I Know
By Princess Slayer

AUTHOR: Princess Slayer
E-MAIL: PrincessSlayer@hotmail.com
SUMMARY: Response to a challenge at Cap's site, Watching You, Watching Me. (Wow! Look at me - I'm responding to challenges now!) Buffy and Giles get dressed up in matching costumes for Halloween. Giddy happiness ensues.
FEEDBACK: First attempt at challenge fic here. Should I bother making a second?
DISCLAIMER: God number one is Joss Whedon, God number two is George Lucas. I am merely their pathetic minion.
DISTRIBUTION: Cap, of course, Solo, as always, and anyone else who asks

NOTE: This is me self-indulgently combining my two obsessions. You'll need to have seen The Empire Strikes Back to fully appreciate it.

"This sucks," Buffy said, as she trailed around the costume shop. "What's the point of having a themed Halloween party?"

"It's films, Buffy," Willow reminded her. "Getting dressed up as a character from a film is hardly a mammoth task. It where most people get their inspiration from anyway."

"I know, I just can't decide who to go as. There are so many possibilities, and so many trappings of inevitable ridicule to fall into."

"What about Cruella DeVille? She's cool."

"I am *not* dyeing half my hair black.

"Okay. Well, Oz and I are going as Dorothy and Toto, so you could join in with us and come as Glinda." Then, off her friends look, she added, "Or something that would make you look a little less like a meringue."

Buffy woefully fingered a packet containing a ghost costume. "This whole thing makes me yearn for the classics. Just a simple, long, white..." she trailed off. "Oh my God," she said, eventually. "I just had the best idea for a costume!"

"What?" Willow yelled after her, as she began to make her way toward the door. "Where are you going?"

"To get a very long wig," Buffy yelled back.

* * * * *

Giles stood in front of his mirror and adjusted the holdster he had slumped around his hips. How on earth had the kids persuaded him to go to this party? He knew that Buffy was having a hard time believing that nothing supernatural was likely to happen tonight, although given Sunnydale's history they probably shouldn't be quite so complacent. Still, Buffy needed a night of fun, and if he was needed to assure her that everything was normal, so be it.

<Oh well> he thought, philosophically. <At least it gives me a chance to dress like Harrison Ford.>

* * * * *

Buffy finished applying her lipstick, then took a step back to survey her reflection. Perfect, she concluded. She had decided on Princess Leia's ceremonial gown, with it's low cut neck line, and accompanying elegant, single braid, rather the high-cut white dress with which she wore the doughnuts attatched to the side of her head.

"Okay, Will, I'm ready," she yelled. A second later, her friend, dressed in a flared, gingham dress, entered the room.

"Oh, Buffy, you look gorgeous!" she gushed.

"Thanks," she said. "You look really cute too."

"That's what I keep telling her," Oz said as he entered the room dressed in his little dog outfit.

Buffy let out a little giggle. "I like," she told him.

"Well, I thought it was more original than being the great and powerful."

"Hey, do you guys have any idea what Xander and Anya are coming as?"

"Not a clue," Willow said, shaking her head. "He wouldn't tell me. All I know is that it was Anya's idea. Which I guess could explain why he wouldn't tell me, seeing as she had no qualms dressing as a giant bunny last year."

Their musings were interuppted by the sound of knocking at the door to their room.

"Guess we'll find out," Willow said, before racing to answer the door. As soon as she saw Xander in his skin-tight, green unitard, with a goggly-eyed hat, she burst into hysterics.

"Hey Kermit," Buffy said.

"Yeah, yeah, go ahead! Mock me! Do you have any idea how *stupid* I feel?"

"Hi-yah!" Behind him, Anya had entered, dressed in a puce pink dress, with matching feather boa, and a pig's snout strapped to her face.

"Ow!" Xander exclaimed. "Okay, honey, that was funny the first time you did it, now it's just getting old."

"If you hate the costumes so much, then why did you agree to them," Anya asked.

"Cos you got me whipped?"

* * * * *

Giles sat on his couch as he waited patiently for his lift to the party. He self-conciously touched his hair, which he had dyed black for the occassion, and checked his shirt to make sure just the right amount of buttons were undone. Then he ran his hand down the side of his trousers where he had made a decent attempt to sew on some red material which represented Han Solo's Correllian bloodline stripes. His hands went back to his shirt. Maybe he should do up all the buttons. He didn't want to flaunt himself, especially as he could anticipate the kind of comments that the sight of his chest hair would engender. But then again, that wouldn't be true to the costume...

<Oh, for God's sake man, stop fluttering about!>

He was interuppted from his reverie by the chiming of his doorbell.

"Happy Halloween!" he exclaimed, as he opened the door to Xander. His look of merriment was quickly replaced by one of complete shock as he took in the image of Xander in his green unitard.

"You say *nothing*," Xander warned. Then he took a step back to see Giles costume. "Oh my God," he said. "This is really freaky."

