- Text Size +
Title: Looking Glasses
Author: Escargoat
Rating: well done PG-13 to rare R – nothing too scorching.
Disclaimer: I don’t own, Joss, Mutant Enemy, Fox, the WB, UPN, etc have rights. I don’t. I make no money.

Response to Gileswench’s hyper-mini-challenge (24 hours) on GRB
Requirements as follows:
Pairing: open...but it must include a romance of some sort with Giles
as one of the participants
Rating: open...just remember I loves me smoochies
Must include the following: a cat or dog, a pair of glasses that don't
belong to Giles, a paperback novel, chocolates



/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

As Dawn walked into the store, Giles let out the breath he had been holding. She was late coming from school, and he had become more concerned as the minutes passed. Anya had taken off with Xander earlier in the day, so he had been unable to go looking for her. He had been unwilling to call Buffy and upset her before he knew that there was something seriously wrong.

“You’re late,” he reprimanded sternly.

“Yeah, I know, sorry,” was all she said in reply.

Anger crackled in his eyes. “You know you are supposed to come directly here from school. The danger is very real, Dawn.”

“I did come here directly from school. I just got held over,” she mumbled.

The anger shifted into more of an annoyed look. “You were in detention?”

Dawn shook her head and looked at the floor.

“Why on earth were you late then?” Giles asked perplexed.

“They sent me to see the school nurse. They...” She stopped and choked as she held back tears. “They think that I need…”

Giles put a comforting hand on her shoulder. “What do they think you need?”

“They think that I need glasses,” she sniffled.

“Ah,” was all he really could think to say.

Fortunately, Dawn seemed willing to expound upon her problem without further coercion, “They think that I need them for reading. But, I can’t get glasses. I’m already a freak, and nobody else wears them, and, and I’m not sure that we can afford glasses. After Mom…” she trailed off again as the tears came harder.

With a sigh, Giles pulled her into his arms for a quick hug. “I’m sure everything will be fine. I don’t think that getting a pair of spectacles is the end of the world.”

“Sure, that’s what you think. You’ve been wearing them, since like forever. Oh, oops?” Dawn blushed when she looked up at him.

“It’s hardly the most insulting thing that has ever been said to me, and I’m certain that Buffy won’t have to pay for them entirely out of pocket. Surely your father has some sort of medical coverage that would include this? If not, the state should have assistance for the exam and lenses at least.”

She smiled at him, tears still running down her cheeks. “You think so?”

“Well, I am an expert on the subject matter. Having had glasses ‘since forever’ as you put it. I’m certain that I could take you to my optician. I quite like him, and I’ve found him quite reliable as far as pricing goes. I, ah, have had to have my glasses replaced on occasion. They tend to fly off one’s head when it gets hit.”

“Will you take me?” Dawn asked.

“What?” he asked, a bit surprised at her request.

“I don’t want Buffy to get all spazzed out over this, and you like know how to handle getting all examined and everything. And if you take me, then Buffy doesn’t have to know.”

“I hardly think that you need to hide the fact that you need glasses from your sister.”

“But if she knows, I’m going to get stuck sitting around home for the rest of my life. Buffy will never let me do anything cool except for read some musty old books. I’ll be like the miniature Giles,” Dawn pouted.

Giles smiled at her petulance. “I should like to think that I do more than simply read musty old books.”

Dawn rolled her eyes. “You know what I mean. When was the last time Buffy let you have a life? It’s like she’s Ward Cleaver going off to work leaving June to look after the kids and the house. The when she comes home, June has to tell Ward all about what’s going on in Wally’s life so she can have a good talk with him.”

“I think I take exception to being compared with June Cleaver.”

Dawn glared at him, “You cook, you clean, you give Buffy parenting advice, and practically bow to every wish that she makes. Face it you’re a housewife.”

“I am not,” Giles huffed.

“Yeah? Then why are you putting up with being insulted by a teenager? You’re just totally wrapped around Buffy’s little finger and can’t admit it. My eyesight isn’t so bad that I can’t see the way that you look at her when you two are alone in the kitchen.”

