(Let's pretend this takes place towards the end of Buffy's junior year.)
Disclaimer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer belongs to Joss Whedon, WB, and Fox, not me.
The library was still and quiet. As usual.
Buffy cautiously stepped inside, dropping her shoulder bag on the table with a loud thud. Despite all of the time she spent in the library after school hours, the echoing silence that reverberated once the students and faculty had gone home continued to spook her. She shivered.
"Giles?" she called, a bit more loudly than necessary. "Yoo-hoo, Giles!"
There was no response. Buffy pursed her lips. "Sure. Drag me all the way back here for some 'vital' training and then ditch me. Way to go, Watcher." Her heels clicked on the tiles as she crossed over to Giles's office door. Her fingers tapped lightly on the glass.
"Giles? Are you there?"
No answer. Sighing audibly, Buffy turned away from the door and reclaimed her bag. "Cool. An unexpected vacation. Giles, if you're going to expect me to make this session up later, you are so deluded."
She was reaching for the library door when a faint rustling sound caught her attention. Without hesitation, without a thought, she reached into her bag and grasped a long, wooden spike. The bag fell unnoticed to the ground as she whirled, poised for a fight.
Giles's tall, familiar, tweedy form stood framed among the bookshelves. His brow furrowed in confusion. "What are you doing here?" There was an edge to his voice that Buffy couldn't ever remember hearing before. She flinched without quite knowing why.
"What am I doing here?" she echoed. "Training. Defense tactics. Remember? You said to come Tuesday, and I said I'd have to bag, so you said Wednesday, and I said Principal Snyder had me cataloguing the gym equipment, and you said Thursday ... does any of this ring a bell with you? And didn't you hear me calling?"
"I was ... in the stacks." He stepped forward, his eyes cast firmly downward on the books he carried in his arms. "Yes, I remember, but I didn't think you would...."
Buffy tilted her head curiously. "Didn't think I would what?"
"I didn't think you would -- nothing," he said hurriedly. "Nothing at all." He laid the books down on the table. "We should begin."
She shrugged. "I'm ready if you are." She glanced down at her short skirt and high heels. "Just give me a minute to change."
He looked at her sharply. "You might consider showing up prepared for these sessions. Better yet, you might consider dressing appropriately on a regular basis. You can't expect to fight effectively wearing that -- that...." He gestured helplessly towards her clothing. "That _spandex_."
Buffy stared at him, annoyed and slightly injured. "Jeez, Giles, cranky much? _I_ was the one who showed up for practice, remember?"
Instead of answering her, he turned away, sitting down at the table and opening one of his volumes. "Go and change. You can use my office."
"That's what I love about you, Giles," Buffy muttered as she moved to follow his instructions. "That unfailing British graciousness."
It only took her a few minutes to don the T-shirt, leggings, and high-tops that composed her exercise outfit. When she returned, Giles had moved the table aside and laid a few of his wicked-looking ancient weapons on the library counter. He had removed his jacket and tie, and the sleeves of his shirt were rolled up just past his wrists.
"Not wearing pads today?" Buffy teased. He shot her a withering look.
"We're working on your defenses today, Buffy, not mine. You've had a lot of near misses lately because of a failure to properly protect your cranium."
She stared at him blankly. "What?"
He pressed his lips together. "You keep letting your opponents brain you. Does that make it any clearer?"
Her eyes narrowed at the unexpected harshness of his tone. "Your concern for my welfare is heartwarming."
"I'm your Watcher, not your nanny. I'm not here to comfort you."
Buffy pretended to consider. "I don't know. I think you'd make a good nanny. I can just see you dressed in an apron and carrying a diapers." When Giles's set expression did not change, she let out an explosive breath. "Come on, Giles, give. What is with you today?"
"Nothing is 'with' me." He picked up a short, heavy wooden club. "I'm going to attack you. Try to stay conscious."
She raised her brows. "Oh, that's funny."
