A Helping Hand
Title: A Helping Hand
Rating: Maybe R?
Summary: Giles has broken his wrist. Guess hell be needing a little help then . . .
Disclaimer: I own nothing and have no money. It all belongs to Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, WB etc, which I (reluctantly) admit, so please dont sue. This is for fun *g* and not profit. Ill put them all back the way I found them when Ive finished.
Spoilers: None. So there.
Distribution: Solos site, Sai Lane, anyone else just ask and ye shall receive.
Feedback: Please? Dont make me beg.
Notes: I started this at Christmas, when Riley was not that much of a problem, but for various reasons its taken ages to get things done around here. So please accept this as my excuse for ignoring such important Joss-plots.
The emergency room doors crashed open to admit a site that was unfortunately very familiar to the receptionist. Mr Giles and one of his students were walking towards her, he cradling an arm to his chest and the two bickering.
"I keep telling you, Buffy, its just a sprain," he protested.
She glared at him. "You can normally move your fingers when its a sprain and you look like you seen a uh, are white as a sheet." She cut herself off remembering they had seen several ghosts and he had looked much better afterwards. "That wrist is broken. Tell him Maggie," she ordered the poor receptionist.
Maggie looked at the offending hand. It had certainly seen better days. At least there seemed to be no concussion this time. "I would have to agree with your friend, Mr Giles. What happened this time? Another mugging? Its a wonder you have any money left."
"I was, uh, d-distracted, and s-someone surprised me from behind." He was not going to admit that he had been so engrossed watching Buffy fight a vampire that another crept up behind him and almost bit him. Not only was that mortifying to admit in front of Buffy, but the receptionist would have him committed to the psyche ward before he could finish his explanation. "I dont think they got anything. Luckily Buffy startled them before they could do anything-"
"Apart from break your wrist," Buffy finished for him with another glare.
"Its a bloody sprain!" he shouted.
A passing nurse glanced at him, looked at the hand and said, "Shes right. Youre going to need to get that seen to. Maggie, exam 4 is free."
"Youre lucky," Maggie told him, handing him a clipboard. "Its a slow night."
"Its a conspiracy," he muttered under his breath as he allowed the nurse to lead him down the corridor.
Three hours later Giles was not in a better mood. The slow night had sped up and he had not seen any medical staff since his X-ray an hour ago. Buffy was flicking through a magazine, having refused to leave him, and he was silently wishing he had had the foresight to bring a book with him on patrol.
"Is it one of those universal law thingies that says you cant have a magazine from after 1982 in hospitals?" Buffy finally asked.
"I believe so," Giles replied dryly.
"How long are we going to have to wait? That wrist must be killing you by now and Willows gonna be wigged that Im so late."
At that moment the curtains to the cubicle opened and a reassuring looking doctor strode in followed by a nurse carrying some X-rays. He took them from her and put them on the light box.
"As you can see Mr Giles you have a simple fracture of the wrist. It should heal nicely," he told them.
"Told ya," Buffy grinned at Giles.
He glared at her. "Thank you for saying that, it makes me feel so much better."
The doctor looked between them, wondering what the relationship between the two was. At first glance he had thought that they were father and daughter, from the ages at least, but they looked nothing alike and there was a tension between them that did not fit. Dismissing the thought he continued, "Youll need to wear a plaster cast for six to eight weeks but then youll be good as new. Ill prescribe you some painkillers and dont be afraid to use them." He looked at Giles severely. Looking through the mans records he had found an incredible number of injuries from muggings, numerous concussions and lacerations, but he had rarely filled the prescriptions he was given. "Would you like something for the pain now?"
"No," Giles said, at the same time as Buffy said, "Yes."
"Hell have something," she continued flatly. "I have no intention of listening to him whine all night."
"I dont whine!" he protested.
"No, you dont. You say nothing and your nothings are worse than most peoples somethings. Hell have something."
Giles sighed and gave in. As the doctor swabbed the skin on his arm he had to admit that the pain in his wrist was really quite excruciating and he would be glad when it went away. When the doctor had given him the shot and some instructions on caring for his wrist he left them with the nurse to get plastered.
