By Sandy Hall
Title: HEATWAVE 1/1
Author: Sandy Hall
Rating: PG, no smut, sorry
Pairing: Buffy/Giles implied
Spoilers: my idea of season 4
Distribution: gilesnaughty, buffygiles, WatcherGirls,
Disclaimer: Buffy and Giles belong to Joss Whedon and Co. I'm just borrowing them.
Summary: My answer to the Heat Wave Challenge made to gilesnaughty list. Basically how to get Giles out of his tweed during a heat wave in Sunnydale.
"Damn, it's hot," Rupert Giles
said, taking out his handkerchief and mopping the sweat off his
brow as he walked from his car to the side entrance to the
museum. The heat wave that had hit the United States
had also hit Sunnydale with so much force that the Buffy and
Willow had begun to jokingly refer to Sunnydale as
Sunnyhell. He noticed that the perennially green
grass of the campus had begun to take on a nasty yellow
tinge. There was a water shortage and all businesses had
been advised not to waste water on lawns. *Oh, what
wouldn't he give to have the cool rains of England for just a few
He had fleetingly thought of dispensing with the tweed for the day, but his inbred reservations prevented him from going to work as what he considered to be half dressed. Then the air conditioning had gone out in his car halfway to work. Punching buttons had accomplished nothing. He almost ran into a Mazda while his attention was on the console. He had thought about stopping to take his jacket off. Unfortunately, the old car had a tendency to stall if stopped for too long, so he had merely rolled down his window and headed on to the University museum where he worked. *Bloody American weather!*
The relative coolness of the dark entrance to the museum was blessed relief. Maybe he could get through the day after all. He wasn't expecting Buffy to meet him for training until 3pm. Perhaps, he could get a little research done after checking on the arrangements for the opening of the museum's newest addition highlighting ancient Hebrew artifacts. By the time he got to his office, Giles realized that the building wasn't as cool as he first thought. Granted, the exhibit hall he went through was cool, but the rest of the building seemed warm. His office, when he reached it, was hot! *What was wrong with the damn air conditioners today?* Giles walked over to the thermostat control, only to find it locked in a plastic case. The control was set on 78 degrees Fahrenheit, *Americans--couldn't use Celsius like any other decent country*, but the actual temperature was 85. And it was only 9 o'clock in the morning!
Putting a call into maintenance turned out just as he supposed. 'New mandates from management.' Temperatures in all non-essential rooms were restricted to 78 degrees during the heat wave. When Giles argued that the temperature in the room was actually 85 and could he come fix the thermostat, the worker replied that he would put it on his list of 'things to do' just as soon as Mr. Giles filled out the work order in duplicate and delivered it to the supervisor, who would then approve it and send it to his secretary who would put it with all the other work orders, in order of importance.
"Pillock," Giles muttered as he slammed down the phone.
Shrugging out of his jacket, Giles hung it over his chair and sat down to work. He reviewed the preparations for the opening, making sure each exhibit was accounted for. The graduate students would do the actual 'work' of arranging the exhibits, he was merely overseeing them. He made a couple notes in reference to the set up, then decided to pay the hall a visit and check the artifacts. Since Sunnydale was situated over a hellmouth, it wouldn't do for something 'magical' to slip through the exhibit. Buffy had enough to manage going to college and slaying, without having another Acathla type demon to deal with because he didn't spot it in the exhibition.
Grabbing his coat, he put it on out of habit, and headed out the door. When he reached the exhibit hall, he breathed a sigh of relief. It was at least a good 10 degrees cooler here. Spending an hour, meticulously checking each artifact, he noted the descriptions in his notebook. He'd check his reference books on Hebrew demons after lunch, just to make sure none fell through the cracks. His lunch was in his office, but he hated going back into the hot room. He fleetingly considered going to a restaurant to eat, but the thought of going out into that blistering heat deterred him.
He headed back to his stifling office and put on the electric teakettle. It seemed like it was even hotter than before. Checking the thermostat, he saw it read 88. Even as hot as it was, the thought of 'iced tea' repulsed him. Like coffee, tea was *supposed* to be hot. Now, a nice tall glass of cool lemonade would hit the spot, but alas, he didn't have any. He got out his sack lunch from the small refrigerator that he had made his first purchase for the office. Buffy and her friends were forever asking for cold drinks, so he kept a supply of bottled water available. *Strange, he didn't have much of an appetite.* Grabbing an apple from the sack, Giles bit into it, chewing it slowly.
He opened up the book on Hebrew artifacts on his desk and started paging through it with one hand while eating the apple with the other. The kettle's whistle interrupted his reading for a moment while he went through the ritual of brewing his tea. Cup in hand, he went back to the book. By the time he reached the end of the section, his tea was cold and his head ached. Grabbing his bottle of aspirin he kept on hand for slayer-induced aches and pains, he shook out two and swallowed them with tepid tea. Making a bitter face, he dumped it out. He was about to pour another cup when the telephone rang--one of the graduate students with a question about the opening. After dealing with that, he went back to the reading.
* * *
It was a little past 3pm when Buffy came breezing in his office. Giles looked up to see her standing there in a pair of shorts so short, they made her legs look more than a meter long and a top so skimpy, he was afraid she would pop out any minute.
"Whoa! It's hot in here," Buffy said, fanning herself.
"You.you're.You're going to train in that?" Giles finally sputtered out. "I've seen woman on the beach with more clothes on than that."
Buffy shrugged, her breasts bobbing up and down, proving his theory that she couldn't actually be wearing a bra.