“I most certainly do not look at Buffy any sort of way when we’re alone in a kitchen together, and furthermore, if you saw me with her, we wouldn’t be alone,” he responded.

“Oh, yeah?”

“Yes.”

“Yeah?”

“Yes,” he paused for a second and shook his head, “Now look here, I am an adult, and you should do as I tell you. We are going to tell your sister about this, and you are going to get those glasses young lady.”

Dawn raised an eyebrow and looked at him. He glared back at her. She continued to stare at him.

He pulled his glasses off and began to polish them. “It’s a pity that there isn’t going to be a Beaver.”

Dawn grinned. “You do realize that I could use this as major blackmail against you.”

“Yes, well the irony is the fact that not one of them would believe you. Besides, I think that you should give me a bonus for actually getting one of your pop culture references.”

She rolled her eyes. “You do so not get a bonus for a show that ended before I was born, let alone before I was… conjured or whatever. Besides, I think it’s sweet.”

“I doubt that Buffy would share your opinion on that matter,” he replied as he slid his glasses back on.

“So, how long have you, you know, had a thing for Buffy?” Dawn asked after a moment.

“I... I’m not really sure. I suppose that I first seriously considered it last Thanksgiving when she commandeered my kitchen and my home.”

Dawn screwed up her face at him, “That’s just wrong.”

“I don’t see why. You are the one who called me a submissive housewife.”

“No, there was no submissive. I said you were wrapped around her little finger. There’s a difference.”

“Ah, but I wouldn’t be in love with the real Buffy if I had the need to be the dominant one in the relationship. I was born to be her Watcher. Certain parts of my personality are influenced by that. I am not ashamed of who I am.”

“You’ve actually thought about this?”

“Shouldn’t I have?”

“Well, I mean, you never said anything,” Dawn said as her face plainly showed her confusion.

“I’ve never said anything because there was no need. Buffy has made it quite plain that she has no need for me to fulfill her in that sort of a relationship. I respect her, so I respect her wishes.”

“Don’t you think it’s kind of unfair to make the assumption without asking Buffy first?”

“As you pointed out earlier, Buffy is under so much stress that she would ‘spaz’ right now. In truth there has never been a right time to tell her. I highly doubt that there ever will be a right time.”

“And you’re happy with that?” Dawn asked in disbelief.

Giles shrugged and sighed, “Not happy, more content I suppose. I’d rather see her happy than anything in the world. To know that I have some form of unwanted affection for her would cause her much concern. I couldn’t bear to do that to her.”

Dawn shifted uncomfortably in the silence that followed. “Why did you tell me?” she finally asked.

“Because I am still a man, and I needed to tell somebody. I assumed that you would be the least likely person to be disturbed by the news, as you already had some inkling of my feelings, and partially because you are the one person that I can bribe to not tell Buffy,” he admitted grudgingly.

Dawn grinned. “Does this mean that you aren’t going to tell Buffy about the glasses?”

Giles sighed. “If that is what you want for your silence, but I really do think that you should hold out for something better.”

Dawn shook her head. “Nope. It’s what I want. Buffy and company already act funny towards me. I don’t need anymore funniness.”

Giles shook his head. “You’re bloody insane.”

“Yup, but that’s why you like me. I’m like Buffy. Only… not in that way, because yuck.”

“Ah, yes, well thank you. I’m up to four letters to describe my sexual inclinations. I’m not sure that Buffy and Xander ever made it past ‘ewww.’”

“But, ‘ewww gross’- that’s six different letters, and two different words,” Dawn reminded him.

“Ah, but ‘very, very old and gross,’ uses nine different letters and is comprised of four different words, or if you choose straight numerics, nineteen letters and five words.”

Dawn smiled and then frowned. “Oh god, I’m turning into you already.”

Giles shook his head. “Don’t worry, if you were turning into me, you’d have said ‘Oh, dear lord.’”

