The Bad, the Good and the Downright Fantastic
By Jacqui

Title: The Bad, the Good and the Downright Fantastic.
Author: Jacqui
Rating: PG-13, adult themes (read: naughty thoughts).
Spoilers: None really, general season four, but considering I haven’t even seen season four, there’s nothing too specific.
Disclaimer: They’re not mine, I’m just playing. I promise to put them all back, eventually. The different songs belong to different people, all not me.
Comments: This is the reason why you should never let insomniacs watch all night, non stop, music video television programs. –this denotes lyrics-
Feedback: Yes… I think.

Buffy closed her eyes. There was a psych paper due the next week and she should really begin to plan it out. Maybe if she asked Will really nicely for help she’d be able to get a good grade, or at least one that didn’t suck. She hadn’t been spending enough time on her studies, she knew this, and it wasn’t as if slaying had been busy lately. Sure, she’d come across the usual day to day (or was that night to night?) demons of one variety or another, but nothing particularly heavy duty.

Buffy sighed. This was not going as planned, her mind kept racing off to other things, anything to keep her from focussing on what she was currently doing. It was a mistake, she’d regretted it immediately, she knew it was wrong. A big, ugly, icky type of wrong. One that meant uber guilt and self depreciation for eons to come.

She opened her eyes in time to see the figure above her tense up, groan and then collapse beside her. She closed her eyes again. That had been the most disgusting thing she’d had to endure, it had been heartless, it had lacked any feeling whatsoever. It had been…

"Great." Parker’s muffled voice rose from the pillow beside her. "That was great."

"Whatever." <How long do I have to wait before I can jump up and run out of here?>

All Buffy wanted to do was shower, to feel hot water wash away any last trace of him off her skin. The thought of him made her want to shudder, the very sound of his voice made her want to scream. Why couldn’t he be quiet?

"Whatever? You have to be kidding me! That was intense!"

"Intense?!" Buffy stared at him incredulously, he shouldn’t have spoken again. His words collided with her guilt. "Parker! I’ve had sneezes more intense than that! Hell, I’ve had root canal work more intense than that."

"I thought it went well."

"I’m shocked. Did you even notice I was there? Was I a part of that at all?"

Parker sat up. He didn’t have to take this, not from this blonde piece of freshman ass. He didn’t care how hot she was, or how much she turned him on. He, Parker, would not stand to be ridiculed by anyone, there were plenty more na´ve rookies to be broken in.

"Gee, sorry there, Buff, but I guess I just don’t have the experience of a middle-aged, English pervert."

His words took a second to sink in properly. When they did, they cut deeply.

"What are you talking about?"

"C’mon, the whole campus knows you’re having it off with that old guy. What I want to know is this, just where does the red-head fit in?"

Buffy had never before in her life wanted to spit at another human being so much in her life. She didn’t, though, that would only have dragged her down to his level and she didn’t want to wade in that slime longer than necessary. Dressing was surprisingly quick and easy that night.

As soon as she entered the dorm, Buffy went to the shower, each separate stream of hot water soothing away the badness she felt on her skin, washing away the tears that streamed down her face. It was a bad night, a bad, bad, night.

* * * *

It took a lot to surprise Rupert Giles. That’s why the past three weeks of planning and work had paid off. The four of them, Xander, Willow, Anya and Buffy, crowed with pleasure at his shocked face. They burst into his apartment with balloons, brightly wrapped boxes, pizza and even a cake.

"Happy Birthday!"

He blinked at the four voices, he hadn’t thought they’d remembered. It was sweet. Watching them as they excitedly set up his living room to resemble an explosion in a paint factory, Giles reveled in the rare feeling. There was no worry, no threat, no danger, not even a hint of the sorrow that had plagued the group lately.

Willow was bouncing on her feet as she directed Xander, who was hanging streamers across his ceiling. Gone were the traces of despair she had carried with her since Oz had left. Xander and Anya were flirting mischievously with each other and displaying no signs of their usual fights. Buffy had seemed to pick up the pieces she’d dropped in the last week, she’d been so sad, so angry about something.

He wasn’t fooled, they weren’t over their troubles, they were just forgetting them for a night. He for one, welcomed any excuse to see them happy and laughing again. Which they were, an unspoken agreement between them that the night was free of all shop talk.

One of the best parts of the night came when they lit the candles on the cake. It was in the shape of a car, it actually resembled Giles’ car slightly, and there were little dime store dolls placed on the inside. Underneath a wheel, stuck to the roof, and left in a trail behind it, were the body parts of little dime store monsters. The detail made him laugh. They were so proud of it.

More surprises were to come, however, when they foisted upon him all their gifts. They were all separate parts of a stereo. The group had saved up and bought him a stereo to replace the old, aging decrepit one that had been broken a month before. He was speechless.

