Summary: Anya spills the beans and cookie metaphors...or analogies...ensue.
Distribution: My livejournal, efiction, ladyforash, various yahoo groups. Anyone else, just ask.
Disclaimer: BtVS and all it’s characters are property of Joss Whedon and Fox.
Feedback: Any and all feedback is welcomed.
Notes: Written for the first allthejellies ficathon. This is for Ladyforash who requested: S5 fic with a rating of pg13 or higher.1. Anya accidently spilling the beans about how Giles loves Buffy, but Buffy is clueless. 2. Buffy baking cookies. 3. Giles wearing that silly Sombrero one more time!
Thanks to Beadtific for the beta help. I truly appreciate it. Thanks also to editcat for the help in the beginning.
The ring of the bell over the front door of The Magic Box announced the arrival of Buffy and Dawn. Dawn brusquely brushed past Buffy and made a beeline for the research table, a scowl marring her young face. Buffy rolled her eyes at the back of her sister’s head and took in the typical Magic Box scene before her.
Willow sat at the table tapping away at her laptop. Xander sat to her left idly flipping through what could have been a D&D manual or an 18th century collection of demon etchings. In their reality, it was hard to tell. Both looked up at the same time and warmly smiled there greeting, which she returned, albeit less enthusiastically. Dawn took a seat on the other side of Xander and slouched down, digging through her backpack.
“Don’t get comfortable Dawn, we aren’t staying.”
“Don’t you have training now, Buffy?”
“Shirking your training? Tsk tsk....” Buffy good naturedly ignored Xander and stopped whatever babbling he was about to launch into by answering Willow. “Normally yes, I would be training now. But I can’t today. Tell them why Dawn.” Before Dawn could open her mouth, Buffy continued, “I have to spend my night baking cookies for a bake sale Dawn’s school is having tomorrow. And not just some cookies, I have to make twelve dozen cookies.”
“I said I was sorry, it was an accident. I didn’t mean to sign you up for twelve dozen cookies, just twelve cookies.”
“Twelve dozen, that’s like two hundred cookies…”
“It’s only 144 cookies and I said I would help.”
“You can’t help. You still have homework you have to make up from all the ditching.”
Xander took pity on Dawn and tried to deflect Buffy’s glare, “So, you go down to the store. Buy half a dozen packages of Oreos. No fuss, no muss.”
Buffy sighed. “I would, but the PTA was very specific about not purchasing anything for the bake sale. Everything has to be home made. I think they are still feeling the sting of the band candy incident. So, they aren’t taking any chances with outside contamination.” At the mention of the band candy Buffy, Willow, and Xander visibly shuddered.
Shaking off the memory and refocusing Buffy asked “So where’s Giles?”
Xander pointed to the back of the shop. At that moment Giles walked out with a scowl on his face and Anya hot on his heels - a sombrero in one hand, a wizard cap in the other.
“It’s festive, that’s why,” she explained. “The customers will find it amusing, it will put them in a good mood and they’ll purchase more.”
“For the last time Anya, I’m not wearing that ridiculous hat. There is no need to resort to public humiliation for the sake of a few extra dollars. Earnings are fine as they are.” He ignored the look from Anya that illustrated exactly how blasphemous she thought his last statement was and smiled sweetly when he noticed Buffy had arrived. “Hello Buffy. Ready for training?” The tone of his voice pleading for her to relieve him of Anya.
Before Buffy could respond Anya interrupted “But…you’ve worn both hats before. You looked very ridiculous then, I don’t see how this is any different. At least this time there will be a good reason for you to look so ridiculous. Profits. Just try the sombrero…” She then moved to place the sombrero atop his head, only to have him bat her away. Not to be deterred, Anya tried again, and, Giles again moved to deflect. Buffy, sensing potential badness, moved in between the two - taking the sombrero into her hands.
She looked down at the sombrero and turned to face Giles, “I don’t know. I thought you looked kinda cute,” she handed him the sombrero and smiled up at him.
