RATING: R, maybe NC-17
SPOILERS: All season four, just to be safe
SUMMARY: For a challenge at the BG Writers Zone (Challenge courtesy of Andrea Toth). The new improved Wesley comes back to give being Watcher another go.
FEEDBACK: Let me try a new method of asking for feedback; something I learned in, oh, about third grade: "I like you. Do you like my fic? Circle YES or NO
DISTRIBUTION: Solo, Cap, anyone else just ask.
DISCLAIMER: Theyre not mine, dont sue.
Note: This fic hasnt been betad, but since were having a little bit of a dry spell, I thought there wouldnt be any harm in it.
Buffy fidgeted nervously in her chair, wishing that Giles had filled her in prior to this meeting. But now she had to wait while Giles and Wesley Wyndham-Price, of all people, spoke in the kitchen in hushed tones. She strained to hear what they were saying, but couldnt make heads or tails of it. The thing that bewildered her most was that there wasnt any tension in their words, and Giles didnt seem at all exasperated with the younger Watcher.
Then they were speaking normally, coming into the living room, and sitting down on the sofa side by side. Their body language spoke of unity. It was so unlikely a scenario that she wondered for a second if she were dreaming. Especially now that she was getting a good look at Wesley. He no longer moved as though he were made of wood, and had lost the suits in favor of were those leather pants? Buffys lips parted in surprise, and when she moved her gaze upwards, Giles was watching her in amusement.
"Thank you for coming, Buffy." Giles said, noticing her curiosity, and wanting to put her at ease as quickly as possible. "You remember Wesley "
Buffy frowned at her watcher. Was he kidding?
"How could I forget?" She answered sweetly, letting her words imply all that she was thinking. How could any of them forget his inadequacy as a Watcher, not to mention their bitter parting that had caused Buffy to break ties with the Council. Wesley appeared sufficiently flustered, and Buffy enjoyed a feeling of satisfaction from that.
Giles spoke on Wesleys behalf. "Buffy, were all aware of how things went last time he was here. But you need a Watcher, and for some reason, the Council will only agree to Wesley continuing in that position. Youve made it clear how you feel about the council, but I was hoping that now that some time has passed, and you can see things clearly " Now that Angels gone, is what he didnt say. "That you would consider this option."
Her opposition to the idea was clear. "Giles-"
"-It was my idea, Buffy." He interrupted her.
"What!?" She didnt know whether to feel betrayed or not.
He sighed, removing his glasses as he so often did when he was distressed or confused. "Ive been working to make this happen for some time now. Ever since you started college, actually. You need a Watcher."
"But Giles! Youre still here, you can..." she stopped when she saw him shaking his head.
"No. Its not fair to you. I may be able to help you with many things, but with a Watcher assigned to you, youd have so many resources at your disposal. Youd have a large backing, and wouldnt be working on your own. Its what I want for you, Buffy."
"But Wesley?" She looked at him. "Whats the point of having a Watcher whos afraid of the dark?" Wesley received a pointed glare.
"I know that you have doubts about this, but my hope is that we can all learn to trust one another. I support Wesleys rights as your Watcher, because I believe that he has learned a great deal in the time hes been away, and is ready to protect and serve you Also, Ill be holding his hand until hes ready to completely take over." He added wryly, drawing a smile from the so far unhappy Slayer. He was pleased that Wesley held his tongue, demonstrating how much hed matured over the past eight months.
They sat in silence as Buffy studied Wesley, and both men waited for her to show some sort of reaction. She knew that they expected a tantrum, but the truth was that no one had ever looked out for her as Giles did, and if he said something was best, shed try it out at least for a while.
"So, Wesley, what have you been doing with yourself since the ascension?" She asked, looking to Giles as if to say, "See how nice Im being about this?" They shared a secret smile, and she knew that he approved.
Wesley noticed this exchange, and his reply was lost as he analyzed what he had seen. When hed been her Watcher, hed been aggravated and slightly jealous whenever theyd exchanged these frequent looks and whispers, but now, he was intrigued.
Wesley made a decision right then and there. In order to be the best Watcher possible to Buffy, he would observe Mr. Giles, and adopt every method that the older Watcher used when dealing with the Slayer. He would speak to her in the same manner, look at her in the same manner, and touch her accordingly. It was a solid plan at becoming what he wanted to be most in life. A respectable Watcher, most importantly respected by Mr. Giles.