The best part of the night, the moment he would keep in his memory forever, was when they’d been standing at the door, saying goodbye. Buffy, the last one, had stood on her tiptoes and kissed him on the cheek. An innocent enough gesture on her part, he didn’t think she knew just how she affected him, but it had completed the night perfectly. It had been a good night.

* * * *

Two hours, two whole hours of stalking the streets and she had yet to see a single vampire, demon, or even a slightly seedy looking human. Not a one. What was she supposed to do? Buffy had long ago placed her stake back in her bag, there was no need to carry it in her hand. She whistled as she walked down the street.

Even though there was nothing to report on, per se, she really should go tell Giles. Her mind rationalized this by telling her that the very fact there was nothing to report, may just need reporting. Things tended to get quiet just before they got wiggy. Of course, things also tended to get quiet when it was just… well… quiet.

Willow had another meeting with her Wiccan group, Xander was taking the late shift at the ice-cream parlor and Buffy really wanted to talk. Giles was the only person she could think of. Lately she didn’t like being alone, especially at night, it tended to lead to brooding.

She was surprised to find Giles trying to set up the stereo they’d bought him the week before. Buffy still felt slightly guilty that she’d ruined his last one, that training session had been a little too active for his small living room. It had been her idea to join forces and replace it.

Giles had the instructions laying close by, but was still peering confusedly at the mish mash of wires and connections that were tangled around him. He looked cute, all muddled up like that. She offered to help him.

"Of course. You know, Buffy, it was rather unnecessary to replace my old one, I could easily have gotten it fixed. Not that I’m not grateful, it was a nice gesture and…"

"Giles? Relax, we enjoy spoiling you." Also, she thought, we enjoy making you blush like that. Buffy knelt down next to him and peered at the back of the system. "Gimme a minute and I’ll have this baby rocking and rolling in no time."

Giles looked at her as he unwound a stray wire from his wrist. She was looking at the stereo and he had a clear view of the side of her neck. It was lovely and sculpted, the way it curved into her shoulders like that and reached up to her ear. He liked the small wisps of hair that curled behind her ear and at the nape of her neck. He had to think of something else.

"I rather liked my old records. This has no record player."

Buffy turned to grin at him.

"You know, Giles, here in the twentieth century, our music can be quite entertaining too. You may want to listen to it once in a while." He was still kneeling very close to her and she tried to ignore the heat that radiated off of him. "Popular music can say just as much as the classics you know."

-You and me, baby, we ain’t nothing but mammals, so let’s do it like they do on the Discovery Channel-

"What?!" Giles nearly choked as the stereo blared to life. They both jumped back.

"Oh, well, not that one, of course. Ha." Buffy blushed as she turned the dial.

-I wanna lick you up and down, make you feel hot-

"Or that one, either." She glared at the machine, wondering if it was possessed.

"No. No of course not." Giles was blushing more than she was.

-Let’s talk about sex, baby, let’s talk about you and me-

"You have got to be kidding me." Buffy could not believe what was happening. Didn’t this thing have an off switch?

"Here let me try." Giles reached for the little knob, but managed only to flip the volume switch so that the music blared even louder.

- I smell sex and candy, here-

They were both breathing hard, trying not to die of embarrassment, or burst out in nervous laughter. The situation was beyond belief. His hand brushed her bare arm and she drew back as if it burned her.

- I’m horny, horny, horny, horny-

"Does anybody sing about anything else these days?"

"Come on Giles, that’s not fair! A few songs about sex and you’re ready to judge the whole generation?"

She covered her embarrassment with anger, her eyes flashing at him, challenging him to prove her wrong, or something, she didn’t know what. His eyes challenged her back.

-Damn, I wish I was your lover-

As one they both turned to the stereo. This was getting freaky.

"Uh, I think I’ll let you play with that for a while. I’m going to make some tea. Would you like some?"

"Yeah, sure."

Giles stood up and began to make his way out of the room. He turned back.

"Would you like…?"

-Cream, get on top, cream-

"That’s it!" Buffy leaned over and pulled the plug out of the wall. "Tomorrow, I’m taking you shopping for CDs."


They walked into the kitchen, neither saying anything. In silence they made their tea, but didn’t drink it. The room was filled with heavy awkwardness. Both spoke at once.

"Giles? I…"

"Buffy, I uh…"

A long pause followed in which they couldn’t look at each other. Buffy had a thought and couldn’t stop herself giggling. Giles raised his eyebrows.


"Oh nothing." Her voice was a little too light, a little airy.

"Buffy…?" His voice was low and sounded threatening, but she could hear a hint of humor underneath.

"Well, I was just thinking of what other songs could’ve been playing."

"Like? I can’t imagine them being any worse than what we heard."

Buffy blushed. She leaned over and whispered into his ear. His eyes widened considerably and he just looked at her.

"Like an animal, huh?"

She grinned at him.


As it turned out, it was a good night for all, downright fantastic in fact.