She efficiently laid out the necessary apparatus, all the time cheerfully chattering away to Giles. Over the years he had got to know the members of staff at the hospital quite well and he had never met this one before. As he began to feel pleasantly numb from the painkiller he began to quite enjoy her company. He was not so far gone that he could not tell she was flirting with him and admitted in a tiny part of his heart that he was also enjoying seeing Buffys lips get tighter and her eyes shoot daggers at the woman. If he did not know her better he would have said she was jealous.
< I am *not* jealous > Buffy told herself firmly. < Its just disgusting to see a man of his age act like that around a girl her age. And shes even worse! Flirting with a man his age, no matter how se stop right there. Go no further on that line of thought. That way leads to badness. > She ignored the tiny voice inside that insisted the nurse was not much older that herself.
Eventually the nurse finished and with a few words of warning about looking after his wrist, and a little more flirting, she sent them on their way. Giles imagined he could see steam coming out Buffys ears as they walked to the parking lot. Or more accurately, she walked and he staggered.
When they reached the car Buffy gave him a flat look and held out her hand.
"What?" Giles sighed tiredly. The painkillers seemed to be setting in now.
"Car keys," Buffy demanded.
"Car keys," she repeated.
"Under no circumstances are you driving my car."
"Well, youre not so who else is?"
"Its my car and-"
"You have a *broken* wrist that youre not supposed to be using and a heavy dose of painkillers. Thats not a comforting combination."
The painkillers were loosening Giles tongue quite nicely, which was unfortunate. "Your driving is not a comforting thing," he retorted.
This was not the wisest thing to say. After watching him and the nurse all evening an imp of perversity got to her and she stopped arguing. And put a hand in his jeans pocket to find the keys.
"Buffy!" Giles managed hoarsely.
The pocket did not yield keys so she tried the other one.
This time Giles sounded strangled. And as she rummaged in the pocket Buffy worked out why. < Wow, hes . . . because Im . . . > she managed to think. Logically she knew she should be disgusted, particularly after all the things she had been thinking about the nurse, but instead she felt strangely thrilled. And quickly removed her hand when she realised what she was doing.
To distract herself she said, "If you can prove you are safe Ill let you drive. If not Im driving."
"P-prove? How" Giles had a sinking feeling, mainly because he knew she was right and he was going to wind up letting her drive.
"Walk, in a straight line, to that tree," Buffy instructed, pointing to a tree fifty paces away, and Giles sighed again as he complied.
It could only be called a straight line if your definition of one included three corners and a curvy bit. Most people dont so Buffy held out her hand again.
"Buffy, I can assure you I am perfectly capable of walking to my door on my own," Giles insisted as she helped him to his door.
"Sure you are," Buffy replied sweetly. "Thats why you fell out of the car and then walked into a wall."
< Bloody painkillers > Giles thought. They were loosening his thoughts as well as his tongue, and he had walked into the wall because he was too busy watching Buffy as she walked ahead of him. Thoughts that he had always squashed before they could become too inappropriate were now crowding his mind and making it difficult to think of anything else.
"You want me to put you to bed as well?" Buffy asked as she unlocked the front door. < Thank god he gave me a key. Im not sure he or I for that matter could cope with me rummaging in his pockets again. >
"God, yes," Giles muttered fervently, then blushed as he realised what he had let slip.
"Im going to pretend I didnt hear that," Buffy said, ignoring the tingly sensation that had gone through her at his words. < You need to get your head examined > she told herself.
She helped him up the stairs to his bedroom, pretending to ignore Giles wandering hands and trying even harder to pretend they did not affect her. < This is the last time I tell a doctor to give you painkillers > she thought.
Buffy dumped Giles on his bed, where is sat looking around him and seeming totally confused.
"This is as far as my kindness goes tonight. You are deeply disturbed and Im not coming back till that shot wears off."
Buffy bit back a moan of frustration at his distracted tone. "Youre home, this is your bedroom and you need to sleep off whatever the doctor gave you."
"Oh." Giles looked at her blankly.