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Buffy shifted uncomfortably as she stretched out after her latest training session. Dawn had been acting strangely as of late. She refused to do her homework around Buffy, and whenever Giles came over, she’d rush off to her room as soon as possible, leaving Buffy alone with her Watcher.

This would naturally lead to the conclusion that Dawn had somehow decided to hate Giles, but that did not seem to work as she spent hours at the Magic Box with him.

And Giles seemed to be spending a lot of time with Dawn, too. He was being all affectionate and fatherly towards her. They were sharing secretive looks like they had, well secrets. Secrets that Buffy didn’t know about. Like why had Dawn started to giggle every time Giles cleaned his glasses? Why had Giles and her sister looked so amused when Buffy offered him an apron to cover his business pants when he helped cook the other night? Why had they both almost simultaneously choked on their tea when Buffy had asked if Giles ever wore a pearl earring? Why was Dawn drinking tea anyway?

Buffy growled and slammed her fist into the punching bag.

“I thought you said you were done training for the day,” Giles remarked as he came back into the training room.

Buffy turned around shocked that her Slayer hearing had not picked up on the sound of his footsteps. “I am. I just, needed to let off a little steam.”

“Would you like to talk about it?” Giles gestured towards the couch.

“No, it’s nothing, really, I’m just kind of wound. The whole Glory thing really isn’t making for a happy Buffy.”

“Well, I should say that it isn’t, but I’m not certain that is what is bothering you at this particular moment.”

Buffy looked at him and stomped over to sit on the couch. Giles gently sat down next to her.

“How come you don’t like me anymore?” she asked.

Giles actually felt his forehead crease in confusion. “What do you mean?”

“You’re just all about Dawn. You have these secret looks and the inside jokes, and I’m just out of the loop. I’m supposed to be your slayer, but you’re just spending all your time being Mr. Father Figure to Dawn,” Buffy pouted.

Giles didn’t know whether to laugh or take Buffy’s pouting lip between his own and show her just how affectionate he could be.

Buffy glanced at him. “Aren’t you going to say anything?”

“I’m not sure exactly what you wish me to say,” he replied as he shook his fantasies from his mind.

“Well, you could say something. Something that preferably consoles your Slayer into knowing that she’s more than a safety ticket to you,” Buffy chided him.

“I suppose that I don’t understand. Surely you don’t want me to treat you as I do Dawn,” Giles responded evenly, even though his mind was shrieking in terror at the thought that Buffy might want him to do just that.

“No, it’s just that ever since Dawn came along, we don’t have time for us anymore. She even interrupts us when we’re training. I love her, but it isn’t fair. This was supposed to be the Watcher-Slayer bonding time. Now it’s just everybody cooing over Dawn, and I’m just mean old Buffy making sure that she’s all well taken care of and fed and protected from the evil hell god, goddess, whatever. There’s no time for Buffy anymore.”

Giles coughed to cover his laugh. “I see.”

Buffy turned and saw his eyes crinkling in amusement. “What?”

“You are upset that you are getting treated like a ‘mom.’ All your friends are single and free to do as they please, and you have to stay home and take care of your sister.”

“I am not. I’m just, okay, maybe I’m a little annoyed that I’m all adult Buffy now, but how come I don’t get the perks of being the adult?”

“Meaning?”

“Meaning that I’m being all adult, and you’re spending your time with Dawn. It’s like she’s your little Slayer now.”

“I hardly think that I’m treating Dawn like she is my Slayer. I’m simply treating as if she was, well…”

“Your daughter. You’re treating her as if she was your daughter, your little teenage angel who is being just like her daddy and just making me out to be a little disappointment to you.”

Giles’ eyes reflected the hurt that he felt. “I don’t think of you as my child Buffy,” he whispered.

“Then what am I? I’m not you’re friend, at least not anymore. You haven’t been pulling away from Xander and Willow.”

“You’re my Slayer,” he responded quietly.

