All's Fair in Love and Rugby
By Selenay

Author: Selenay
E-mail: selenay@talk21.com
Title: All's fair in love and rugby
Summary: Solo do you mind? Your summaries are so much better than mine.
Spoilers: Don't think so.
Disclaimer: Nothing apart from the plot belongs to me, it all belongs to Joss Whedon et al. Please don't sue! It's just for fun (for all of us ;)
Distribution: Solo, anyone else who wants it just let me know where it's gone!
Setting: My alternate universe/ post Graduation setting. Giles has a big house near the college and Buffy, Willow, Xander and Anya all lodge with him.
Note 1: This was written as a break from another fiction, which will be finished soon (especially as this idea is now out of my head).
Note 2: Blame watching the Rugby World Cup for this one.


Giles turned the key in the lock and prayed that no one would see him until he was safely upstairs. He quietly hobbled through and listened for a moment to see if there was anyone home. Luck was not with him; he could hear the television set blaring from the front room. < Maybe Buffy won't be here > he thought, then dismissed that thought wearily as he heard her voice. As quietly as he could, the Watcher crept down the hall hoping to make it to the stairs undetected.

Unfortunately Buffy's chair was perfectly placed to see him as he passed the door of the front room.

"Giles, what happened?" she called, concerned when she saw his face.

At her words the others in the room turned to examine the embarrassed man, noting the black eye, split lip and smudges of mud on his face and shirt.

"Was it a demon?" Willow asked.

"Or a vampire? Although how you could find one at this time of day only you could know," Xander said.

"I hear muggings sometimes happened in Sunnydale," Oz commented.

"Was it a ghoul? I don't think Xander mentioned any of those," Anya added.

"Please don't let there be another mummy girl running around," Buffy pleaded.

"Rogue Watchers?"

"Hyena people?"

"Ethan Rayne?"

"Ghosts?"

"Fish people?"

"Giant preying mantises?"

"I think that's more your style Xander," Buffy corrected.

"It was nothing supernatural," Giles said as the group took a brief break in their suggestions.

"Then what was it?" Buffy asked as she stood up and walked over to her Watcher, to see his injuries more clearly.

Giles sighed. This group would find out what happened, even if he didn't tell them. After all, he had taught them most of what they knew about research. "I was playing rugby."

"Rugby?" Buffy said, surprised. "As in, English version of football?"

Giles glared at her. "Not quite."

"Oval ball, people running and colliding, posts; I can see the resemblance," Xander said thoughtfully.

Giles turned his withering glare on the boy.

"And yet, there is that whole British side to it that makes it a completely different game. A game that is not even related to football. You can stop glaring at me now."

Giles gave up and (hobbled) upstairs with what little dignity was left to him.

***

There was a knock on his door as Giles stood in front of his wardrobe debating the relative merits of shirts or sweaters. He opened it to find Buffy standing in the doorway with a tray.

He turned away as soon as he had let her in so did not see her expression. < Wow! > she thought. Somehow the sight of Giles clad only in slacks affected her more than Angel in the same state ever had. Maybe it was that she had never seen him like this, despite knowing each other for over three years and sharing a house for six months. Or maybe it was something else. Her expression was almost comical; surprise and appreciation of Giles' normally less noticeable assets rendering her speechless.

When she did not speak for a while Giles turned around, concerned. He quietly groaned at the ache of his bruises as he tried to pull on a loose shirt at the same time and decided then that he was not going to be making any sudden moves for a couple of days.

The low moan of pain shook Buffy out of her dazed state, and she quickly put the tray down and rushed to his side.

"Here, let me," Buffy ordered him as she gently eased the shirt over Giles' shoulders and began buttoning it up.

Given her strange reaction a minute before, it was probably not one of her most sensible plans. The enforced intimacy of buttoning up his shirt made her feelings worse. She could smell the shampoo he had recently used, a combination of spice and sandalwood. Her fingers kept accidentally brushing his chest, her hands started to shake and she began to feel decidedly warm. < This is not meant to happen! I'm getting turned on by Giles? > she thought, and blushed. < What if he notices? > But when she looked up into his face, his eyes were closed and he almost looked in pain, which reminded her of why she came to his room in the first place.