Buffy gritted her teeth and began removing his shoes, all the time muttering about idiot Watchers who let their wrists get broken. When his shoes were off she surveyed him and decided that was as much as she was going to do for him. < If he wants anything else off he can do it himself > Buffy banished the image that thought created before it could form properly. < Didnt I just say I wasnt going there? >
Giles was beginning to look like he was asleep with his eyes glazed and open, so Buffy felt fairly safe pushing him back on the bed and lifting his legs onto it. She certainly was not prepared for him to grab her and pull her down on him when she leaned over to put a blanket over him.
"Oof! Giles, what-" she was cut off as his lips covered hers.
For a moment she resisted, but he was making her feel all tingly and just plain *good* so she gave herself up to the kiss. He was gentle but as she began to respond he flicked his tongue over her lips. She eagerly opened her mouth and he swept his tongue inside turning the tingles to flames roaring through her.
They pulled back panting heavily to get some much-needed oxygen into their lungs. The break gave Buffy a moment to recover her scattered wits and she turned to ask him what he thought he was doing.
She shook him a couple of times but the painkillers had knocked him out quite effectively.
"Figures," she complained before starting to sneak out of the room.
Spike was standing at the bottom of the stairs as she descended. "Dont worry, Im not going to eat your Watcher," he said. "I couldnt even if I wanted to. What appened?"
Buffy blushed as she remembered the kiss. < Dont be silly, he cant know > she thought. Her brain still was not functioning on higher levels so her well considered response was, "Huh?"
Spike looked at her strangely. "The wrist. Looks broken. Unless its something you dont want to talk about." He leered at her suggestively.
Buffy glared at him, the jibe being to close to recent events for comfort. "Vampire."
"Too bad. Guess that means youll be elping im till he gets better."
"Well, hes not going to be much bloody use with his left wrist broken."
"Are you dense or is that cotton wool disguised as brain? Hes left-handed. Someones got to elp im and it bloody well is not going to be me."
Buffy crept into her dorm room trying not wake Willow. It may well be Friday evening but even she was not normally out this late. However Willow had only been dozing so she woke up as soon as she heard the door.
"Buffy? What happened? Why are you so late?" the witch questioned groggily.
"Made an unscheduled trip to the ER," Buffy responded as she quickly changed into her pyjamas.
"Why? Are you hurt? Is Giles unconscious?"
"Well, hes not really unconscious. Its more a case of a broken wrist and strong painkillers."
"Poor Giles. What happened?"
"A vamp jumped him. He wasnt paying attention." Buffy sounded drowsy. "Stupid man should know better. And what was so thrilling that he didnt notice a vampire creeping up behind him? That nurse wasnt there."
"What nurse? Where? Buffy, could you talk sense?"
But Buffy was asleep.
Early the following morning, or at least early by Buffy standards for a Saturday morning, the Slayer stood in front of Giles front door debating with herself. On the one hand she wanted to make sure he was all right. On the other hand he was going to be mortified by what he had done the previous night. On another hand there was her strange reaction to what had happened. And on another hand she was making herself feel like a complete idiot while creating more hands than a Hellmouth demon.
< Just go in there. Hes not gonna bite. Last night maybe . . . ooh, bad thought. Bad place. Nice place . . . no! Dont do that. That way leads to badness. Youve said so a million times . . . I have? When? Why didnt I know? Hold on I did know. Im talking to myself. > "This is not a good sign," Buffy muttered to herself.
She gathered her courage and knocked loudly. Somehow just breezing into the apartment the way she was used to seemed wrong after last night. She waited and heard Giles muffled voice.
Spikes voice was louder and she could make out the words. "Its your bloody apartment Watcher. You get it."
More muffled speech from Giles.
"Dont you think someone will find it bloody strange for a pile of ash to answer the door? I am a vampire, remember?"
This time Buffy could make out Giles words. "How could I ever forget?" he asked dryly. "Youre only eating blood and bloody Weetabix again."
The door opened to reveal a less put-together Giles than Buffy was used to seeing. He wore a white T-shirt, blue jeans with the snap undone and bare feet. His face was covered with shaving foam, apart from a bare patch on one cheek that ended in a stream of blood, which was edging its way down his neck. In short he was a mess.
"Giles, what happened?" Buffy asked.
"Buffy," Giles managed, already blushing at the memory of what he had done the previous night.
