Push and Pulling and Tasting
By Kessica

Title: Push and Pulling and Tasting
Author: Kessica (Janeway_8472@yahoo.com)
Disclaimer: Not only do I not own any of these characters, but this is my first BtVS fic ever and I’ve only been watching reruns for a month at most. So don’t stake me, or anything.
Spoilers: Helpless
Rating: R to NC-17
Distribution: Who ever wants it/I send it to. Just ask.
Feedback: Important especially on my very first Buffy endeavor.


When it had started, it had been this dark, wet, muffled thing that made them both guilty afterwards. He took issue with the age difference first, above all, and she thought that it would compromise her destiny, her friendship with the others and their respect for him.

So, when it had started, she would bit his shoulder to dampen her whimpers, and then get dressed with her back to him and leave silently, with him cleaning his glasses compulsively.

The first time, he had kneeled in front of her and wiped her face clean with a damp cloth, unaware of the hot tears that dripped down his cheeks.

“Please.” he had said. “Please understand.” And she was hurt, and she was angry, but the bond that clenched her gut to his, that tugged on her breath whenever he was near, made her lift her hand and pull his glasses off his face - they were fogged and his eyes expressed all she really needed.

“Take me home.” she had said, and he understood. He head her to his car with his fingers on the small of her back. He drove to his flat and she went up to the loft with him still behind her. The sun was setting and gave the room an orange, shadowy feel that made the air damp and visible.

She unbuttoned his shirt slowly, her vision blurred and fingers trembling, but determined. She pushed the fabric off his shoulders and it heaped to the floor with a quiet whoosh. She reached for his belt when his hand took her chin and she looked up sharply. He gave her a small, sad smile and leaned in to kiss her.

In his bed, pushed into the mattress by the very weight of him, she cried “Rupert.” into his ear and relaxed, and he fell on top of her, exhausted and spent. She didn’t want the contact to end and she hugged him almost painfully close. He lifted his head and kissed her cheek and rolled off and next to her.

“Buffy, I think we both know-”

“It won’t happen again.” She said and lifted herself out of bed, into her clothes and out of the apartment.

Her strength returned and they repaired their relationship in other ways. They spent time with the others, and kept it to the library. She stayed away from him alone as much as possible - tired not to surround herself with him.

She was at him, watching an old movie when he knocked on her door. She opened it and peered out, unsurprised it was him. She stepped back and he entered the house and followed her into the living room.

“Philadelphia Story.” he said, and she shrugged and turned off the television. “Buffy,” he began but her face crumpled and he just opened his arms and she fell into his frame.

“I’m sorry the council made you do that to me. I’m sorry I got so angry. I’m sorry that you aren’t my watcher anymore - I can’t even take the thought of that one.” she said into the soft grey of his sweater.

“Buffy, the council can strip me of my title and my paycheck, but the only way I stop being your watcher is when I die. We’re bonded, we’re connected in a way normal people could not even begin to comprehend. When your heart races, mine does as well. Do you understand?” he said, pressing her hand to his chest.

“They’ll send a new watcher, though, I thought.” she said.

“A facade at best that no one will talk about.” he assured her. “I will, until we die, belong only to you.”

And again, as if some force stronger than both gained control, she was up on tip toe, pressing her lips to his and he, ever aware that this time she was strong, allowed himself to be pushed down onto the sofa. Last time had been fueled by pain and forgiveness and the need to be with each other, so broken. Now, it was about being connected and reassurance and the heat of his body driving her mad. She straddled him holding his shoulders against the cushions, letting the slight stubble of his neck and chin scrape her lips.

“Your-”

“She’s gone.” she said of her mother, and with that, Buffy undid his pants and he shoved up her skirt and she sank unmercifully down onto him. They thrust into each other while she buried her face in between his neck and shoulder. He didn’t think about holding back and she bit down, through the layers of fabric, when she came, completely silent but drawing blood all the same. His cry was strangled and his hands were under her shirt, on the bare skin of her back and she could help but kiss him long and slow.