He lunged. Buffy evaded him easily, her hands coming up to quickly send his weapon clattering to the floor. "Not so smug now, are we?" she smirked.
Instead of answering, he swung his arm towards the base of her skull. She caught his wrist and flung it away, but his other arm came up, his fist glancing off her cheek before she managed to deflect it.
"You're not anticipating my moves," Giles impatiently scolded between blows. "You're just reacting to them."
"That's bloody -- ugh! -- easy -- ah! -- for you to say!" Buffy bit out, countering his strikes. "I'm _usually_ allowed to get in a punch or two of my own!"
"But that's not what we're working on right now." His backhand almost made it through her defenses, nearly blindsiding her until she ducked at the last moment.
"That was too close, Buffy!" His breathing was labored, but the admonishment came forcefully. "I shouldn't have been able to get near you."
"I'm still standing, aren't I?" She defiantly placed her hands on her hips, his inexplicable anger igniting her own hostility. "Take your best shot, Giles."
By way of a response he hefted a heavy oak quarterstaff and brought it down in a wide arc towards her head. She jumped, neatly catching it in her hands and yanking it away from him, tossing it across the room, out of his reach. "Come on, _Ripper_," she spat. "You can do better than that."
As if the old name brought out a side of him that he was powerless to control, a srangled sound emerged from deep in his chest and his hand shot out, the unexpectedness of the move beating her defenses as his fingers wrapped around her throat. One-handed, he lifted her bodily off the floor. Buffy gasped, desperate for air; she had not seen such a cold, vicious look in Giles's eyes since his confrontation with Ethan several months ago.
"Giles...." she choked out, her hands clutching at his. He didn't seem to hear her as he continued to raise her in the air. Her foot lashed out, hooking around his leg and bringing it out from under him; they crashed to the floor. She rolled away from him, breathing heavily.
"Giles _what_ is _wrong_?" she demanded when she could speak. Her voice was was hoarse with fear.
He moved to a crouching position on the floor, lifting his head until his eyes locked with hers. There was an odd plea in them, a pain she couldn't quite identify. He spoke slowly, as if each word was an effort. "Why didn't you _tell_ me?" His tone was almost pleading. She stared at him, utterly at a loss.
"Tell you _what_?"
He closed his eyes and looked away. "Buffy ... I went by your house two nights ago. You'd told me your mother would be out of town and I wanted to go over some information I'd found ... prophecies, about the winter solstice. So I went by your house ... and I saw you." When her expression showed no comprehension, his jaw tightened. "And I saw you saying goodnight to_him_."
She let out a soft gasp and brought her hand to her mouth. "Oh."
"I thought ... I thought we -- trusted each other, Buffy. Why didn't you feel you could tell me?"
"Giles ... I didn't know, I didn't realize --" she stammered. "I didn't think it would matter, I didn't think you'd want...."
He sighed heavily. "I just thought -- I expected that when you decided, I thought when you made that choice ... I'd hoped you would be able to -- come to me. To talk to me about it. I'm your Watcher, I'd thought that I might be able to ... advise you." He shook his head ruefully. "I don't know why I thought that. It was ... silly of me, I suppose." He looked up, saw the redness on the soft skin of her neck where he'd gripped her. "Oh Lord, I'm sorry." He moved closer to her, his fingers reaching out to gently trace the marks. It was a testament to her trust in him that she didn't flinch away. "Buffy, I am so, so _sorry_."
She shrugged, offered him an awkward grin. "It's all right, Giles. You gave me the best workout I've had in awhile. Maybe you should lose control more often."
He didn't smile. "I think not." His fingers drifted to the back of her neck, gently brushing aside her hair to trace the slightly raised design he knew he would find there. The feel of his fingers had her shivering.
"It's happened again," he whispered. "I've hurt you. Please believe I didn't want that."
"_You're_ not the one who hurt me, Giles." She took his free hand and brought it to her lap, letting her thumb lightly brush over the spot on his forearm that remained hidden by his sleeve. "It wasn't your fault."