Buffy laughed angrily, “Your Slayer. Fine. Call me when something needs slaying. I need to get Dawn home so she can finish her homework.”

With that she stomped out of the training room, leaving behind a very confused Giles.

/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Giles was still confused at just what had happened when he sat at home later that night. He supposed that he should just untangle his own feeling from the matter to see just what exactly Buffy was upset about, but he could not get himself to drop his own feelings of despair. The only conclusion he could draw was that Buffy wanted him to treat her as he treated Dawn.

That led to a rather large problem as he had always viewed Dawn as Buffy’s in one way or another. The false memories that floated in his head even indicated that he had always viewed Dawn as more of a child than a sister to Buffy because of the way Buffy had protected her sister. Of course, the memories were fake, so his current perception of the situation could have tainted them.

But any way he viewed it, unlike Xander or Willow, his affection for Dawn had always sprung from the fact that she was related to Buffy. He loved Dawn because he loved Buffy. When Joyce had died, he had become even more paternally attached to Dawn.

Buffy had recognized this, but what Buffy did not realize was that he had become even more romantically inclined towards his Slayer. Naturally, he had backed off as he did not want to cause her undue stress, but in return, he had the need to connect more with her. The only solution was to help her raise Dawn.

That brilliant plan seemed to have backfired in ways he could not have imagined. Some of Willow’s failed spells paled in comparison.

Morbidly, he brooded. If brooding had worked for Angel, he might as well give it a try. For all he knew, it was the only way to deal with wanting, but not being able to have, Buffy. He had thought about brooding with a glass of scotch, but decided against that particular plan, as he had to be at the shop the next day. He didn’t need a hangover.

In lieu of the scotch, he grabbed a box of chocolates off of his coffee table. He had originally planned to bring them over to Buffy’s house and have dinner with her and Dawn, but the fight with Buffy earlier in the day had erased that plan and left him with an unopened box.

He had just succeeded in taking a bite out of each chocolate, just for the perverse pleasure of it, when he heard a timid knock at his door. Immediately suspicious of anyone who would knock, he grabbed a cross and a crossbow as he headed towards the door.

He savagely swung it open. Buffy stood on the other side with an amused expression on her face.

“Now what would you say if I had just been your neighbor lady wanting to borrow a cup of sugar?”

“I’d say that I’m tired of getting sugar for you just so you can ogle my arse,” Giles replied as he gestured for Buffy to come in.

Buff wrinkled her nose at him. “Have you been drinking? You don’t smell like it, but you’re kinda acting like it.”

“No, I…I’m just in a bad mood.”

“Because of what I said earlier?”

Giles simply stared at her with a ‘what do you think?’ look.

“Right, stupid question. But, here I am, ready to make amends. You can be all paternally to Dawn if you want. I’m sorry I made you all cranky.”

Giles ran a hand through his hair. When he didn’t respond after that, Buffy started talking again, “Look, I’m really sorry. I even got an official apology gift.” She reached into her pocket and pulled out a book.

Giles plucked it from her grasp. “The Lady and the Librarian?” he amusedly asked.

“Well, I was kinda already on the way over here when I thought about an apology gift, and the only thing open was the gas station. It was either that or a box of Lipton tea bags.”

Giles shuddered. “That isn’t tea - that is - well it isn’t tea. I may have sunk to using a bag instead of a bob, but I steadfastly refuse to drink that swill.”

“Except for when you do?”

“Yes, well, let us never speak of my indiscretion on that matter again,” he said as he walked over to shelve the book.

“Doesn’t it seem kinda out of place with ‘Wenkler’s Demon Anthology?’” Buffy asked.

“Given the fact that you were able to purchase the book at the local gas station, I assume that its contents should result in the same level of nightmares,” Giles replied.

“Snob,” she teased him.

He merely smiled in return. He smiled until he saw Buffy’s eyes rest on the box of chocolates.

“I... it isn’t w-what it looks like,” he said hastily as he slammed the cover over the box.

