against it and reached up, curling her hand around the back of his neck and drawing him down. She tugged his shirt out of his pants as she kissed him, nudging her tongue between his lips. He groaned into her mouth as she slid her free hand under his shirt, her nails lightly scratching at his skin.
In a sudden move that caught her by surprise, he easily lifted her and turned their bodies…she wrapped her legs around him as he pushed her against the door, causing the lock to rattle. He thrust his hips against her, moving his mouth to the side of her neck as she moaned his name.
He smiled against her skin, reaching between them to unfasten her jeans. Having quickly taken care of that task, he slipped his hands underneath the hem of her shirt…pausing his assault on her neck long enough to pull the garment up and over her head. He grinned at her as he dropped it to the floor, darting his eyes to her lace covered breasts.
Buffy’s brow furrowed slightly and she glanced at the door over her left shoulder. Giles traced the edge of her bra and the swell of her breast with his index finger.
“What’s wrong, love?”
She shook her head and met his eyes. “Take me upstairs.”
He captured her lips in another heated kiss as she slid her arms around his neck. He turned towards the stairs and quickly, but carefully made his way up.
* * *
Spike stepped back from the door, shaking his head. He backed further into the courtyard and looked up at the bedroom window.
“Never’s a long time, pet.” He mumbled, lighting another cigarette and storming off into the darkness.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Buffy giggled as Giles collapsed next to her. He turned his head towards her and raised an eyebrow.
“We, uh…didn’t make it to the bed…” She offered, gently stroking his chest with her fingertips. “And…pretty sure I have a rug burn on my shoulder.”
He smiled and brushed the hair back from her face. “Well, you went to the floor, love. I just followed you down.”
“You, um…” She rolled onto her side and leaned over him, placing a teasing kiss above his nipple. “You’re pretty amazing.”
When he merely smiled at her, she flicked her tongue against his skin.
“But, I’m not the first person to tell you that…”
He licked his lips, holding her gaze. “You’re the only one who matters.”
“I fucking love you, Giles.” She whispered, climbing on top of him.
He smiled, sliding his hands up her thighs. “I love you too…but, I’m going to need a little more time – ”
“Giles…” She interrupted softly.
“Yes?” He answered, sensing a shift in the conversation. “What is it?”
“You’re the only one who matters too.”
He offered her a small smile, his thumbs rubbing gently over her skin. “Perhaps I was a little jealous…”
“No reason to be.” She leaned down and kissed him, sighing into his mouth as his hand cupped her breast briefly.
She pulled from the kiss and pushed herself up, looking down at him. He lifted his hand and ran his fingers through her hair.
“You realise that this is a dangerous game to be playing, yes?”
Confusion shone in her eyes. “I’m not playing a game with you, Giles.”
“I know, love. I wasn’t talking about us.” He replied, shifting underneath her. “I’m talking about Spike…allowing him to help, in any capacity. Especially considering his apparent feelings towards you.”
She sighed and moved off of him, sitting next to him and leaning back against the side of the bed. She bent her legs and wrapped her arms around them, resting her chin on her knee. He sat up next to her, reaching behind her and pulling a blanket down that had been folded up on the foot of the bed. He draped it over his lap before gently tapping her knee and holding the blanket up in a silent request for her to join him underneath. She smiled and snuggled against him as he covered her.
“You’re going to have to be extremely cautious, Buffy.”
“I know.” She sighed and met his eyes. “I’m really sorry about earlier. At the Magic Box. I just…I didn’t think my words through. I said what I meant, but…I could have said it better, or differently. I didn’t mean to upset you. You are the most useful person I’ve ever met – especially to me.”
“Well, I’m your Watcher, so – ”
“Please don’t make everything about this calling. I mean, yeah…of course it has something to do with you being my Watcher and us having this amazing bond. But, it also has a lot to do with the love I have for you and the life I want to live with you.”
Giles smiled and then furrowed his brow in thought. “Tweedy pups? Did he really refer to our future children as tweedy pups?”
“You do want children.” She said quietly.
His eyes darted back to hers. “I never said that I didn't want children. Just that we should have that discussion after we dispose of this current threat.”
