Homecoming Gift
By Queena

TITLE: “Homecoming Gift”
AUTHOR: Queena
SPOILERS: Homecoming
TIMELINE: After Homecoming, Before Lover’s Walk
SUMMARY: Buffy is sad that she didn’t get a dance at
Homecoming. Giles triesto cheer her up.
DISCLAIMER: I don’t own Buffy or any other players. Theybelong to Joss,Mutant Enemy, WB and who knows who else. Pleasedon’t sue me Joss, for you aremy God.
NOTES: Schmoopy for now, but I’m thinkin’ onwriting a sequel. If you think I should, let me know. I am a majorfeedback ho.

“So, what exactly happened to you guys anyway?” Oz asked Buffy as they walked through the deserted hallway, towards the library. “I mean, I’m sure your dress looked great before you got hunted and all.”

Willow squeezed his hand which was holding hers and said,“At least she looks better than Cordelia did.”

“No, she doesn’t,” Oz said and then slapped himself in the forehead after he realized what he said.“I’m sorry, Buffy. Sometimes the things in my head have a tendency to slip out of my mouth.”

“That’s okay,” Buffy said with a lopsided smile and stopped in front of the library’s double doors.

“Do you want a ride home?” Oz offered her.

“Nah, Giles is waiting for a detailed account of mine and Cordy’s little excursion, but thanks anyway. See you guys tomorrow,” Buffy said and turned to enter the library. Once inside, she was surprise that Faith wasn’t also there waiting for her story too, since she should have been there instead of Cordy. Of course, that was Faith for you.

Giles peeked his head out of his office when he heard the clicking of Buffy’s pumps of the tile floor. He held up a finger, “Just one moment, please.”

Buffy sat down at the large, oak table in the middle of the room and slipped out of her now ruined pumps. She began to rub her feet, made sore from all the running she had done in the expensive, high-heeled shoes.

Popping a red and white striped peppermint into his mouth, Giles exited his office. His tie was undone and hung loosly around his neck. “So?” Giles inquired as he perched on the table in front of Buffy.

Taking a deep breath, Buffy accounted the events of the night with as much detail as she could. Giles laughed when she told him about the yellow-skinned demon who had ‘blown up real good’ in the old shack. After she finished with her tale, Buffy’s eyes clouded over with sadness.

“Buffy, what is it? Are you still upset that you didn’t win homecoming Queen?” Giles asked.

“No, I’m already over that, it’s just that I’m kind of disappointed that I didn’t get a chance to dance at my own Homecoming,” Buffy said and shook her head. Giles nodded in understanding. Taking a deep breath Giles seemedto be contemplating something. Then suddenly he jumped up from his spot on the table and went into his office. Buffy stared after him, wondering what he was doing.Then she heard the faint sound of a radio coming on and the staticy stations being changed.“Giles, what are you doing?” Buffy called to him from her spot at the table.

Then she heard the radio turn up, Sarah Machlaclin’s“Possesion” coming from Giles’ office. Buffy furrowed her eyebrows in confusion when Giles emerged from the office. “You do like this music, don’t you? if you could really call it music.” Giles said.

“Yeah, I like it,” Buffy said, still confused.

Giles walked toward her slowly and extended his hand to her once he stood before her. “Then...cou....could I have... this dance?” Giles sputtered out,his cheeks turning a lovely shade of pink. Buffy blinked in surprise before a smile started to spread across her face.

“Giles, that’s really sweet, but I wasn’t dropping hints or anything,” she told him.

“I know, but you should have one dance on your Homecomingnight. I know I’m not the ideal dance partner, but I’dbe honored,” Giles said bashfully.

Smiling at her Watcher’s thoughtfulness, Buffy excepted his extended hand and stood from her seat. Giles gave her a shy smile before leading her to the middle of the floor, where there would be more room for movement. Once there, Giles turned to her and, still holding her hand, put his hand on her slim, firm waist.Closing some of the space between them, Buffy put her free hand on his shoulder. They moved together to the rythm of the slow song, niether of them speaking at first.

“Wow, Giles, you can really move for an old guy,”Buffy said, breaking the silence.

“Thank you, Buffy. That really helped me to reach my quota of double-edged compliments for the day,” Giles said.

“I’m sorry,” Buffy said, looking down at their feet in shame. “What I meant to say is, this is really nice.” She looked back up to see him smiling at her.Shecouldn’t help thinking how handsome he looked in his suit.She felt color rush into her face at the thought.

“You’re blushing, Buffy. Whatever for?” Giles asked playfully.

“Oh, I don’t know,” Buffy answered in embarrassment. Suddenly she was feeling very tired from the events of the night. She didn’t stop herself from the urge to lean her head against Giles’ shoulder. Giles tensed for a moment at her action, but he quickly relaxed. He thought he could smell the vanilla in her shampoo when he turned down to smell her hair.

Buffy pressed her cheek against Giles’ firm chest as they continued to sway to the new song that had just come onto the radio station, “Linger” by the Cranberries. This was one of her favorite songs. Buffy thought to herself. Buffy turned her face upwards, curious to the look on Giles’ face. She was sure he would look incredibly uncomfortable, with his young Slayer leaning against him so closely. She was surprised to see him looking down at her, his face more curious than uncomfortable. He wrapped his arm around her waist, pulling her firmly against himself before letting go of her hand to stroke her face with his index finger. “Why are you crying, Buffy?” Giles asked as he looked down at the tear he had just scooped up.

“I didn’t realize I was,” Buffy said and turned to press her face against his chest again. Giles’ free hand moved back down to rest on the small of her back as Buffy gripped at his upper arm with the hand the wasn’t rested on the back of his neck. “I guess it’s because I haven’t been held by anyone for so long.”

“You mean, you haven’t been held by a *man* for so long,” Giles said quietly. Buffy looked up at him with surprise caused by his words. He was looking down at her with one eyebrow raised quizically. Buffy stared up at him for along moment before moving up on her tiptoes to kiss him on his cheek. Giles turned his head towards hers, after the small peck and both of them started to lean in to steal one kiss.

“That was the Cranberries with their hit song“Linger” from their first album “Everybody Else Is Doing It So Why Can’t We?!”” the deejay’s loud voice boomed from the radio causing both of them to jump in shock. After the small scare they both looked at each other in silent shock of their actions.

Dropping his hands from her waist, Giles backed away from her as he pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose. “Well,that is an odd name for an album,”Giles said to break the silence that had fallen over them.

“God, Giles get with the times,” Buffy said with a nervous laugh and turned to get her shoes from where she had left them on the floor.

“Would you like a ride home?” Giles asked her as hewatched her slip her shoes on.

Buffy shook her head and stood up. They stared at each other for a short moment, before Buffy said, “I’ll walk, Ithink I need the fresh air. I have a stake.”

Giles nodded and watched her walk past him. She stopped in front of the doors. She didn’t turn befor saying,“Thanks for the dance, Giles.” And then she was gone and Giles felt an uneasy sadness to see her go. He would have to think about what happened and talk to her about it. Tommorrow, he told himself as he fished into his jacket pocket for his car keys. But would he really talk to her about it?