They could only stay apart for so long before the blood in their veins started to smolder and pulse in time to one another. She asked him, a few months into the pattern, if it had ever happened before.

“Yes, it has.” he replied and she was unsure why it surprised her. “Not in every case, of course, the bond affects everyone differently, but there have been - uh - instances.” It was obvious the council more than didn’t approve and she didn’t ask anymore questions. Her feelings for Giles were indescribable at best. She loved him, was in love with him, but love became arbitrary in its definition. With each day, she could feel their connection strengthen. It was a sign of deepening trust - and the physical contact - he had told her. She fell asleep in his bed and they shared a dream, interrupted by his ringing phone. Buffy answered, coherent first, with little thought.

“Buffy?”

“Mom. Oh God, what time is it?” Giles opened his eyes. “Yeah, I know, I’m sorry. It just got late and I guess we both fell asleep. I can get a ride with Giles. Ok, tomorrow. Sorry again. What? The couch mom, I sleep on the couch.” shrugging to Giles, she ended the conversation and hung up the phone.

“We have to be more careful.” he said and she knew he was right. The next day after school, her mother cornered her in the kitchen.

“That’s not what you wore yesterday, did you come home and not say anything?” Joyce asked.

“I had a spare at Giles’.” she admitted, uncomfortably. “We do research there a lot, sometimes it takes all night.”

“I see. You were researching then? Without the others?” Joyce sat down on one of the stools, showing her daughter that they were not finished.

“Well... Willow had a date with Oz and Xander had this dinner thing with his dad, so it was just us. And besides,” she flashed a quick, she hoped reassuring, smile. “Slayer-Watcher bonding time is important.” Her mom nodded understandingly.

“Sounds like you and Mr. Giles are having an affair.” Buffy’s voice caught in her throat and she raised her hands in protest.

“Mom, it’s not-” but she stopped at her mother’s laughter.

“Buffy, I’m kidding. Just teasing you, I’m so pleased he takes such good care of you. Dinner is at six, okay?” she got up and left her daughter in the kitchen to regain her color. Buffy clutched the counter with white knuckles. She was not amused.

They held out longer the next time. Months, it was a different season before they even spoke about it again. She was sitting in the library with Willow, getting drilled.

“What’s this?” Giles asked, pausing to look over Willow’s shoulder. “Ah, economics. I’m sorry, Buffy.” She smiled, sarcastically, as if he had encouraged her.

“Astounding confidence in me, Watcher-mine. Makes me feel all warm inside.”

“It’s not that I have no confidence, Buffy, you of all people can be sure of that. May I help?” Willow nodded, grateful for the break, and stood.

“Take over for a little while. When I return, I’ll have coffee and tea for a certain somebody.” she left, pushing through the swinging double doors with a bounce in her step. Giles moved to take Willow’s seat and lifted the textbook, clearing his throat.

“Shall we continue with supply and demand shifts, then?” he asked. She shrugged.

“I’m not sure my brain can absorb anymore information. I’ll pass, I think. Perhaps with less than colors that fly, but passing seems to be enough.”

“I want you to do well this year. It means so much to me that you graduate and go to college.” she nodded.

“I know, but I think I can get into U.C. Sunnydale. And that is as far as I would go. I can always go to college after the world has no evil, right?” Giles looked at her sadly, nothing the years that were already visible on her young face. She reached over and took the textbook, closing it and setting it aside. Kicking off her sandal, she let her toes creep underneath the hem of his trousers and up his leg. He had felt the burn for days now, inhibiting, distracting. His eyes closed and his mouth dried.

“Giles.” she whispered.

“But Willow will be back soon.” he pointed out.

“Can you feel it?” she asked, as he rub his leg against her toes.

“Yes.” he breathed.

“It’s hard to study with you here. It’s hard to do anything just knowing you are near. Just knowing you are alive.”