Part One: Speak
Wesley rehearsed what he would say to the girl over and over in his head as he, Buffy and Giles walked through campus toward Buffys dorm. Giles was standing by his initial promise to supervise Wesley until he was ready to be on his own.
Giles stopped, giving the younger man an odd look. "Is there something the matter?" he asked, raising his eyebrows in curiosity.
"N-no why?" Wesley asked.
"Your lips are moving." He replied. "Anything you care to share with us, or are you explaining something to yourself that would be too complex for us to understand?" Buffy snickered loudly at her Watchers comment.
"Let me help you out, Wes," she offered. "Its left foot forward, right foot forward, repeat. And that pointy thing in your hand " she made a stabbing gesture with her own stake. " like this." She and Giles appeared very pleased with themselves.
Wesley sighed. This wasnt going as planned. He hadnt even gotten a chance to talk to Buffy at all tonight. He cleared his throat nervously before testing his theory.
"Buffy," he began, a bit nervously, "Youve changed your hair since I saw you last. Its very becoming." Occasionally, hed observed Giles complimenting her clothing, and she was invariably pleased.
Buffy turned her attention to him fully for the first time that evening, putting her hand up to her head in response. "Really? Thanks." She smiled at him, and he found himself smiling, too, taken aback by his own delighted response to her reaction.
She wasnt as unpleasant as hed remembered. Perhaps that had nothing to do with the girl, and everything to do with his previous pigheadedness. He was inclined to think so.
Wesley knew that he wouldnt win her over by flattery alone. He knew that he tended to use a condescending tone when addressing Buffy, or anyone for that matter. That would stop now, and he would adopt Giles respectful way of speaking. It wasnt phony, he told himself, because she truly deserved to be treated in this way.
He dropped behind the Slayer and her former Watcher, content to observe them as they walked, learning what he could.
Part Two: Look
Buffy practically skipped along the path, making Willow hurry to keep up with her.
"Youre awfully chipper for someone who has to go train," the redhead commented curiously. "Especially since you have to do it with Wesley."
Buffy stopped. "Nope. Not seeing the negative, Wills. Hes not the same old Council clone." She giggled, grinning evilly " not bad to look at, either."
Willow made an embarrassed, delighted face. "Well, the other day when he was changing his-"
"-I knew you were looking!" Buffy broke in, laughing. "You are so bad." They started to walk again, giggling every now and then.
"Seriously, though, Will." Buffy told her friend as they approached Wesleys house. "Its nice having a Watcher again. I feel like everything isnt my responsibility, and Ill admit I sort of need someone to get after me on stuff like training, among other things."
She thought for a few moments, then added quietly, "Giles was right. He saw that it was getting to be too much for me." Shed had no idea that Giles had noticed her struggling, much less that hed been working to get her help. He was amazing, the sacrifices he continued to make on her behalf unless Buffy frowned as she had a sudden epiphany. Unless it wasnt a sacrifice at all, and it was his way of ridding himself of the Slayer/Watcher hassles once and for all. It made sense, he was so willing to forgive and forget Wesley and turn her over to him.
When they entered Wesleys house, the girls headed straight to the room that hed cleared out for training. They dumped their bags on the couch next to Giles, and Willow sat next to him.
Buffy stopped short when she caught sight of Wesley. She knew that she was staring, but couldnt stop. Her new Watcher was wearing shorts, something she didnt even know that Watchers could wear without breaking out in hives. Not just shorts, though. Short ones, like the kind that the guys on the track team wore. The t-shirt he wore hugged his body tightly, and she took a second to appreciate that, before letting her eyes drift down once again to his legs. <oh my.> she thought, raising her eyebrows in surprise. <The man has got nice legs. Nice everything.>
Giles watched Buffy as she stared at Wesley. He frowned. Could she be more obvious? A general uneasiness set in, and he suddenly wanted to get up and stand between the two.
Wesley blinked. He could see Buffys positive reaction to what he was wearing, and grabbed the opportunity to be just like Giles. He indiscreetly ran his eyes up her legs, over her breasts, then back again. He was doing what he considered a perfect impression of Giles pleased admiration of her body.
