By Gibberish

Title:  Overheard
Author: Gibberish
Disclaimer: They belong to Joss, Mutant Enemy and the WB.
Rating:  PG      B/G  
Spoilers:  Minor season 4
Summary:  Giles overhears something and is pleased. Short and sweet.
Distribution: Solo, Jessica, Sai, Cassandra, Sal, WYWM, The LIST and After Image. Anyone else, please ask.
Feedback: Be kind
Notes: <Thoughts> *Emphasis*

       Giles had come to the Bronze looking, of course, for Buffy. He caught sight of her and the others across the dance floor. Before he could make his presence known, he heard a male voice call out.

 "Hey, Summers, who was the old guy that picked you up last night?"

 "Yeah," Another male voice called out. "He sure didn't have to work very to get you to leave with him." Raucous laughter followed his pronouncement and Giles felt his anger swiftly rise to the surface.

 "Well, if I'd have known that you guys were here, I'd have left that much faster." Giles heard Buffy tell the prats.

 "You can't talk about Giles like that." Willow said angrily.

 "Now, Will," Buffy said loudly and Giles' anger rose, only to deflate when she finished her commentary. "They can't help that they feel threatened by the mere sight of a real man. Let's face it, they've probably never seen one before."

 "Hey." Xander said indignantly. Giles almost smiled and Buffy patted his hand absently.

 "I mean, he can read five languages, speak I don't know how many more, they can barely manage the one they were born with." Buffy said loudly. The other girls snickered. Xander was torn between defensive for Giles and offensive for himself.

 Buffy went on, "How could they possibly understand the appeal of an attractive older man, when they're still trying to figure out what they want to be when they grow up?"

 "What a way to rationalize not being able to catch a guy your own age."  The first guy said snidely.

 "Why would I want a little boy?" Buffy asked, then continued in a falsely sympathetic voice. "Oh, Craig, are you still mad because I turned you down? Don't worry, when you've grown up and gained some experience, not too mention some intelligence, when you've traveled the world, learned to fence and sing and treat a woman properly, instead of that grope fest you call asking a girl out, well, you just might be a real man, too." She looked at Craig in consideration. "On second thought, I just don't think you have it in you."

 Craig and his pals stormed off when quite a few young women applauded Buffy's words. "Darn, I didn't even get to mention gentle and kind." Buffy commented.

 "Wow." Tara said in awe. "You sure are defensive of Mr. Giles."

 "Who's defensive?" Buffy asked. "Just stating the facts." She looked around her. "You could put most of these guys together and they still wouldn't be half the man Giles is."

  "How to make the lone guy in the group feel inadequate." Xander stated. Buffy smiled at him and patted his hand again. "Don't. You're probably the only guy in here who shouldn't feel inadequate. You may be the only other real man in this town."

 Xander was surprised by her comment. "You think I'm a real man?" He asked seriously.

 "Of course I do." Buffy told him. "This town has two real men in it and one of them had to be imported, how sad is that?" She grabbed Xander's wrist and looked at his watch. "Gotta book. The undead wait for no Slayer." She grabbed her bag and stood. "See ya tomorrow." She disappeared into the crowd, headed for the exit.

 "Okay, who was that?" Xander asked.

 Anya looked at him concerned. "Buffy." She told him.

 Willow grinned. "It's really her. She's been doing the soul searching thing since Adam." Her smiled softened. "I think she found the real Buffy again."

 <No.> Giles thought to himself. <She just let herself grow up.> He, too, headed for the exit.

   Buffy looked around a bit when she exited the Bronze. Where was Giles? She couldn't have been more than a couple of minutes late. With a shrug of her shoulders, she headed towards Giles'. She hadn't gone thirty feet, when she heard the familiar tread of her Watcher. She stopped and when he reached her, they walked together. "You were late?"

 "No, actually, my timing was fairly good for a change." Giles responded cheerfully.

 Buffy looked at him. "You heard." It wasn't a question.

 "I heard." Giles told her. He looked at her as they walked. "And, thank you." He said sincerely.

 Buffy looked up at him with a smile as she linked her arm with his. "Hey, nobody messes with *my* Watcher." She told him as they continued on their way.