“I have been reading up on the Watcher-Slayer bond. You’re beginning to live longer than most Slayers. And as a Slayer gets older, the bond will intensify. There are entries in the journals of, not only physical relationships, but Slayers moving in with their Watchers just to damped the calling, to quiet it a bit.”

“What about age differences? Was there anything about that?” she asked, letting her foot fall, trying to concentrate on the conversation.

“Well, back a hundred years ago, younger girls married older men quite often. But, society has formed a negative opinion of that, so as the entries become more and more recent, it’s spoken about less and less, but I doubt that means it has stopped.”

Feeling comforted, she raised her hand to him, palm towards his. He pressed her hand into hers and they laced their fingers, tightly, sharing the silence and the pulsing of their veins. “Hey, I’m back with steaming paper cups of - oh, sorry guys.” she dropped her voice to a whisper. “Didn’t mean to interrupt.” Buffy let go first and smiled at her friend.

“No problemo. What did you bring me?”

“An Espresso Pump classic: the latte. And for you, Mr. Librarian Extraordinaire, early gray.” she beamed at them, waiting for praise.

“Thank you Willow. That was very thoughtful.” Giles said, taking the cup from her cardboard carrier.

“You seem happy, Will. What happened in the ten minutes you were gone?” Buffy asked sipping her drink.

“That’s what I have to ask you. I know we booked the whole afternoon but Oz is outside. He surprised me, isn’t that sweet? There were flowers and a movie invite, so I was wondering... and say no if you want, but can I? Do ya mind?” she said, thumbing the exit.

“Go. Have fun. Call me later.” she yipped and ran out, with four thank you-s in one breath. Buffy smiled softly, fiercely envious of her friend and the simplicity that was her love. Then, pushing herself up and partly on the table, she pressed her lips to the man across from her who had stood slightly to meet her part of the way. Giles ran his tongue hotly along her bottom lip when Willow came back in.

“I forgot my purse-Yikes!” she turned around so as not to see the kiss. Giles’ chair clattered backwards as he stood, abruptly, and Buffy slithered down back into hers.

“Willow-” Giles began and when she turned around again, she looked hurt.

“I’m not sure I want to hear it.”

“Will, hey. Please-” Buffy said, standing and picking up the cloth purse that had sat on the table, obscured by textbooks and binders.

“I-um... Oz is waiting. Again, I interrupted. I just...” she took her purse, her other hand up. She couldn’t look at them. “I’ll call you later, Buffy.” she left, Buffy head in hands.

“What gives her the bloody right?” Buffy looked up in surprise. Giles was livid, the anger clear on his face.

“She was just a little shocked. It’s okay.’

“No, it’s not okay. She judged us knowing nothing of the situation. I’ve never seen her so rude or selfish-” Buffy laid her hand on his arm and he stopped and looked at her.

“Why don’t we go do something? What were your plans for the afternoon?” she was trying to distract him and he clamed his racing heart as best he could, seeing that it made her jumpy. Knowing her own heart was thudding in rhythm with his.

“I... stay in. And go to the grocery store. I have only condiments.” She laughed at his attempt in humor.

“Then let's go to the store now. Something routine will be nice for a change.” he nodded.

“You realize that because Willow knows, so does Xander, Cordelia, Oz and-” he could bring himself to mention her new Watcher.

“But hey, no one really likes Faith. I bet she’ll not know.” she took her handbag and notes of the table and they left the library.

Giles went up and down each aisle wordlessly, tossing things in the cart with Buffy on one arm. Her fingers massaged his forearm slightly, soothing him of the situation.

They ran into Joyce in the bread section.

“Buffy!” her mother exclaimed. She smiled and tried to casually drop her hand from his side, so it looked normal, not guilty.

“Hey mom.”

“I thought you were studying with Willow.”

“She got Oz-ed, so I was going to hang out with Giles.” he had been standing there awkwardly the entire exchange and nodded his hello. “He’s not feeling very well.” she said, lying with a shrug, Partly lying.