The older watcher, not missing any part of this non-verbal conversation, sat up straight in his seat. The little bastard was openly ogling the girl! His eyes widened in disbelief that Wesley would dare to regard their Slayer, any Slayer, in such a lecherous manner.
When Buffy and Wes finally made eye contact, her forehead wrinkled slightly, and for one optimistic second Giles thought that she was going to let him have it. But a mischievous smile spread over her face, and he followed suit, standing like this for a few seconds until he finally spoke. "Good afternoon," he said, including Willow in his greeting as well.
Giles stood in protest, though he wasnt sure of what. When he noticed the three of them looking at him in question, he mumbled an excuse, and left the room.
Wesley began bringing out weapons that he thought Buffy could use some practice with, but Buffys attention went out the door with Giles. Did he already think that they were ready to go on without him? Was he leaving?
Even as they began working with the swords hed selected, Giles stayed in Buffys mind. She tried to come up with ways to make him stay. She could defy Wesley, refuse to listen to him. No, it wouldnt be fair. In her distraction, she uncharacteristically stumbled and fell, getting her sword caught up in her tumble.
"Ohhh," she groaned, sitting up, pulling her weapon away from her body, sending it clattering to the floor. Her side was stinging brutally and she pressed her hand to it, feeling immediately that her shirt was soaked through.
Wesley rushed to her side. "What happened there?" he asked, "Are you all right?" Buffy just grimaced in reply, shaking her head.
Willow rushed for the first aid kit while Wesley held Buffys hand, easing her back so that she was leaning against his chest.
When Giles returned, the sight he was greeted with was Buffy leaning back into Wesley, who was resting his cheek on the top of her head. Wesley was gazing down at her with an expression of loving concern, an expression that he had carefully crafted, modeling it after Giles himself.
But what Giles saw on the younger watchers face yanked him from any comfort zone hed been in as far as he and Buffy. Apparently she and Wesley were getting along famously. He scowled.
He rushed over, possessively removing Wesleys hand from her injury, checking it himself. "Shell be fine," he declared with relief, taking the gauze pads from Willow and quickly bandaging her wound. He glared at Wesley as he raised her shirt to bandage her. More than a little of her smooth, toned flesh was showing and hed be damned if this inept excuse for a Watcher would get a peek.
"No more today," he instructed, frowning severely, giving him a look as if to say, "your first attempt at training her and she goes home in bandages?"
They both extended their hands to Buffy to help her to her feet, and she looked from watcher to watcher, trying to choose between their equally expectant faces.
How could she choose? She somehow knew that her decision would determine much more than who would help her stand. It was an unspoken competition, who did she prefer, somehow she felt that it was more than that who did she care about? She saw Wesley, and his hopeful naiveté, then slid her glance over to Giles, touched by his unassuming trust.
She was about to look away when she saw that the nonchalance was only thinly veiling his own desire to be chosen. She frowned as she noticed the slight waiver in his confident demeanor did he really think so little of her loyalty to him?
She wanted to choose them both, but felt that somehow that would be insulting to each of them.
Finally, she pushed herself up off of the floor, pressing her hand to her side as she did so.
Giles, as a man who had done a lot of deplorable things, had many regrets in life. But he was beginning to think that hed made the ultimate error in bringing Wesley back to Sunnydale. One of the reasons it had seemed so perfect, other than the obvious benefit of Buffy being safer, was that once he himself wasnt in the position of caring for her, she might begin to see him in the way that he wished to be seen. Not as a father, and not as her Watcher, either.
At night, it was easy for him to imagine that she could feel for him the passion that he was so used to ignoring. Now, however, watching Buffy and Wesley as they sat on the floor, talking quietly with one another, he could see that in a great act of unfairness, she seemed to be transfixed on what he was saying, her eyes sparkling with interest.
So it hadnt been his position as Watcher that had kept her from loving him, it had been he, the person, that she didnt feel anything for. He had a flash of anger. No one shared a connection with Buffy the way that he did, and the girl was breaking records in shallowness, not able to see past a pair of tight leather pants.
"Buffy," he called across the room from his isolated spot across the room.