“You were moping!” Buffy accused him.

“I was not. I’ll have you know that I was brooding.”

“Nuh uh. I know brooding. That wasn’t brooding, that was full fledged moping. Brooding involves angry violence and turning out half your lights. Moping involves the consumption of large amounts of chocolate.”

“I didn’t eat all that much. I merely…”

“Took a bite out of each one? Giles, you really need to get out of denial land. You were moping because we had a fight,” Buffy tilted her head to the side, “You were moping because we had a fight? How long has this been going on?”

“I, I… It is none of your business how I assuage my hurt feelings,” he snipped at her.

“No way, buster. You are so hiding something from me.” Enlightenment dawned on Buffy’s face. “That’s why you’ve gotten all friendly with Dawn isn’t it? You’re hiding something from me and Dawn knows.”

“What? No. No! I’m not hiding anything. Why would I hide something from you?” Giles said defensively as he crossed his arms over his chest.

Buffy grinned, “What is it? It can’t be something apocalypse-y because you’d tell me. You’ve got a girlfriend don’t you? You’ve got a girlfriend and you don’t want me to know ‘cause you think I’ll ruin it.”

“No, of course not. I assure you that I have no companion at the moment, female or otherwise.”

Buffy simply shrugged her shoulders. “Fine, I know you and your secrets. You aren’t going to tell anytime soon. Dawn, on the other hand, can be bribed.”

Genuine fear crossed Giles’ features. “I’ll have you know that I can out bribe you.”

“Wanna bet? I have grounding privileges.”

“I have a magic shop full of items Dawn wants to touch, and you have to patrol sometime,” he threatened.

“Yeah? Well I can ground her from going to your shop.”

“Well, I have a car,” Giles shot back.

Buffy’s eyes widened. “You wouldn’t let Dawn any where near the driver’s seat.”

“Wouldn’t I?” he challenged her.

“I’ll just ground her from driving.”

“Do you really think she’ll listen if you keep grounding her?”

Buffy frowned. “Probably not, but I have the one thing that you by your very nature can’t offer her.”

“And what is that?”

“A day, at the mall, shopping. Trying on shoes, clothes, jewelry, talking about boys…” Buffy smiled triumphantly. “Well, I’ve got to get going. Willow and Tara are probably tired of looking after Dawn and I don’t want to be gone too long.”

Giles stared at the door. Nervously, he pulled the cover off the box of chocolates again. He needed something to fortify his courage.

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Dawn blew a breath out of her lips as she flopped into a chair in the Magic Box. Buffy had been being suspiciously nice to her little sister, too nice, which meant that Buffy wanted something. Dawn looked over at the cash register where Anya and Giles were standing.

Anya looked her normal happy self as she counted the money for the bank deposit. Giles, on the other hand, looked like he was about to panic. The bell above the shop door rang as Xander and Willow strolled in. Giles jumped at the sound.

“Hey, Dawnie,” Willow said as she slid into another chair.

“Hey. What’s up with Giles, he’s acting all funny,” Dawn asked.

“Ah, that would be the jumpy Giles act, he does that when he’s nervous,” Xander explained.

“About what?” Dawn asked.

“Well, we don’t know, we’ve never really seen the nervous Giles act before,” Xander replied.

“Well, except for that time he was going to ask Ms. Calendar out, but that was kind of a good nervous, not a, you know, going to the guillotine paniky ‘Oh, Dear Lord,’ save me thing,” Willow supplied.

“Dawn, might I have a word with you?” Giles asked.

“Sure,” she replied a little uncertainly.

“Excellent, why don’t we talk down in the storage room?” he said before he moved towards the door to said room.

Willow looked at Xander who looked at Anya. In unison, they rushed towards the door to listen.

“Dawn, do you remember that thing I told you?” Giles asked.

“What thing? OH! The thing. The Buffy thing, yeah, sure, what about it?”

“You do realize that it is imperative that you not tell her or anyone else?”