"Thats me. Are you ok? You look sort of . . . pink."
"I assure you Im perfectly alright. Did you want something?" he asked, slightly grumpily.
"I was checking to see how you are."
"As I said, Im fine."
Buffy looked at him, slightly amused. "Youre fine. That would be why youve got blood running down your face, would it?"
"Blood?" Giles reached up to his cheek and stared in amazement when his fingers came away covered in sticky blood.
"Slayer, do something with him!" Spike yelled from within the apartment. "The smell of that blood is about to drive me crazy!"
"Did you try to shave with your broken hand?" Buffy asked.
"Well I was hardly going to try putting a sharp razor near my neck with my other hand," Giles told her, still grumpy.
Buffy sighed, grabbed his uninjured hand and began pulling him towards his bathroom.
"W-what are you doing?"
"Getting you cleaned up before Spike eats you."
Buffy led the protesting Watcher into the bathroom and made him sit down on the edge of the bath. She soaked a small towel and used it to wipe the foam and blood off his face. The blood had stained the neck of his T-shirt so Buffy grabbed the hem and began to pull it up.
"What are you doing?!" Giles exclaimed, turning an interesting shade of red.
"Your T-shirt has blood on it. You have a vampire in the living room. Do the math."
Giles sighed and gave in, although he removed the shirt rather than Buffy so his body did not start to get inappropriate ideas. Unfortunately just the thought of those inappropriate ideas had an effect which was difficult to ignore, so he draped the T-shirt over his lap.
Buffy, however, had already turned away. If she had been facing him he would have seen her face flushing heavily. < What is wrong with you? > she asked herself as she concentrated on cleaning up the sink to distract herself from the sudden flutters in the pit of her stomach and her extremely dry mouth. < Why are you suddenly turning into a walking hormone? This is *Giles* for gods sake! Ok, last night he wasnt very Gilesy but its morning now and you should be over this. >
The mental lecture did not seem to have any effect, apart from convincing her she needed to see a psychiatrist. Instead she looked through the cans and bottles scattered on a shelf to find the apparatus to shave him. Buffy squirted some gel into her hand and turned back to Giles.
She almost lost her composure again but took a deep breath and ordered, "H-hold still."
The slight roughness of his jaw under fingertips almost distracted Buffy, and it certainly did nothing to calm the tingles racing through her, but nothing betrayed that apart from a slight increase in her breathing. When she was finished with the foam she found the razor, glared at it, and began to carefully pull it down his jaw.
Giles decided he had never realised how erotic having someone shave him was. Buffys face was so close to his he could feel her breath on his cheek and she was concentrating intensely. As he felt heat rush through him he closed his eyes to shut her out, praying she would not notice his reaction.
The Hellmouth could have opened next to Buffy at this moment and she would not have noticed. She was concentrating so hard because it was the only way to shut out the mental voice that shouted look, Giles-lips! at her. The mental voice was incredibly persistent and once or twice she gave in to temptation slightly and brushed his lips with a finger. By the time Buffy had finished her heart was racing and her hand was shaking slightly. Thanking Giles mentally for having his eyes closed so he could not see the state she was in she quickly washed off the remains of the shaving foam and stood back.
"Hows that?" she asked.
Giles bit back a sigh of disappointment that it was over and gingerly tested his jaw. "Well done, Buffy. I couldnt have done it better myself."
"Not with that hand anyway. Do you need anything else?" Buffy did not give him a chance to respond. "Cool. Ill go and . . . uh, make breakfast?"
She rushed out of the room before he could say anything.
By the time Giles managed to finish dressing Buffy had tea, toast and orange juice waiting and was drowning a bowl of cereal in milk and sugar. She piled it all on a tray and carried it to the little courtyard, leaving Giles to follow and Spike to complain at the unfairness of his life. For a few minutes they concentrated on the food and their thoughts so there was rare silence.
But Giles being Giles he could not stay silent when he had something he needed to say. "Buffy, we need to talk about last night." The Slayer tensed visibly. "Its a bit hazy but-"
"Hazy?" Buffy relaxed a little. "Good. Because nothing happened. Nothing that we need to talk about. *You* certainly did nothing. Big lot of nothing."