"I was responsible. It was my doing." He stared at where her thumb gently caressed him. "Why haven't you had it removed? If it's the money, you know I'd --"
"Why haven't you had yours removed?" she interrupted him quietly.
"It -- wouldn't have done any good. To rid myself of it, I would have had to pass the mark on to someone else, as Ethan did to you. I wasn't about to do that."
"And now that the demon is dead?"
He didn't answer, couldn't answer; instead he pulled back, allowing the fingers at her nape to trail through her hair as he retreated. "Buffy...." He paused.
"The other night ... it was your first time, wasn't it?"
Her skin colored a fiery red. She nodded silently.
"He looked -- he looked like a nice boy."
"I met him at the Bronze a few months ago. We got to talking ... I'm sorry I didn't tell you about him, Giles. I just wanted something -- normal ... something separate, from all of this." She waved her hand, indicating the weapons, the ancient volumes, and more broadly, her entire seventeen years. "I needed -- something." Her eyes flickered, her gaze resting briefly on his face before dropping back to her lap.
Giles nodded his understanding. "Was he -- was he ... kind ... to you?" he asked lowly.
"Yes." Her voice was barely above a whisper. Giles spoke as though the next words were torn from him.
"I saw him -- I saw him kiss you...."
She smiled slightly, carefully. "He's a great kisser."
"Good, good." He was quiet for so long that Buffy thought he had dropped the subject. But then he took a deep breath and stuttered, in true Giles fashion, "Because sometimes boys that age -- they can be ... impatient ... they can be rough, without realizing --"
"Giles." Buffy cut him off before he could go any further. "He wasn't rough. It was -- it was nice."
"Nice," Giles repeated expressionlessly.
"Then ... he didn't -- hurt you, or ... anything."
"No, Giles. He didn't hurt me."
"You understand, I'm only asking because -- I'm concerned about you, I want to make sure --"
In the weeks, months to come, Buffy would wonder what could possibly have possessed her to say what she did. But at the time, it was like a niggling little devil took over her brain, and before she could stop it she found herself saying, "It was nice, Giles. He was ... _very_ good. He knew _exactly_ what to do." And she giggled.
Giles's features froze, and a slow flush crept its way up his cheeks. "He did?" The words sounded as though they were stuck in his throat.
"Mmm-hmmm." Buffy snuck a peek at him under her lashes and was delighted with the shell-shocked look on his face. "When he touched me, I --"
"What?" He sounded hoarse, gravelly. Buffy caught his gaze and found herself unable to look away. His jaw was tight, his eyes dark, and as she watched his flush spread across his features, Buffy felt a strange, answering heat unfurling the pit of her stomach. And suddenly she didn't feel like joking anymore.
"I --" Was that her voice? Soft and faint and tentative? "When he touched me, I -- I felt...."
Giles didn't move, didn't recoil in that embarassed way she had come to expect when she mentioned something too personal. Instead, his eyes never left her face, and Buffy could see his chest rising and falling with the force of his breathing. And she knew -- she _knew_ -- what she wanted to say, what she _wanted_ to tell him. And more deeply, she knew that it would be all right.
"When he touched me, I felt ... warm. Hot." Her tongue touched her lower lip. "He kissed me, and then he put his hands on me ... his mouth moved to my neck, biting me, licking me ... and he unbuttoned my blouse."
Giles sat there, silent, absorbing her words. Buffy continued, her voice quiet and intense, trying to let him know, trying to communicate ... something.
"No one had ever touched me like that before," she confessed. "His lips ... they were so soft, so gentle ..." She paused for a moment, remembering the sensation. She could feel herself begin to tremble. "He trailed his lips down my throat and kissed me through my bra. His teeth -- his teeth scraped over me as he sucked --"
What was that sound Giles had just made? That rasping sound, somewhere between a moan and a gasp. Or had she only imagined it?