"Yeah?" she replied. When he didnt say anything, she got up and went to him. His eyes were drawn to the top she had on immediately. No wonder Wesley had been sitting so closely to her all night. His gaze remained on her as she sat next to him.
Buffy looked helplessly at Giles. This was something new. She felt very self-conscious all of a sudden. In the past, she hadnt thought twice about wearing anything this revealing around him. He honestly hadnt seemed to notice, though at times, shed teased and flaunted, trying to see exactly how oblivious he could be.
Tonight, though, she couldnt even get any eye contact from him. Somehow, it was embarrassing to have him seeing her this way. And exciting, too. What was he thinking? She her own ideas of what it looked as though he were thinking.
"Giles?" she couldnt take the silence anymore.
"You wanted me?" she blushed at her own words, and his raised eyebrow. "I mean you want to talk to me?"
"Buffy" Wesley interrupted, not knowing anything of the charged exchange taking place between the two others in the room, "I want to show you something, this is quite fascinating!" He didnt take his face out of the book of which he was speaking.
Giles face hardened slightly, resigned once again to his second place status. "Go on," he told her. She stayed on for a second, her eyes hopeful and searching, but when she saw that the moment was gone, she obediently went to her new Watcher.
Part Three: Touch
Wesley knocked on Buffys door impatiently. They needed to talk. He was very excited in a Council-geek sort of way. His first serious talk with his Slayer, and to be certain that it was right, he pictured Giles saying the words did it work? He nodded to himself. Perfect.
Finally, she called for him to come in, and he found her sitting on the edge of her bed, still in her pajamas. He looked away. Not very substantial pajamas. "Hi," she greeted him without enthusiasm.
Wesley sat next to her. "I was hoping to talk to you about something," he said. "Its about Mr. Giles."
Shed planned on spending this time while he spoke planning what to wear today, but at the mention of Giles name, she paid attention.
"Our training is going well, but Ive noticed that whenever Mr. Giles is in the room, you lose your concentration. Yesterday we cant afford to have an accident like that again."
Buffy looked down, knowing that he was right. Shed taken a blow to the back of the neck that had made her see stars. Actually, she hadnt seen anything for a good ten minutes afterwards since shed been unconscious. And it had been because Giles was there. Hed seemed off again, and she couldnt stop thinking about the other night how he had looked at her. That was when Wes had caught her off guard.
"May I?" he asked, and she nodded, turning around, and bowing her head. He lifted up her hair, revealing minimal traces of the injury.
"Amazing," he breathed, running his fingers over the still slightly tender skin. "I know about a Slayers ability to heal, but its incredible seeing it with my own eyes." It was then that he noticed the tension in her shoulders and back, and he stopped talking. One aspect of being like Giles that hed avoided was his way of touching the girl. The older Watcher had an easy, natural way of touching her that Wesley wasnt certain he could imitate. But right now felt like a good time to begin.
Hesitantly, he placed his hands on her shoulders, and began kneading. It was a relief when she relaxed slightly. She trusted him, this was good. Wesley scooted nearer to her in order to easier reach.
Giles checked his watch as he came down the hall. She should be up by now maybe a little cranky, but awake. He wanted to talk to her about the same thing that Wesley had, only from a very different point of view.
He heard them talking before he knocked, and since one of the voices was Wesley, he knew it was all right to let himself in.
Later, he would be able to admit to himself that he shouldnt have acted so quickly. He shouldve taken more time to assess the situation, but when he saw the two of them on the bed, something else took over. He was there in a flash, pulling Wesley up, away from Buffy, throwing him to the floor. All the pent up anger and disappointment from the past weeks burst through the surface. He felt Ripper emerging, and welcomed him. Wesley struggled to his feet only to feel Giles fist smashing into his face, and somewhere in the distance he heard Buffy cry out.
"Stop! Giles, are you crazy?!" she hurried to Wesley, but he shrugged off her help. For once, he did know what was going on. He was just embarrassed that he hadnt seen it sooner.
Old habits die hard, and despite his new look, he pulled a clean, white handkerchief out of his jeans pocket, wiping the blood from his face.
"Im all right," he said with as much dignity as he could muster. "Ill be going now," he couldnt look Giles in the face as he made his way to the door, and out.
Buffy watched him leave, and seeing the dangerous glint in her former Watchers eyes, she grabbed the first outfit she saw, a wrinkled blouse and skirt lying on a chair, and took off for the bathroom.