"Giles! I'm sorry, I didn't think." Buffy pushed her Watcher down on the bed and busied herself sorting out the tray she had brought up.

He was actually not in much pain from his injuries. His body had reacted to Buffy's proximity and the actions of her buttoning his shirt, and he was fighting not to betray that fact. He barely noticed when she made him sit on the edge of his bed, more concerned with controlling his wayward thoughts and body. The sting of iodine on the cut above his eye shocked him out of his haze, and he hissed in pain.

"Sorry," Buffy apologised.

"It's quite alright. It - ouch! - needs doing."

"How did it happen?" she asked, trying to distract herself from the strange feelings she was having.

"A badly placed elbow during a scrimmage."

Buffy decided to ignore the weird technical word, because she knew from experience that asking what he meant would probably end up with him explaining *all* the rules of rugby. Instead she asked, "Did you do the same to your lip?"

"That was from a bad tackle," Giles explained.

Buffy moistened a bit of cotton wool and began cleaning the cut on his lip. "Why would you want to play a game as violent as rugby when you can get beaten up by the forces of evil with me?"

Giles glared at her, momentarily distracted from his own discomfort.

"I said the wrong thing there, didn't I?"

He nodded, unable to speak because at that moment Buffy had finished washing his lip and was gently rubbing her thumb over it.

The tension increased so that they were both sure the air could be cut with a knife. For a long moment Buffy was tempted to kiss the swollen lip, then her own protective instincts kicked in and she almost jumped away.

The Slayer finished her patch-up job as quickly as she could and put a small plaster over the cut, wincing every time Giles grimaced.

"I'll leave you to, uh, heal," Buffy said as she gathered up her supplies, and almost ran from the room. Her reactions during the entire encounter had surprised her and she needed time to think. < With maybe the occasional action replay. Or fantasy - no! Bad Slayer! >

As soon as the door closed, Giles breathed a sigh of relief and lay back on the bed. He flinched as he found the bruises where someone accidentally kneed him in the back in a tackle. < I could have sworn she was going to kiss me. I must be going senile in my old age > was his last thought as sleep claimed him.

***

Despite looking as though he had come off worst in an encounter with a hundred vampires, Giles healed quickly and he was back training with Buffy after a couple of days. He had always prided himself on his ability to hide his feelings for the blonde girl that was the centre of his world, and that week was no exception. In fact, he was concentrating so much on making sure Buffy did not guess his feelings for her, he missed the looks she gave him. He also did not notice the way her breathing became laboured when she accidentally fell on him during a hand-to-hand session because he had his eyes closed, envisioning cold showers.

***

During that week, Buffy decided she was officially going insane. Now that she had noticed Giles, she could not stop noticing him. She found herself checking him out whenever no one was watching. Training was interesting to say the least because they had to get so close during it. Whatever happened though, she refused to consider the possibility that it was because she had fallen hopelessly in love with him. She felt much safer just acknowledging that she had suddenly seen beyond his role as her stuffy, bookish Watcher and seen the handsome, sexy *man* beneath.

As the man in question had once pointed out, denial can make the mind shut out the most incredible things.

***

"Remind me again why we're here?" Buffy requested as she shivered in the stiff breeze.

Willow looked at her, puzzled. "Because Giles is playing and we're supporting him."

"Thanks."

Early February in Sunnydale was not a good time to be standing outside for hours, even though it was California. Buffy, Willow, Oz, Xander and Anya had already been standing at the side of the pitch for half an hour and the match had not started yet. Even though this had been her idea, Buffy grumbled under her breath about the weather and how at least on patrol she was moving around. She began stamping her feet and slapping her arms, hoping the action would warm her up a little.

The supporters of the two teams playing stood at opposite sides of the pitch, although they were fairly sparse. Finally the doors to the changing rooms opened and Buffy forgot all about her gripes and began cheering loudly. Giles' team wore green shirts and white shorts, while the opposing team had a blue and red striped strip. As he ran onto the pitch the Gang cheered even louder. Surprised, he looked over to where the shouts were coming from and gave a small wave. The players got into position and the match began.