“But…you do?” She licked her lips as her eyes widened slightly. “With me? You want to have a family with me?”
He regarded her closely for a moment and then took a deep breath. “Do, uh…do you want to get married?”
“Have a nice house with a white picket fence? A few children…possibly a dog or two?”
“Did you just ask me to marry you?”
“No…I asked if you wanted to get married. Do you want me to ask you?”
She stared at him for a moment. “Would you be asking because you want to…or because Spike mentioned it this afternoon?”
Giles suddenly realised that he was in somewhat of a precarious situation. And his answer was the fulcrum point in this conversation. He tilted his head slightly and stared into her eyes.
“I want to spend the rest of my life with you, Buffy. However, I don’t need a piece of paper to do that…nor do we need to be married to have children. Do I want to have children with you? Absolutely, when the time is right. Do I want to marry you? I wouldn’t be opposed, but I’m not lying in wait with a ring in my pocket either.”
A small smile played at her lips. “You’re naked.”
“And that would be a figurative ring in a figurative pocket.” He smiled back. “I was simply curious about your thoughts pertaining to marriage.”
Buffy thought for a couple of seconds and then blew out a deep breath. “Marriage…makes me nervous. I mean, my parents got divorced. Xander’s parents hate each other. Willow’s parents seem to ignore each other more than anything else. But, then…there are some people who have the most amazing marriages and still love each other after forty or fifty years.”
“I, uh…probably wouldn’t have fifty years left to give you.” Giles replied softly.
“I can’t guarantee three months, Giles.” She reached over and slid her hand into his. “But, I know that I want whatever time I have left to be with you. I don’t need a ring or a change of name to have that. Do I?”
He smiled and leaned into her, placing a loving kiss on her lips. “No, you don’t. Not at all.”
“Hm?” He murmured, fingering the blanket that was covering them.
“Think we can get into bed now? It’s getting a little uncomfortable sitting on the floor…”
“Mm-hm…” He smiled. “Tired?”
“Not exactly.” She replied, smiling back at him. “But, if you’re tired…we can go to sleep…”
His eyes followed the blanket as he gently pulled it away. “Not tired…”
She lifted her hand to the side of his face, her smile turning to a grin when she watched his eyes darken with desire. “I’m not fucking you on the floor again tonight.”
“Then you should probably move now.” He replied, dropping his gaze down her body. “Because I don’t have a problem staying where we are…as long as I’m inside of you.”
“Jesus, Giles…” She breathed, trembling as his hand slipped between her thighs.
She shook her head quickly, grabbing his hand and maneuvering to her feet. “Come on.”
He stood up, unabashedly staring at her as she laid across the mattress. She tugged his hand, silently requesting him to join her. He licked his lips as he knelt on the bed between her legs and leaned over her.
“If you change your mind, you’ll let me know?” He asked, sliding his hand to her hip.
He saw the confusion flash in her eyes and he smiled. “About…marriage. If you change your mind, I’ll ask.”
“I love you.” She whispered, her eyes glistening.
“I love you.” He replied, slowly entering her. He paused, gazing into her eyes as she moaned softly. “And I’m really sorry for what took place earlier today, as well.”
“Later…” She whispered, sliding her hands to his back. “That’s not important now.”
He lowered his mouth to hers and kissed her thoroughly as he began to move within her. She was right, this wasn’t the time to talk about what had happened earlier – their argument, their concerns, Spike…none of that was important at this moment.
A groan rumbled in his chest as her nails scratched across his skin, her tongue slid against his, her hips moved in perfect rhythm with his.
They’d discuss it further later…in great detail, quite possibly with him promising to stake Spike at some point. But, right now…with her underneath him, her warmth surrounding him…he honestly didn’t give a damn about what Spike was feeling. He rolled their bodies and she supported herself with her hands on his chest. As she began to move above him, he realised that there was only one thing he actually did give a damn about right now.
He grinned up at her, gazing at her through lust-glazed eyes as he gripped her hips tightly.
Oh yes, definitely only one thing he gave a damn about right now.
Everything else would wait.
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