Giles recognised her nervous babbling and knew that his actions had disturbed her more than she wanted to admit. "I said it was hazy, not that I cant remember. I am perfectly aware that I forced myself on you-"
"But I didnt exactly resist, did I?" Buffy pointed out then shut her mouth sharply as she realised what she had admitted.
"You were surprised." Giles justified.
"Im sorry. My actions were reprehensible and I can only apologise and assure you that it will never happen again."
"Oh." Buffy firmly squashed the wave of intense disappointment. "Well thats . . . uh . . . reassuring. I guess."
"Is that the time? Im running late. See ya later!" Buffy escaped before she could say or do anything to complicate things.
"Well that helped," Giles muttered to himself as he glared at the tray of dishes and tried to work out how he would carry it back to the kitchen.
"Willow, I did something terrible," Buffy announced as she crashed into the dorm room and flopped onto her bed.
"Huh?" asked the witch groggily, peeking out from under her quilt.
"I did something really bad."
"Was it Parker bad or beer bad?"
"Good." Willow began to go back to sleep.
"It was kissing-Giles-and-liking-it bad."
Silence as the thought passed through the layers of sleep clouding Willows mind.
"Oh! Are you sure?"
"That Giles kissed me? Or that I enjoyed it? Because the kissing bit was hard to miss."
"Point taken. Stupid question."
Willow began to struggle to an upright position so she could concentrate on what her friend was staying, and also stop her falling asleep again. Living with Buffy was even less restful than going to school with her.
"What was it like?"
"Intense." Buffy grinned. "That rebellious past really paid off."
"Wow." Willow paused, trying to work out what was safe to say next. "So, uh, how do you feel now?"
"Confused. Scared. And I have never wanted to kiss anyone as much as I wanted to kiss him this morning." Buffy paused. "Did I say that last part out loud?"
"Ok, Im embarrassed."
"No, Buffy, dont be." Willow could see she was going to have a bit of a battle on her hands. < Great. Im going to be the Angst Slayer. Its not quite as cool sounding as a Vampire Slayer. > Aloud she continued, "Im kind of surprised this hasnt happened before. I mean, the way you look at each other-"
"We look? Theres looking?"
Willow put on her best disbelieving look. "Totally."
"How do we look? Why havent I seen the looking?"
The witch sighed, wishing Buffy did not always say the first thing to come into her head because it actually made her sound a lot less intelligent than she really was. "You look . . . sometimes its almost too intense to be in the same room with you guys."
"Well . . . uh, sometimes you look like you want to tear each others clothes off and other times its . . . intense. Sort of goosebumpy. Like youre talking and no one can hear."
"Wow. We do that?"
Willow decided to change tack. "You enjoyed the kiss, right?"
"Yeah. And now I get all tingly when I think about him. But that wasnt happening yesterday!" Buffy protested weakly, trying to ignore the mental voice that said it had been happening for months and she had been fighting it. < Ive really got to see a shrink about these voices. >
Willow knew Buffy better than anyone else did so she could call her a liar without fear. At least without fear of being wrong anyway. Fear of reprisals however . . .
After Willow had given her a long lecture Buffy needed to do some thinking. It did not result in anything useful, other than a way to tackle a history essay, but she felt a little calmer. Unfortunately she still had no idea what she was going to do about Giles. Actually that was not strictly true. Her imagination, fired by too many steamy romances, could think of plenty of fun things but none of them were realistic at the moment. She needed a plan.
"Me? Why do I suddenly get to be plan girl? Youre plan girl, or Giles, or-"
"Will, that would be why. I have no idea and Giles isnt really the one to ask."
"Oh. Are you sure? Ok, let me think . . ."
Willows plan was devastatingly simple, which was probably why it had not occurred to Buffy. She was going to spend as much time as she could with Giles and his broken wrist was the perfect excuse. It would give her an opportunity to see whether her feelings were real and find out how he felt.
The only thing she had not counted on was the strength of her reaction to him. It was so tempting to touch him, just run a hand through his hair or brush his hand, that she took to wearing clothes with pockets that she could stuff her hands in them. She had to give up on shaving him because she was just too close to his lips. She now completely understood the need for cold showers. The only thing she could not work out was how she could have ignored it before. < Denial does strange things to a person > she thought as she climbed into her second cold shower of the day.