“You do look a little run down, Mr. Giles.” Joyce acknowledged and Buffy breathed out. “Guess I’ll make spaghetti tomorrow.”

“Buffy, you can go home for dinner. I’ll survive without you.” he said, though it was untrue. The burning connectedness was turning into a painful jab in their guts and that had been after an afternoon together.

“Why don't you join us?” Joyce asked.

“I couldn’t impose-”

“I insist. A home cooked meal will do you good. Six o’clock?”

“Thank you, Mrs. Summers.” he said with a nod. “Buffy, why don’t you stay with your mother? I’m nearly finished here.” her mother’s cart was still near empty. Al though she wanted to stay with him, her mom put up with a lot of non-Buffy time, especially since her birthday.

“See ya at six.” she said and watched with growing discomfort as he pushed his cart away.

She spent the afternoon pacing, feeling like a caged animal. At five thirty she was in the kitchen, adding obscene amounts of garlic to the sauce when she looked up.

“Giles is here.” her mom looked confused.

“How do you know?” Buffy opened her mouth, but shut it when the doorbell rang.

“I’ll get it.” she offered as her explanation. He stayed on the porch, hesitating to come inside.

“I know I’m early.” she rushed him, pushed him back across the threshold he barely had crossed, kissing him. There was no tender, gentle understanding. It was energy, kinetic that made her grip him so tightly that he would have bruises on his biceps, all for the neighborhood to see. Her mouth was hot, her scent heady and his knees began sinking at the lack of oxygen.

“Act sick.’ she breathed into his ear, slipping her hands under his sweater, so her hands tugged on the hairs that traveled down his stomach to inside his pants. “Maybe we can get out of here then, because I don’t know about you, but I can’t live like this.” with that, she peeled herself off of him as much as he half-heartedly pushed her away. He was thankful for his long overcoat that hid the immediate reaction Buffy had caused, just by opening the door.

“I’ll make you some tea.’ buffy said quietly upon their entrance to the kitchen. Joyce was spreading butter on the French bread she had been shopping for when they ran into each other.

“Still not feeling well, Mr. Giles?” Joyce asked with a motherly smile.

“Ah, no.” he said, glancing at Buffy who was busying herself with filling the kettle. “And please, call me Rupert.”

“You looked a bit flushed.” she pointed to the living room. “Go have a seat. Buffy, get him some Advil, bring his fever down a bit. I’m nearly done.” Buffy nodded and disappeared down the hall. “That 24 hour flu is ruthless this time of year.” she said and sent him into the living room where he sat on the couch. The tea kettle screamed and he saw Buffy go back into the kitchen. She emerged with a mug of his favorite brand and a bottle of Advil. He too the tea, gratefully.

“After patrol, I’ll come over. When you go home, take my overnight bag. I’ll call her, say you’re really feverish and stay the night.” She whispered and he gave a solitary nod.

“I’ll ham it up.” he said. He felt the nagging guilt of an ongoing lie. It was hardly a secret to those who mattered anymore, except Joyce.

They sat at the table and he made his movements seem slow, sluggish, and weighted.

“I’m going to patrol and then go check on him.” Buffy assured her mother who was now worried about Giles. The women were in the kitchen washing up while he was laying on the couch, ‘hardly keeping his eyes open’.

“Can you drive his car?” I’d feel safer if he weren’t driving.”

“Yeah. I gotta go get ready. I might be home late, but tomorrow is Sunday.” she said, thinking aloud.

“I won’t worry.” Joyce promised.

Giles had been teacher her how to drive a stick shift on his old car, so she helped him into the passenger’s side and smoothly drove away while Joyce waved from the porch.

“You really ought to patrol. It’s Saturday night.” Giles reminded her, sitting up properly. So she stopped a few blocks away from the cemetery and walked the rest of the way.