None of them had watched rugby before, apart from occasional glimpses as they passed the TV when Giles was watching the rugby World Cup, but Willow had read up during the week.

After a couple of minutes of play the Blues kicked the ball over the lines at the edge of the pitch, just past the centre line.

"What are they doing?" Buffy asked, watching several members of each team line up with a Green standing between the two lines of players holding the ball.

"It's called a lineout," Willow explained. "The Blues kicked the ball into touch so they have to bring it back into play. The Green will throw the ball between the teams and they have to try to jump and knock it to their team-mates. It's an important tactic."

"Oh," Buffy responded, watching as they players did just that.

After a couple of minutes Anya asked, "Xander, I don't understand the significance of this ritual. What did the ball do to them?"

Xander sighed. "It's a game. Each team wants to get the ball to the other team's end of the pitch and score points by putting it on the ground behind the posts. Or they'll kick it between the posts."

"Why?"

"Because . . . because . . . help me out someone," Xander pleaded.

Explaining the point behind a ball game to a millennia old demon was not easy.

After a while a Green team member shot out from the pack and scored a try, so Xander gave up.

"Because it's a tradition dammit! Now will you just shut up and cheer?"

Buffy hid a smile, wondering if Xander knew how much he sounded like Giles then. As much as he teased the older man, Buffy knew Xander looked up to Giles more than he had ever looked up to his own parents and that was a large part of the reason he lodged with the Watcher.

She watched Giles set up the ball part way down the field and look carefully between it and the goal posts. For a moment she was distracted by admiring the way his shorts showed off his long, strong legs and wondering why he did not wear them more often, like all the time. < Bad Slayer! These are evil thoughts. Nice . . . but totally wrong. > Another thought managed to make it's way through. "Willow, what's he doing? I thought they scored when they got the try."

"They did. But if Giles can kick the ball between the posts, they'll convert the try and get two more points."

"Oh. Why is Giles doing it?"

"Because he's the fly half. It's kind of his job." Willow sighed. She could tell that this was going to be a long game. < I wonder why she's asking all these questions? She isn't normally interested in little things like rules. Wait. That sounded wrong. Oz, why didn't you stop me? That's right, he can't hear my thoughts. I hope. >

The match went on with neither side scoring. Buffy and Anya asked Willow hundreds of questions while Oz and Xander looked on tolerantly (well, almost). Surprisingly Anya seemed to be enjoying it.

Buffy kept getting the almost irresistible urge to run out onto the pitch and pulverise anyone when they tackled Giles, and she could not decide whether it was the excitement of the match or protectiveness towards Giles. The others worked out which it was when they had to physically restrain her from rescuing Giles when he got trapped on the bottom of a pile of men. Willow tried to explain that it was a ruck or a maul or some such strange word, but her friend only calmed down when everyone got up and Giles was unhurt. She decided that Buffy was acting very strangely and vowed to grill her about it later.

Two minutes after half time the other team managed to score a converted try quickly followed by a drop goal, taking them in the lead. Buffy's heart was in her mouth as she watched, willing the Green team to score. It took a while, but they managed another try eight minutes from the end. The Gang looked insane; they were cheering and jumping around excitedly, and Giles' heart swelled at the sound. It was even more special for him as he heard Buffy's shout over even theirs.

When the final whistle sounded a satisfied and proud Green team lead off a disappointed Blue team.

"That was fun," Anya enthused. "Even better than that time a woman wished for-"

"Wasn't Giles good? Please talk about this," Xander pleaded, recognising the danger signals for some of Anya's more colourful stories.

"He was brilliant," Buffy agreed. "I never realised he was so good at this stuff. I wonder why he gave it up."

She missed the strange looks the others were giving her.

"How long do you think it'll take for him to get changed?" she wondered.

"Not long." Willow pointed in the direction of the changing room where they could see their friend walking over to them.

He had only had time to put a pair of sweats on over his shorts and change his shoes, so he was still covered in mud from the game.

"Well done!" Willow shouted as soon as he was within earshot.