"What's 'freaky' about me dressed as Han Solo?"

"It's not that," he explained. "It's just that..." he trailed off as Buffy entered behind him, looking to see what the delay was.

"Well, see for yourself," Xander finished.

She and Giles stared at each others costumes for a long moment.

"Oh my God," they said in unison.

* * * * *

"I think it's really cool," Willow told them later, as they stood in the main room of the house where the party was being held. "Now we've all got matching costumes. We should have done this! Except that we have done this. I mean, we should have *planned* to do this, not that it matters, 'cos we did it anyway...Oz, you're supposed to stop me when I do that."

Her enthusiasm was met by silence. "I'm sensing less than overjoyment at this," she said.

"You got that right," Buffy said. "We're just gonna look so *stupid* dressed like this all night. I'm almost hoping that something supernatural *is* gonna happen tonight. At least then we'll have something to do other than look stupid all night."

"You're a lovely girl, Buffy," Giles said, in mock American tones. "Either I'm going to kill you or I'm beginning to like you."

Buffy couldn't help but laugh. "I guess I should just be grateful you chose Han and not Chewbacca or something!"

"You probably should."

"That's the spirit!" Willow said, before dragging Oz off to dance.

"And at least in this costume you get to show off your chest hair," Buffy said, after the others had left.

"Oh..." Giles said, his cheeks reddening. "Sorry."

"No, don't cover it up," Buffy told him. "It's nice...I mean, um, well, you know what I mean." Now it was her turn to go red.

"Hey! Buff, man, you made it!"

Buffy looked up to see Charlie Owen, one of her classmates, heading her way, and clearly drunk.

"Is this a cool party or what?" he enthused. "Hey, have you seen upstairs? Man, there's some crazy shit going on up there. They've decorated it with all these witch symbols and stuff - it is sooo cool!" Then he slouched away, empty bottle in hand, probably looking for some more alcohol.

"Did he say witch symbols?" Buffy asked.

"Buffy - no!" Giles warned, but before he could finish, Buffy was halfway up the stairs, ready to investigate.

She looked into each of the rooms in turn, disturbing a number of couples along the way, before coming to the room she was looking for. It was indeed decorated with witch symbols. A basic pentagram, a couple of marks that Buffy recognised from Willow's dabblings as protection spell symbols, and a few scented candles. Nothing but seasonal decorations. Nothing sinister here.

"Looks like everything's okay, then."

Buffy spun around at the sound of the voice, but realised too late that its owner was closer than she thought, and whacked him in the face.


"Oh, Giles, I'm sorry, I didn't see you there," Buffy said, immediately looking to see if he was alright.

"Hey, your Worship, I'm only trying to help," Giles said, in his best American accent.

Buffy smiled, but played along with his game. "Would you please stop calling me that!" she flounced about in mock annoyance.

"Sure, Leia."

"Oh, you make it so difficult sometimes," she said, rolling her eyes and pouting like the royal rebel.

"I do, I really do. You could be a little nicer though. Come on, admit it. Sometimes you think I'm alright."

Buffy tried not to laugh. She couldn't believe that Giles was so fluent in Star Wars speak. "Occasionally," she said, continuing with their impromptu game. "Maybe. When you aren't acting like a scoundrel."

"Scoundrel! Scoundrel? I like the sound of that." He smirked seductively, the way he had done the night that Ethan Rayne's infected chocolate bars had made him regress back to the days when he was the biggest scoundrel of them all. Before Buffy knew what he was doing, he had taken hold of her hand, and was massaging it gently, the same way the ruffian space pirate had done to the spunky princess a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.

"Stop that," she said.

"Stop what?"

<Stop what?> she thought. <Am I still quoting from the film, or do I really want this to stop?>

"Stop that," she said, more firmly this time. A look of hurt and embarrassment flickered across Giles eyes, but then, in a whisper, she finished off the line. "My hand's are dirty."

"My hand's are dirty too. What are you afraid of?"

<That's a very good question.>

"Afraid? I'm not afraid."

"I think you like me because I'm a scoundrel. There are no scoundrels in your life."

Buffy shook her head. "I happen to like nice men."

"I'm a nice man," Giles nodded.

"No you're not, you're-" but just like the character she was masquerading as, she never got to finish what she was saying, because at that moment her lips were covered by anothers, and she was drawn into the most mind-numbingly intense, and yet lovingly tender kiss she had ever known.

"Oh, Buffy, I'm so sorry," Giles said, when the need for oxygen forced them to part. "I...I don't know what came over me. Oh, dear...I...I..."

He stiffened in her arms, suddenly becoming very uncomfortable.

"Don't be," Buffy said, drawing him back in.

He stared at her, looking deep into her eyes. "Really?"

She nodded.

"Oh Buffy," Giles sighed. "I love you."

Buffy smiled inwardly. Should she say it? Ah, why not? Quoting had got them this far, she might as well go all the way.

"I know," she grinned.