“Duh, I’m not ten. A secret is a secret. What’s got you so jumpy?”

“Buffy, knows, that is to say that she suspects that I’m hiding something from her,” Giles explained.

“You are,” Dawn stated simply.

“I know that, I just want to make sure that she isn’t going to discover it by other means.”

“What other means? Wait, is this secret thing the reason that Buffy made my favorite breakfast this morning? And why we’re going shopping this afternoon?”

“Yes, yes it is.”

“Oh well, cool. Now all I have to do is keep my mouth shut, and I can get that jacket I want.”

Giles looked disapprovingly at her. “Dawn, you can’t use your sister like that. She doesn’t have a job to afford a new jacket with.”

“No, but you do. You’ve got a shop, and you’re getting Watcher pay now,” Dawn bubbled happily.

Giles glared at her. “We had a deal.”

“We did, but you didn’t trust me, so I think that deserves a new jacket. And the glare doesn’t work on me like it does on Buffy.”

Giles pulled out his wallet and began to count out some money. “The glare doesn’t work on Buffy either.”

“Sure it does, she thinks it makes you all adorable and British, kind of like when she does the big Buffy pout thing to you,” Dawn said as she held out her hand for the cash.

Giles frowned, “Since when?”

“Since she started thinking you had a new girlfriend. Gotta go, I think that Buffy just came in,” Dawn sped up the stairs and out into the shop.

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Buffy glowered at her sister. She thought she had her, she really did, until Dawn produced her own money to pay for the new jacket. There was only one place that her little sister could have gotten that money from and that was a wallet that was kept in the pockets of a British man’s pants.

There had to be some way to figure out what Giles was hiding. It had to be something romantic. What else would Giles want to conceal from her? The thought of him having another woman drove her a little bit batty. She did not want things to change. She wanted her little family the way it was. She wanted her Watcher all to herself, no slutty former models giving her man happies. If anybody was going to be giving him happies, it was going to be his Slayer.

Buffy stopped in her mental tracks and sighed. She was being irrational. Just because she had a little fantasy that she and Giles were the heads of her little family unit did not mean that she needed to destroy any relationships that he had. Buffy ground her teeth together. She couldn’t help but be irritated that some woman was trespassing on her life.

Dawn’s happy giggle interrupted her gloomy thoughts. She turned to see her little sister playing with a puppy.

“Watcha doing?” Buffy asked as she peeked around Dawn’s shoulder.

“The animal shelter is having an adoption day. Look at them Buffy, aren’t they cute?”

Buffy smiled at the wiggling little messes. Then she looked at Dawn’s face and back at the puppies.

When she looked back up at Dawn, her sister was looking worriedly at her.

“What?” Dawn asked.

“How would you like to have that puppy you always wanted?”

///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Giles sighed as he rubbed the kinks out of his neck. He had fallen asleep researching the night before and had woken up that morning with his head in a book, literally. As such, he felt not quite up to speed as he walked into the Magic Box on Saturday morning. As a result of not being quite up to speed, he failed to notice Dawn sitting at the table reading until he had already begun to take a sip of his tea.

Dawn sitting at the table reading a book. A book with small print. A book with small print that required the use of the reading glasses that were perched on her nose.

The tea he was drinking would have settled like a rock in stomach had he not spewed it out of his mouth in shock.

“Hey, G-Man you okay?” he vaguely heard Xander ask.

“What, quite, fine, yes, thank you,” he mumbled dazedly.

“You don’t look fine. You look terrible, like you’re going to faint or have a heart attack. Do you have a will, and does it leave the shop to me?” Anya asked in her own concerned way.

“Maybe he’s just having an allergic reaction to the puppy,” Willow supplied.

“Puppy?” Giles asked just as his eyes rested on the small dog sitting in Dawn’s lap.

“You, you sold me out for a mangy mongrel?” Giles hissed.

Dawn shrugged and went back to reading her book.

“Bloody hell,” he whimpered as he cast his gaze towards the door to the training room. With an air of martyrdom, he made himself move towards the back of the shop.