She took her time dressing. She didnt want to hope, but it seemed that there could only be one reason for his behavior. She winced in humiliation. It mustve looked pretty bad. <oh, great,> she thought in frustration. <this isnt even my shirt.> She sighed, taking a look at herself. A bit mussed, but good enough for an awkward conversation, which was just what she was about to have.
She closed the door behind her, feeling his eyes burning into her even from across the room. Then he was coming toward her. Buffy backed up with every step her watcher took toward her, until she felt the wall against her back.
"What are you doing?!" he demanded, "Watchers dont touch their slayers in such a familiar way! Our duty forbids it." He appeared to be getting his emotions under control, and now was slipping back into reserved librarian mode.
"Well, you sure fulfilled your duty, then, didnt you?" she shot back.
She saw immediately that her comment had gotten under his skin, and new anger, then hesitant confusion passed over his face. "What does that mean?" he asked, stepping back just a tiny bit, enough to allow Buffy to exhale, and relax from the position shed taken pressed tightly against the wall.
"Are you saying that you wanted me to touch you? The way he does?" he asked in disbelief.
She nodded, not trusting her voice, only aware of his nearness, and how small she felt under the shadow of his much larger body. Shed heard of sexual tension before, but this was tension. Maybe that was what was taking all of the oxygen out of the room, making it so difficult for her to draw each breath.
She was certain that he felt the same as she did, his eyes were hungry and the trouble she was having with breathing plagued him as well. But years of habit kept him from admitting it, even to himself.
He tried to remember how theyd gotten into this precarious position. He didnt even know how to take her response. A few minutes ago, shed been reveling in the caress of another man, and now here she was wanting him to to what?
"How?" he choked out, torn between his own desire and the fury over her passive admission that shed been allowing her new Watcher to touch her. Jealousy had distorted his ability to think clearly where Buffy was concerned.
Buffy couldnt believe her luck. She caught his eyes with her own, and reached out for his hand, slowly bringing it towards her in answer to his question. Giles allowed her to lead him all the way until his fingers brushed the warm, soft skin just above her collarbone. He felt her begin to move his hand gently across her chest, causing him to jerk away quickly.
He held his hand in the other, squeezing it as though checking for injuries, but Buffy wasnt giving up. He wanted her, she could tell that just by looking at him. Why wouldnt he just take what he wanted? She would make him take it, she thought. All he needed was a little encouragement.
"Like this," she said, bringing her own hand up to her neck, at the same time tipping her head back a little. She trailed her fingers down her neck very slowly, over the swell of her breasts, slower still. Her eyes closed as she stroked across her right breast, brushing over the nipple briefly, doing it again a second time solely for the pleasure it brought her. Of course, that had a lot to do with the fact that Giles was watching her the whole while.
How much would it take for him to break, and move forward just a step or two? She thought he wouldve already had enough. She wasnt playing by the rules theyd established over the past few years, but hed broken all of those the moment his fist had connected with Wesleys face.
Her eyes stayed closed as her fingers moved to her other breast, sighing a little for Giles benefit in the process. She could feel his presence so powerfully that it was almost as though it was he who was touching her, and suddenly Buffy knew she would go as far as it took to get a reaction.
Giles watched as her fingers fumbled with the top button on her already indecently low-cut top, and struggled to not reach out and help her with it. When shed succeeded, she pushed the material aside, a bit more than necessary for her hand to slip underneath, but it was all for show anyway, wasnt it? She wasnt entirely sure anymore as she revealed the softly rounded flesh to his gaze.
She leaned back against the wall for support, her fingers now playing with the bottom hem of her top. Giles stood without moving, barely breathing as he watched, and his cheeks colored slightly when she looked up to see what he was feeling. This entire whatever it was, was obviously meant for him, but when he looked into her eyes he felt as though hed been caught indulging in a forbidden guilty pleasure.
The backs of her fingers slid across her bare stomach, the sensation awakening her body to everything that it wanted. Her body knew that it was never made to feel like this unless it was going to be touched in more intimate places. What had begun as a calculated attempt at undoing Giles was now not so controlled. Buffy stroked again, across every sensitive area under her blouse, and Giles looked on in wonder.