“Let’s make this fast.” she killed four vampires, fast and messy. Her no-nonsense manner made her more efficient. It made him stand there with the heel of his hand against his forehead, eyes screwed shut, trying not to grab her and have her against on of the sturdier headstones. It was an hour later and they were in the back seat of his car, him trying to look inconspicuous while she, shoving herself into the leg space behind the passenger’s seat (thank God the Citroen was old and big), wrapped her lips around him and satiated the agony long enough for the drive home. “Buffy.” he had said, barely a mere whisper, but it had brought tears to her eyes.

“Let’s do this right.” she had said, wiping her mouth with the back of her hand, and he felt almost dirty. He was a man in his forties, and an eighteen year old girl had just given him head in the back of his car. “Hey, no!” she had picked up on his thoughts immediately. “Giles, I do this because it’s what I want.” The keys were clutched in his hand, digging into his flesh from the grip his climax had caused. She pried them gently from his fingers and dropped herself into the front seat. The car started, thankfully, with a purr.

In hindsight, it did look as if Giles was ill with Buffy driving and him haphazardly sprawled in the back. Buffy had used all her slayer strength to concentrate on the road, her body alive to every sensation, her need for the Watcher days past intense.

But, Willow and Xander were sitting on his porch with a peace offering of chicken soup in a thermos.

“Fuck.” she hissed, hitting the wheel. Giles looked over, still sleepy from prior activities and frowned.

“Their timing really is rather questionable, is it not?” He was still putting himself into something presentable when she got out of the car.

“Hi Buffy, your mom told us Giles was sick.” Xander said, lifting the thermos. “We bare soup.”

“Right, sick.” she said a little too loudly. Willow had trouble lifting her eyes to meet Buffy’s.

“Buffy, I’m sorry I reacted so badly.” she said, finally.

“Tell Giles, you really hurt him.” she said, and Willow looked sick. Giles, for his part, was playing his roll by struggling to get out of the car and dragging himself towards the others. Buffy tried not to smile and walked halfway to meet him, easily taking most of the weight he actually offered.

“Giles, I-” Willow met his tired eyes. “I don’t know how to apologize enough.” she whispered.

“I, for one, say more power to you.” Xander chirped in and Buffy glared for the interruption and gave him the keys to open the door.

“It’s quite all right, Willow. You are forgiven.” he said, and coughed dramatically.

“Uh, guys? I need to get this guy in.” Buffy reminded them. Xander set the soup on the counter and he and Willow stood in the door way.

“We love you both very much.” Xander said and Willow could just nod.

“Thanks.” Buffy said with a smile and watched them walk away. The door closed and she pushed the Watcher off her. “You ham.” he gave a little bow and reached for her. “Wait!”

“God Buffy, I can’t wait!” he whined. She held up her hand and called her mother.

“He’s pretty feverish, I think I’ll stay and keep an eye on him. Okay, right, liquids, got it. Thanks, Bye.” she hung up. “All yours.”

It was better, more comfortable to just be in contact with him. They lay in his bed and her back was to his chest, her head tucked under his chin. Once again, their bodies hummed in unison. The burn and the pain quelled to a soft wave of pleasure and contentment for now. He was rubbing his hand up and down her arm.

“Giles?”

“Hmm?” he sounded sleepy, his voice thick and warm.

“I’m glad people know, a little. It makes it seem less... I feel not so guilty.” she decided.

“Me too.” he said in agreement.

“Do you love me?”

“More than I can articulate.” he assured her without hesitation.

“I love you differently then I thought it would be.” she said.

“How do you mean?”

“The first time, after the test, we were selfish. It wasn’t a pleasure/love thing. It was pain and comfort. After, you were still Giles. But it’s changed in the last few months. I compared you to Angel but Angel was so much less than this. I loved him like a fantasy, like a white knight, making him into something he wasn’t and could never be. You... I love you exactly how you are and it’s so much stronger.” She stopped and turned to look at him. He looked shocked and touched.

“That’s the kindest thing I’ve ever received.” he said. She turned her head and snuggled into his embrace.

“Not that the first time wasn’t hot.” she said and he chuckled.

the end