The rest of the Gang, apart from Buffy, made similar comments so Giles was an interesting shade of red by the time he reached them. Buffy, however, did not know what to say. Seeing him as he walked out, covered in mud and dishevelled, it had suddenly hit her how attracted she was to him. It was as though a huge truck had slammed into her, and she was not sure what to do. She knew if she though about it too much she would probably say something completely insane, so she settled for giving him a quick grin and saying, "I second everything they said."

With everyone else chattering nineteen to the dozen no one noticed how quiet Buffy was on the drive home. She was thinking (and sneaking occasional glances at Giles) and as they drew up in front of the house she came to a decision. Or at least, close to a decision.

***

While Giles showered and changed, Buffy set about sorting out her tray for him. Although his face had not suffered as much damage as the previous week, she still wanted to make sure he was all right. < Face it girl. You want to see if you can catch his shirtless again and have an excuse to touch him. > For a long moment, Buffy went into a lovely fantasy, then she remembered what she was doing.

"Got bandages, disinfectant, cotton, plasters, aspirin and a glass of water," she muttered to herself. "Think that's it. I wonder if he'd like some tea? No time. If I wait any longer he'll have time to put a shirt on," She grinned to herself. "And you really are going insane. You're talking to yourself!"

As Buffy passed the door to the lounge Willow called out to her. "Later Will. I'm just making sure Giles is ok."

As she got to his door, she had a moment of doubt. < What if he doesn't want to see me? Why wouldn't he want to see you? It's not like you've done anything. Yet. > She knocked at the door, and almost did a giddy dance when she realised she had caught him at the right time. Then her mind temporarily shut down as she stared at him.

Giles, meanwhile, was having the shirts versus sweaters debate again. He had worn light body armour this time so there weren't as many bruises, just the deep down ache you get from being trampled and bashed into for an hour and a half. He finally decided on a shirt and started to pull it on.

"No!" Buffy shouted as she saw what he was doing. "That is, uh, I need to check to make sure you haven't done any damage. Yeah. You know, broken ribs, cuts, that kind of thing."

"I'm quite all right, Buffy," Giles reassured her, puzzled.

"But, you never know. You could have a really bad . . . something and not know it."

"Buffy, is something wrong?" Giles was getting worried about her now. This was quite strange behaviour even for her.

"I'm fine. Why would something be wrong with me? I'm not the one who spent the afternoon getting beaten up for fun."

He sighed and gave up. From previous experience he knew that once his Slayer had an idea in her head she did not give it up easily. Buffy put her tray down and began carefully examining him.

< No facial damage. Ooh. That bit looks a little red. > She gently pressed the place over his shoulder blade, and when he did not flinch decided it was not badly hurt. < Hmmm. Nice muscles, soft chest hair . . . you're not meant to be doing that! You're checking him for injuries, not groping him! Stop protesting. This is why you're here, isn't it? > That thought drew her up short. Somewhere in the past few minutes she had made her choice. Not consciously, but the fact that she was up here was a choice in itself. And she had decided she wanted to see where this attraction to him had come from, and more importantly where it could go. The only question was how to start that.

Giles was certain he would go insane any moment now. It was bad enough Buffy was standing so close he could smell her perfume, but she was gently touching his chest and trailing her fingers over his ribs. He felt himself hardening, and without the concealing length of a shirt he knew it would not be long before she noticed. < God, man! You know how to land yourself in it. Couldn't you finish dressing before letting her in? Or better yet, go safely downstairs with her. You're playing with fire and you'll both get burned. > He began desperately reciting Latin verbs to distract himself.

Buffy decided that the best way to tackle this was head on, so to speak. She raised herself on tiptoes, pulled his head down slightly and gently kissed him.

He was so intent on his Latin that it took a moment to realise what was happening. When he did his response was immediate. He wrapped his arms around Buffy and lifted her off the floor, at the same time kissing her back.

< Wow > was all Buffy could think as her Watcher worked magic with his lips. For a long moment, when he did not respond, Buffy had been afraid she had made a huge mistake. As soon as she had kissed him she knew she wanted him in her life no matter whether it was just as a friend or something more. Then his arms came around her and she was in heaven. His lips moved over hers sending delicious tingles down her spine, and when he gently touched her lip with his tongue she opened her mouth gladly. As soon as their tongues met fire shot through her body and she gasped.