"And then I touched him. I took off his T-shirt, and my hands were fumbling so much I tore the seams ... he had -- a wonderful chest, muscled and smooth ... I kissed him, I licked the hollow at his throat. His skin tasted -- good. Salty. His heart was beating so fast. I pressed my face to his chest, and I could feel it pounding."
"Was it --" It came out as a croak, and Giles paused to clear his throat. "Was it his first time too?"
Buffy watched Giles for a long time before answering. Her gaze was thoughtful, measuring. "No," she said finally, a smile playing at the corners of her lips. "I don't think it was. But I think he was ... shy. Nervous." Her eyes lingered on Giles's mouth. "I don't think he gets out much. He's kind of quiet, he prefers to stay at home. I think it had probably -- I think it had probably been a while for him. He held me -- so close I couldn't breathe. I could feel him shaking, like he was cold. He was breathing so hard ... and so was I. His hands drifted -- lower. Under my slacks." Her breath caught. "And then his fingers ... his fingers were inside me. I spread my legs wide, so that he could go deeper."
Her voice had deepened as well, she realized, becoming husky until it was almost a purr. Giles appeared fascinated; his gaze clung to hers and then dropped lower, lashes swooping down to hide his expression. Buffy stole a look at his hands; they were trembling.
"His fingers plunged in and out, and it was like fire ... I tightened around him, and I could feel the wetness on my thighs ... I gasped, and he put his finger on my lips, told me 'Shhh....' I drew his finger in my mouth, and he kissed me again. He stepped away, to remove his clothes, to remove mine ... I cried out when he left me, but he came back, laid down next to me. I slid my hand down his body until I could feel him ... I cupped him in my hands. He groaned, and I massaged him, leaned down and tasted him. His head thrashed back and forth, and I could feel him pulsing in my mouth. I swirled my tongue around him, and he made sounds, deep in his chest, like he was sobbing ... his movements became quicker, faster -- and then he pushed me back, kissed me, his tongue deep in my mouth, stroking me. He nibbled his way down my body, biting, then licking the marks." Her throat was tightening, making it difficult to speak, and her heartbeat echoed in her ears. And though she knew she must only be imagining it, she thought she heard Giles's heart as well, pounding in time with hers. "He put his mouth on me ... oh God! ... he put his mouth on me, and it was like nothing I'd ever felt before -- my hips bucked under him, I couldn't stop, I couldn't breathe --"
"Shhh...." Giles said softly, soothingly. "Shhh, Buffy. It's all right."
"He kissed me again, and I could taste myself on him, and I could taste him on me ... he put his hands on my thighs held me apart, open -- and he came inside, stretching me, filling me ... I thought it would hurt, I was scared, but -- I guess all of my training, my exercise ... it felt -- incredible ... the rhythm, back and forth, deeper and harder ... I was making noises, whimpers, half-formed sounds ... and then I arched under him, felt the heat spread through me, felt him press deeper until he gave himself to me, like he was shattering in my arms." She paused, took a slow, quivering breath. "We were sweat-slick, and getting chilly. He brushed his lips over my forehead and told me how much he cared about me. He drew the covers up over us, and we lay there for awhile -- not talking, just resting. And then later he told me he had to go home, and he got up and got dressed, and I wrapped myself in the blanket and walked him to the door."
Though the words had flowed so freely during her speech, Buffy suddenly found herself stumbling over the last sentence, her voice cracking. Her eyes inexplicably flooded with tears and she fought to swallow them down. At the sounds of her distress, Giles's head came up, and Buffy caught the dazed look on his face. There was an answering moisture shimmering in his eyes that he made no effort to hide. She let out a long, broken sigh.
"And that's when you saw us."
They were quiet for a very long time. Finally Giles rose shakily to his feet. "I'm glad it was good for you, Buffy."
His walk was unsteady as he came over to her, reaching for her hand and slowly drawing her up. He leaned down and carefully brushed his lips over her forehead. Her skin burned from the contact.
"I care about you, Buffy," he whispered.
And then he turned and walked out of the library. Buffy watched him go, leaning back against the counter for support.
"Wow," she murmured.