“Are you sure we should let him be training right now? He looks kind of out of it,” Tara asked from her place next to Willow.

Anya shook her head. “It’s a long story, but he’ll be okay. If Buffy doesn’t break him with her Slayer enthusiasm that is.”

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

“I told you I’d win,” Buffy said as Giles stepped into the training room.

“How long did she hold out?” he asked torturedly.

“Until we got her new puppy home.”

“Ah, how very strong of her,” Giles whispered.

“You know, I’d think you’d know better than to confide in a teenage girl. They live for gossip, Giles. She was practically bursting at the seams to tell me.”

“After you bribed her,” he reminded her.

Buffy grinned. “So, you want to tell me what makes you all horny for your Slayer, or should I guess?”

Giles pulled his glasses off and started cleaning them, “Buffy I implore you not to embarrass me any further than necessary. I remind you that it was never my intention for you to know and that I have ever acted on those impulses.”

“But that’s why I have to tease you. You didn’t tell me,” Buffy responded.

“I’m sorry,” he mumbled, “I just thought it would be easier for you if you didn’t know. I realize that I should have told you…”

“Yes, see, this is where we agree. You should have told Buffy. You should have told Buffy a long time ago so she didn’t make the vamp whoring mistake that was Riley.”

“First of all, what? And second of all, why are you referring to yourself in the third person?”

Buffy smiled innocently and swept Giles’ legs out from underneath him. She quickly straddled him and her smile went slightly feral. “We really could have been doing this a lot sooner had I known you were making with the frisky Watcher-ness and not the daddy Watcher-ness.”

“I don’t - oh dear lord,” he whispered as Buffy lowered herself against him and started nibbling at his ear. “I thought you wanted me to be more like I was towards Dawn,” he managed to strangle out.

“Nope, I said I wanted you to be more affectionate towards me. And I really like this sort of affection,” she said as she slid her palms over his chest.

“I don’t think you understand, I’m in love with you, I can’t do this,” he explained as he struggled to sit up.

“You can’t have sex with somebody you’re in love with? What, is this like some sort of modified gypsy curse for the living?”

“I can’t make love to you when you’re just going to leave me for the next man to steal your heart,” Giles explained helplessly.

Buffy smacked him on his arm.

“Ow,” he complained as he rubbed his bicep.

“Well, it isn’t going to get stolen if you make sure you keep it, you moron,” Buffy huffed as she steadfastly refused to be removed from Giles’ lap.

“Wha… Are you saying what I think you’re saying?”

“Yes, and before you ask if I’m sure, Dawn made me swear up and down about it ten times before we got here today. I need a guy who isn’t afraid of being less manly than his woman.”

“I refuse to be called less manly. I’m not wearing frilly underwear, and I happen to be in possession of a fully masculine anatomy.”

“Well, I don’t know that, now do I?” Buffy said as her hand traveled down his chest and belly.

His hand stopped her just as she closed in on the button for his slacks. She looked at his face with annoyance. “I love you, now let me see what’s in the cracker jack box.”

He smiled at her. “I love you too, but I’m not letting you do anything until I get a proper kiss first. I may have a reputation for being a bit loose in my younger days, but I’m not that loose.”

Buffy grinned and grabbed his mouth with hers. He moaned and returned the kiss with equal ferocity. When they finally pulled apart, his thumb caressed her lower lip. “The things I’ve wanted to do to that lip when you pouted at me,” he rumbled a second before he nipped at it with his teeth.

Buffy used his distraction with her lip to send her hand back to its previous mission of getting inside his trousers.

A distinct “Oh Dear Lord,” sounded out into the shop.

Dawn looked up at the sound and looked at the others. Xander looked over at her. “Never, ever tell me what you told Buffy. Ever.”

At the sound of Buffy moaning Dawn yanked of her glasses and started polishing them, “Don’t worry, Xander, I’m pretty sure that I’m going to forget I told her myself.”
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