Giles rolled his eyes and let out a defeated sigh. He placed the sombrero on his head and adjusted the strap under his chin. He looked down at Buffy and she smiled back her approval.
Meanwhile, Anya placed the Wizard cap on her head and beamed at everyone in the room - extremely pleased to have gotten her way. She tapped Buffy on the shoulder, “Thank you for that. It would be much easier if Giles were in love with me, then I’d be able to get him to agree to all of my ideas for the shop. But it’s nice to know you’re a team player.” She patted Buffy on the arm. Then, she noticed the silence of everyone in the room and the look of horror on Giles’s face.
“Giles isn’t…in…in love with me Anya,” Buffy’s voice lost its confidence as she turned to look at Giles and saw the naked truth on his distraught face.
Anya realized the gravity of what she let slip and tried to smooth things over. “Of course he’s not. What I meant to say was I wish Giles wasn’t in love with me.” It was too late; the damage was done. Xander stood and pulled Anya aside to remind her that they had agreed to keep that particular theory to themselves.
Giles looked at Buffy, her face a picture of confusion and her eyes avoiding him. “Buffy….I…” Giving up on whatever he’d meant to say, he turned around and stalked to the backroom.
It would have been a very dignified exit had it not been for the fact that he was still wearing the sombrero and the little pom pom balls around the edges were swinging wildly with each step.
As the backroom door slammed shut everyone in the room turned to look at Buffy who still hadn’t managed to look up. “Dawn get your stuff. We still have to stop by the grocery store.”
She turned and headed for the door. Dawn looked at Willow then at Xander and Anya. The three just shrugged. Dawn followed Buffy with a million questions in her head and the knowledge that not a one would be answered tonight.
As soon as they were both gone Willow turned to Anya, “Way to keep a secret, Anya. I’d better go talk to her. And leave Giles alone, I think he needs some alone time.”
As Willow walked out, Anya turned to Xander, “It was an accident.”
He smiled, “I know. I’m sure it’ll be okay.” He kissed her cheek and pulled her close. “You may even have done them a favor.”
Hours later, Willow found herself sitting in the Summers kitchen trying to coax a conversation out of Buffy, but mostly watching her embrace her inner Martha. She was a ball of nervous energy - cracking eggs, measuring flour, avoiding Willow’s questions while, posing her own.
Buffy looked up from her mixing bowl. “Did you know?”
“Not exactly, we sorta had a working theory.”
“Xander and me…and Anya…and Tara.”
“Why wasn’t I informed about this ‘theory’?”
“Well, like I said it was just a theory, we weren’t completely sure how he felt about you. And besides, we knew you’d be totally freaked out by it. Which, by the way, you totally are.”
“Will, I’m not freaking out because Giles might…you know…be in love with me. It’s just with everything that’s happened this year, losing mom, raising Dawn, Glory, and Riley leaving, I’m not sure…I’m not ready for this.”
“So, you aren’t freaked out.” Willow asked hopefully.
“Not because he may be in love with me, no.”
“Oh…oh…Buffy, do you love him too?”
“Of course I love him.”
“Buffy you know what I mean, do you - love him - love him?”
“I don’t know…”
“But you’ve thought about it, about him and smoochies?”
Buffy tried to hide her blush and went back to beating the hell out of the cookie dough. “This past year Giles has been my…I mean don’t get wrong, you guys have all been great, really, but Giles, he’s been my rock. We’ve spent a lot of time together and that’s led to…thoughts. Thoughts of the smoochie variety, but I’m not sure…” She found it difficult to articulate her feelings. Everything felt mixed up and sticky, like cookie dough, except not. She looked at Willow holding the dough covered spoon.
“It’s like…like I’m cookie dough. Okay?”