"It's better than what you're wearing," Buffy said. "How many layers of tweed do you have on? Don't you know there's a heat wave going on?"
"I'm well aware of that fact. The blasted thermostat has been turned up in here. I've been sweltering all day."
"Why is it turned up?" Buffy asked, going over to the refrigerator, getting out a bottle of water and twisting off the lid, before taking a long swig.
"Mandates from above," Giles said, watching Buffy swallow the cool water down. *God, that looks good,* he thought.
"Why don't you take off some clothes?" Buffy asked. "You're looking kinda flushed." She went over to where he was sitting and touched his forehead. "You're burning up and you're skin is dry."
The thought of taking clothes off in front of Buffy made him cringe. He moved away from her touch. "That's probably because I've been sweating like a swine all day long. I imagine I smell like one, too."
"I'm serious, Giles," Buffy insisted, grabbing hold of the tweed jacket. "You need to take off your jacket and vest. You could get a heat stroke."
Giles got up, trying to get away from Buffy questing hands. He rose too quickly and the room spun around him. His vision blurred, then began to fade. The last thing he heard before he blacked out was Buffy's distant voice.
"Giles? Are you okay? Giles?"
* * *
Giles woke to cool cloths to his neck and head. He felt disoriented and for a moment didn't know where he was. Lifting his head he looked around and saw Buffy bending over him, giving him a fuzzy view of her cleavage. He shook his head, and blinked his eyes, trying to clear them, but it just made his head hurt more.
"Buffy?" he inquired groggily.
"Drink." Buffy held a glass of water to his lips, forcing him to take a drink.
The cold water felt wonderful on his parched throat, even after the saltiness of the drink impacted on his taste buds. He went to drink more, but Buffy took the glass away. He felt much cooler than before.
"Not too fast, I don't want you yaking on me. How much water have you drank today?"
He shook his head. "I don't remember. Does tea count? I had a half cup."
Buffy wagged her finger at him. "You know as well as I do, tea is a diuretic. I learned that in health class. You're supposed to drink salt water for dehydration."
He carefully sat up and realized that he had been lying on the floor of his office, dressed only in his boxer shorts. Even his socks and shoes were off. He felt his face flushed. Buffy must have stripped him while he had been unconscious. That's why he felt cooler. At least, she left him the dignity of boxer shorts. He looked over at the thermostat and was not surprised to see the plastic case cracked open. His slayer must have broken into it to lower the temperature.
He shook his head and laughed feebly. "You do realize that I'm going to be in big trouble when I have to put in a work order to get the thermostat fixed? But of course, since I have to submit it in duplicate and it has to go through the supervisor of maintenance, then to his secretary and then."
"Are you sure you're okay, Giles?" Buffy asked, concern evident on her face. "Maybe it's a side effect of the heat." She handed him the glass of water and he took another drink.
*I'm as well as a man lying on the floor of his office in his boxers shorts with a girl young enough to be his daughter dressed in a revealing outfit standing over him after undressing him while he was unconscious, can be expected to be,* he thought, but said, "I'll be fine. Just let me finish this glass and I'll get dressed."
"I don't know if you should," Buffy said, putting her hand on his forehead again. "You're still pretty hot."
"Buffy, I can't remain in my underwear. What if someone comes in? How would it look? Your reputation.."
"Giles, anyone looking at you will be able to tell that you're not well. As far as my reputation, let me worry about that. I'm a big girl."
'That's the truth', he muttered under his breath, taking another glance at her skimpy outfit.
"What?" she asked.
"Buffy, I just don't feel comfortable without my clothes in front of you," he said baldly.
"Ohhh," Buffy said, obviously finally understanding what Giles was trying to say. "I'm sorry...I didn't mean to embarrass you.you were just so hot and."
"Buffy," he shook his head to silence her. "It's all right. You acted appropriately. I'm thankful that you knew what to do. Now if you could hand me my trousers and my shirt, I will get dressed. I will leave off the vest and jacket as you suggested."
Buffy handed him his shirt first and offered to help him shrug into it while still in the sitting position.
Touching the scar on his left flank, she asked, "How did you get this?"
He smiled sadly. "That's where Jenny shot me with the cross bow."
"I remember you telling me about it," Buffy nodded. "It's pretty ragged."
"If I hadn't yanked it out to stab the vampire who was attacking us with, it wouldn't have been so ragged. Of course if I hadn't," he shrugged, buttoning most of the buttons, leaving the shirt open at the collar, "I would be dead now."
He went to rise, but his legs would not support him and he landed back on his butt. He felt as weak as a newborn kitten. Buffy jumped up and bent over to help him up. She handed him his pants and held on to his arm while he stepped into them one leg at a time, allowed him to zip up, then forced him to sit in his desk chair.
"I guess we won't be training tonight," Giles said. "I wanted to do a little more research anyway."
"Nope," she said before getting out a liter water bottle from the refrigerator and plopped it down on the desk in front of him. "There, I want you to drink that whole bottle, by the time I get back. I'm going to get my car from the parking lot, cool it down, then I'm going to drive you home to your nice cool house where you are going to drink another bottle of water and eat some supper, which I will supply. After that, you may watch television or read or perform some other sedentary task before you go to bed by 9pm."
Speechless, Giles watched her walk to the door. *When did she learn what sedentary meant?*
"And yes, for your information, I *am* a big girl." She stopped at the door, and looked back, with twinkling eyes. "And you know, Giles, for an old man, you have a pretty good body." She looked him up and down, grinning. "And a great butt!"