Giles felt a surge of masculine pride when she gasped, and then he was lost in her sweet taste. Their breathing became ragged as the kiss went on, both starving for the taste of each other. Buffy was glad Giles was holding her up, as she was sure her legs were no longer working. She ran her hands up and down his bare back and then, her confidence increasing with every moment, she went lower, finally fulfilling her fantasy of finding out if his butt was as firm as it looked. When they were close to passing out from oxygen deprivation Giles tore his mouth from hers and began trailing hot kisses over her jaw and down her neck, lowering her to the ground as he did so.

When Buffy had caught her breath a bit she said, "I was just going to ask if you found me attractive. I guess that's a moot point now."

"Attractive? You could say that," Giles said looking down at her smiling face, noting her flushed cheeks and red, swollen lips. "I find you to be the most desirable, beautiful, wonderful woman I have ever had the pleasure of knowing."

"You're sure about that?" Buffy asked, grinning as she saw how grammatically correct he was even at this kind of moment.

Giles could tell when he was being teased, and his only response was another searing kiss, which Buffy responded to eagerly. "The question remains though," he said as he caught his breath again, "do you find me attractive?"

Buffy nodded, took a deep breath and said, "I think I love you. Actually, there's no think about it. I know I love you, it's just taken me a while to work it out."

Giles' face split in an enormous grin, a sight Buffy had never seen before. The relief and happiness flooding through him rendered him speechless.

"I guess from your expression this makes you happy."

"I, uh, well-"

Buffy cut off his stammering with a kiss, which quickly escalated. Their tongues entwined and danced as their hands tried to be everywhere at once, and without realising they began to edge towards the bed. When Giles' legs hit it they lost their balance and fell, Buffy landing on top of him. His hands found their way under her top and hesitantly made their way upwards. Buffy moaned and encouraged him, so he was soon caressing her, making her writhe. Suddenly she moved away, and Giles almost groaned in disappointment. That did not last long as Buffy had only moved away to pull off her top and remove the bra that was getting in the way. She was soon back and they groaned in unison at the sensation of lying bare chest to bare chest. Then they were kissing frantically again. In the middle of the kiss Giles flipped them over and began trailing kisses down her neck to the valley between her breasts. As he began licking and sucking on each breast in turn, Buffy wondered why on Earth she had waited so long before working out how she felt.

The rest of their clothes melted away, and it seemed like no time at all before Giles was positioned over Buffy, looking deep into her eyes as he slowly thrust into her. She almost went over the edge as she felt him filling and completing her, but she wrapped her legs around his hips and pulled him deeper. Then they began thrusting, quickly finding their rhythm. Buffy screamed Giles' name as she climaxed, and he followed her immediately after.

For several long minutes they lay there, still connected intimately, enjoying the sensation of being as close as it was physically possible to be to the one they loved.

"So," Buffy said eventually, "you never said how you felt about me."

Giles sat up slightly, and looked down at her. It was the way he would always remember her, with her face flushed and glowing from loving and her eyes sparkling with humour.

"I love you," he said simply.

Buffy kissed him softly on the lips and whispered, "I love you too."

The soft words affected him more than anything else ever had, and his body responded. Buffy's eyes widened as she felt him harden inside her.

"Again? Already? I thought it took men a while to recharge."

Giles began thrusting again and said, "Most men aren't making love to a Slayer."

"Does that - mmm - make- oh! - a difference?"

His only answer was a loud groan. They quickly came to another (noisy) climax and this time Giles rolled off Buffy and pulled her to him, so she lay cradled in his arms.

As she lay, happily stroking his arm, a thought occurred to her. "How are we going to tell the others?"

"I don't think telling is going to be the problem," her lover chuckled.

"Huh?"

"You're not the quietest lover in the world."

Buffy blushed.

"I wouldn't change it for the world," Giles reassured her.

"Good. Just promise me one thing."

"Anything my love."

< He called me my love! What was I saying? Oh yeah. > "Try not to get beaten up too badly at the match next week."

Giles' only response was a hard kiss.

THE END