“But I’m not cookies yet and I’m not ready to be cookies. I’m not done figuring out who I am and who I need. I’m just cookie dough until I’m done. And I need to be done to be with Giles. That can’t be a whim. He shouldn’t have cookie dough Buffy he should have cookie Buffy…you know?”
Willow tried very hard to follow Buffy’s reasoning, “You…want to be a cookie so that Giles can, um…eat you?”
“No. Okay, you’re not sure if you should be with Giles because you’re feeling half baked?”
Now she scowled.
“Okay, so maybe I don’t get the cookie thing but I think I understand. You love Giles, like that, but you aren’t sure if you’re ready to be with him.”
“Okay, that I understand. Look Buffy, sometimes there are things you can’t prepare yourself for, but when they happen, suddenly you’re ready. Like with Tara. I don’t think I was ready to be gay…but when I met Tara. I was ready to be with her, being gay just came with the territory. It was like a little bell went off in my head and I just knew. You might not be done yet, but maybe you can be with Giles and still figure you out. Just think about it. Seriously think about it, and be sure before you talk to Giles…I’d hate to see him hurt…but I’d love to see you two happy.”
Willow left Buffy to finish her baking and thinking alone.
Later that night Buffy heard the doorbell ring and a moment later Dawn racing down the stairs. A moment after that Giles stood in the kitchen. The way she felt when she looked at him was different now, and moment after that she made decision.
“Hi.” Buffy spoke from behind the island. She unconsciously swept her hand through her hair and tugged at the hem of her blouse.
“Hello. Dawn let me in. She said you would be in here.”
“Yeah. I’m making cookies.” She felt stupid the moment she said it. The kitchen was covered in cookie sheets, mixing bowls, and saran wrapped trays of cookies.
“Yes, I can see that.” His voice was gently amused but Buffy could tell by his posture that he was extremely tense. His hands were jammed into the pockets of his trousers. He kept his head down and was avoiding making eye contact. She waited for him to begin again, but he looked indecisive. She knew that he was rehearsing whatever he had to say in his head. She decided to speak first.
“So. How’s Anya?”
He seemed both surprised and grateful at the question. “Not fired - if that’s what you’re asking. Though, she has been banished to organizing the shipping orders and taking inventory of the entire shop. I’m not letting her anywhere near the money for a week.”
“Harsh.” She smiled at him, then her look turned pensive, “But you wouldn’t really fire her would you.” It wasn’t a question.
“No. I don’t suppose I would.”
“Is it true?”
He didn’t need her to say what ‘it’ was. Apparently everyone knew what ‘it’ was. “It is.” His head was still down.
“When…why, I mean how?”
“Does that really matter?” She shrugged in response and went about methodically scooping dough onto a cookie sheet to keep her nervous hands busy. Giles stood tall suddenly as he answered, “One day you walked into the room and I saw a beautiful young woman with fire and strength and a loving heart. I don’t think I really had a choice. Though it was my choice for you to not know. Buffy, I truly never meant for you to find out, especially as you did.”
Buffy blushed, “So you were just going to spend the rest of your life loving me from afar?”
“Well that’s a bit…melodramatic…but accurate.”
“I…I beg your pardon?”
“It’s stupid to assume that I wouldn’t want to know.”
“Is it really?” He looked so confused that Buffy wanted to laugh, except this was serious. This meant everything. “You aren’t horrified? Er…wigged?”
“No. Well a little…but not for the reasons you might think.”
“I don’t know what to think, actually.”
“I…I love you…and I think I could…potentially…fall in love…with you.”
Giles stared at her, completely befuddled for a moment. Then, she saw the moment something changed in his eyes, the moment he decided she was serious and he was prepared to pursue her.
“You could?” His voice sounded so confident and sexy and she felt unnerved.
“Yes, but it’s like I was trying to explain to Willow. It’s like I’m cookie dough but I’m not ready for you to eat me yet.” She felt her face flush red the moment the words left her mouth. She also took a moment to damn Willow for putting that particular phrase in her head.