Giles was having similar problems with the plan. He was also becoming slightly worried about Buffys sudden change of behaviour.
Willow decided that they were both blind numbskulls who could not see what was in front of them. < Denial does strange things to a person > she thought, wincing as a frustrated Buffy threw a book across the room.
This was why, a week after the kiss, Buffy was standing in front of Giles door having the To knock or not to knock debate again. Willow had finally lost her temper, although that could have been due to Buffy accidentally destroying her CD player in a fit of frustrated rage more than anything else. She still winced at the memory of some of things Willow had called her, blind dingbat being the least insulting. The tiny witch had thrown her out of their room and locked the door after her. And just to make sure Buffy could not get in she had made the wood of the door as strong as twelve inches of reinforced steel. < She is getting too good at magic > Buffy thought.
As far as Buffy could see she had two choices about what she could do. She could knock on the door, tell Giles how she felt and see what happened. Or she could ask her mother to free up her room and move back home. Option one was the most appealing, but also the most nerve-wracking.
The decision was taken out of her hands when the door opened. Buffy didnt give herself a moment to think. She hooked an arm around the person standing there, pulled his head down and kissed him. The instant their lips touched she realised the mistake she had made and jumped away as though she had been scalded.
"Spike! Oh god. I didnt mean to do that. Not to you. Youre Spike. Sorry. Uh . . ."
"Watcher, visitor for you!" Spike yelled into the apartment and walked away, leaving a red faced, stuttering Slayer to face her fate.
Giles cautiously made his way to the door, a cross held behind his back. Spikes definition of a good visitor was different to his so it was usually a wise precaution. However he was not prepared for a blonde Slayer to pounce on him and kiss him senseless.
When he recovered from the shock he kissed her back eagerly. After all, if this was a dream he was not going to waste a minute of it.
Buffy pulled back when she began to see black spots in front of her eyes from oxygen deprivation and grinned up at Giles dazed expression.
"W-w-what was th-that for?" he managed to stammer.
"Cos I wanted to." Buffy paused. "Oh, and cos I love you. OK?"
"OK?" Giles repeated, still dazed and feeling as though the higher centres of his brain had gone on vacation.
"Well, if you dont feel anything for me then me loving you will be a bit awkward. And if thats how you kiss someone you dont love then . . . I dont know how to finish that sentence without insulting you. Or me for that matter. Oh, I give up."
Buffy kissed him again, this time wrapping her arms around his neck and her legs around his hips so she did not have to stand on tiptoe. In response Giles pulled her close with his uninjured hand, barely noticing her slight weight, and used the other hand to gently stoke her face. She pulled back again and wiggled against him experimentally, heat rushing through her as she felt a tell-tail bulge.
"That answers that," Buffy smirked up at him.
"You can stop with the confused look. I know you better than that," she ordered and wriggled again, rejoicing at the soft gasp from her former Watcher. "You want me as much as I want you and you have no excuses to hide behind this time. So give in."
"Are you sure?"
For the third time Buffy kissed him deeply, growing more confident as he responded and she felt him harden further against her belly.
"Did that feel sure?" Buffy asked.
"I love you," Giles said softly.
Buffy let out the lungful of air she had not even realised she was holding. "Good."
"Ive loved you for months. Youre-"
He was cut off by Buffys lips on his again. She pulled back long enough to say, "Sex now, talk later. Do you have any idea of how long Ive been waiting?"
"I think I can hazard a guess," Giles replied.
Then there was silence apart from moans, rustles of clothing and occasional giggles as they tried to work around his broken wrist.
"Can I call you Rupert?"
"I love you."
"I would never have guessed, Rupert. After all, I just had to force you to have sex twice."
"What are you doing?"
"Your actions are not conducive to thinking."
"Well, I was thinking that if thats what you can do with a broken wrist what can you do when its healed?"
"Ah. Youll have to stay a few weeks to find out."
"Just a few weeks? I was thinking life commitment here."
"Are you sure?"
"Does this feel sure?"