Hed noticed the second things had changed, and his own body was having a reaction similar to the one she was so obviously enjoying. Her hand was moving lower, and she lingered over the curve of her hip, down to her thigh. Giles took a breath, almost making a remark as she touched her way unhurriedly toward the inside of her thigh. But he didnt want her to stop, not until she was ready or finished.
She shifted against the wall, and Giles swallowed hard, noticing that she had moved to a position where her legs were slightly parted. She rubbed the silky material of her skirt between her finger and thumb, glad that for once she wasnt wearing something tight and restricting. He couldnt breathe as she gripped the hem of her skirt, lifting it leisurely, revealing inch after inch of smooth, golden skin. He almost stopped her as she lifted the garment higher, giving him a full view of what was underneath.
She held her skirt with one hand, clutching it tightly against her stomach, and he couldnt look away. She was watching his every reaction, and as he took in her white panties, Buffys gaze fell on the now rather obvious bulge in the front of his trousers.
There was almost nothing left to the imagination with that nearly transparent fabric, but his imagination certainly gave it a good try. Her other hand was now creeping up her thigh, teasing him with her slow pace.
She waited for him to stop her, for him to just admit what he wanted, but he wouldnt. They were both too stubborn to give in. She ignored her nervous misgivings. After all, he was, in a way, giving in to his desires. He was here, as well, and while he wasnt touching her, it was definitely a two-party encounter.
The edges of her panties were trimmed with something slightly decorative, possibly lace, so tiny that you couldnt even see it unless you were up close and Buffy traced those delicate edges with her finger. He was holding his breath again, knowing what he wanted her to do, fearing that she would and wouldnt continue.
She slipped her hand down into her panties, and Giles stepped forward almost involuntarily. He stopped himself abruptly, but was now so close that the faint scent of her perfume reached him. Through the thin material, he could see her fingers moving further down, until he felt a hot exhale of breath on the front of his shirt accompanied by a small sound. The reality of what she was doing overwhelmed him, and a similar sound came from his own throat.
She stood very still for a few seconds, not certain how to continue, but the wet, aching flesh under her fingers urged her on. She began to make slow, stroking motions. She closed her eyes. Giles fingers, Giles touches that were making it hard to stay standing.
Giles lifted his hand, bringing it towards her, wanting to be a part of this, but let it drop back down in indecision. Buffy didnt notice, she turned her head, the side of her face pressing against the wall. She could feel it, her orgasm, just a few strokes away, and Giles felt it, too. His feet moved of their own accord, against what his brain was telling him he should or shouldnt do. Swiftly pressing up against her disheveled, half-dressed body, his mouth found hers, his tongue plunging inside immediately. He felt her hand still moving between them, and he groaned.
Buffy panted for air. She was tightly wedged between the wall and her wonderfully warm watcher. Her senses, which were all so desperately in need of relief, were being overwhelmed by his lips, tongue, and hands.
Hed wanted to be a participant in this since the moment shed first unbuttoned her blouse, and his hand mindlessly slid between them, covering her hand with his. He discovered the wet material of her panties and her busy fingers underneath. Buffy inhaled sharply. He pressed gently, wondering if he could get his pants unfastened in time. But before he could begin the exploring he craved, she whimpered into his mouth, and he followed her hands movements with his own. He held her tightly as she trembled against him, the sounds she made as she found release making him crazy.
Continuing to ravage his mouth with her own, Buffy pushed them away from the wall, guiding him over to her bed, not letting an inch of space come between them on the way. Giles began to lower her onto the mattress, but stopped, not able to pull himself completely away from her. He moved his hips against her.
"Who were you imagining, there?" he asked harshly, not able to forget why they were here in the first place. "Who were you thinking of, whose hands were those-"
"Wesley never touched me, Giles." She interrupted. Her cheeks were pink, her eyes bright from their encounter. "Not even .that was all you," she looked right into his eyes, and he knew it was the truth. He shouldve known.
"I-I owe him an apology," he said without commitment, allowing his hand to slide up underneath her top. She smiled, her attention drifting to his lips, that incredible mouth.
"Mmm-hmm." She replied.
Giles thanked the gods for her short attention span, and as he leaned in closer, replied, "I suppose that apology can wait for now."