“You know what? Forget I said that…please. I really suck at analogies and metaphors…was that an analogy or a metaphor?”
“It’s forgotten.” He seemed to be blushing as strongly as she was. It seemed to take him a great deal of concentration to continue speaking, “I still don’t understand.”
“I do want to be with you. I’m just not sure I’m ready right now. So, for now can we just take things slowly? We’ll still be us, but with little coffee or tea dates and pre-patrol dinners. We’ll take our time and we won’t rush into anything.”
“Yes of course. Very well. That sounds, very...uh…reasonable.” If Giles was surprised by how quickly things had changed - and in his favor no less - he didn’t show it.
They smiled at each other. Shy happy smiles. They had made a plan. To take things slow. It was a good sensible plan. Buffy felt a great sense of relief as it was decided and a small amount of disappointment that it had been so simple. There wasn’t any drama or passion. It was just okay. Like a business transaction. She almost felt like she should move to shake his hand and say thank you. The thought made her giggle and Giles raised a questioning eyebrow. “It’s nothing.” He dubiously accepted her answer with a grin. “You know if you’re going to stay you might as well make yourself useful.” Buffy pointed to the bowl in front of her and the cookie sheet next to it.
“Oh…of course.” He shrugged off his suit jacket and folded it in half, then laid it on the bar stool. He loosened his tie, pulled it over his head and placed it atop his jacket. As he walked around the island towards her, he unbuttoned the cuffs of his shirt and rolled up his sleeves, exposing his forearms. He stopped in front of her with an eager look on his face. She couldn’t help smiling at him. She handed him two spoons and turned to put a tray of cookie dough into the oven then set the timer. Buffy turned back to see Giles haphazardly spooning large dollops of dough onto the cookie sheet. She sighed cheerfully and moved to his side.
“No see…” She grabbed the spoons from his hands “first you use one spoon to scoop the dough.” Buffy pressed her body between his and the island so she could demonstrate. “Then you wanna use both spoons to form a ball.” He didn’t take a step back like she expected, instead he stood so close she could feel the heat of his body coming off of him in waves. “Then you use the back of one to push the dough off…” Her face and entire body felt flushed and she had a hard time concentrating on anything other then his smell and the way it blended perfectly with the smell of chocolate in the air. “This way all the cookies are about the same size.” She didn’t want to move away. So she took another scoop of dough and repeated the process. She could sense the change in his breathing pattern. It seemed to match her own suddenly rapidly beating heart. “There, see, two perfectly formed cookies that you can be proud to charge $2.50 for.” Buffy put down the spoons and took a deep breath. She turned to face him, “Got it?”
When he spoke she could feel the rumble in his chest as it vibrated through her body. “I believe so.”
She was staring at his mouth and wondered why she’d never noticed before how perfect it was. Her eyes flicked back up to his. She tilted her head up toward his as he leaned down towards her. Their lips brushed gently against each other. Sweetly and gently.
Then Buffy threw her arms around his neck, pulling him closer to her, deepening the kiss, demanding more. Giles wrapped his arms around her waist in response, holding her flush against his body. She moaned into his mouth when his tongue touched hers. He pressed his entire body into hers so the only thing holding her up was the island and his body.
Buffy’s thoughts faded in and out of coherence as they continued to kiss. She didn’t want to take things slow. Giles was a good kisser. She was ready for him. He was a very good kisser. She was ready for the kissing. She wondered how good he would be if they did more. She was ready for more. She didn’t want him to stop that thing he was doing with his right hand. She felt stupid for dismissing the idea of passion with Giles. She was sure she was feeling his passion against her thigh. She loved him. She was in love with him. She was in love with Giles.
The ring of the oven timer broke their concentration. Reluctantly, they parted. He smiled down at her smudged lipgloss. She smiled up at the smudged lipgloss on his lips.
“Hmm?” Giles brushed the soft skin of her cheek with his finger tips.
“I believe your cookies are done.”
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