Rupert's Other Women
TITLE: Rupert's Other Women
FEEDBACK: Please! Constructive criticism welcome!
DISTRIBUTION: Just ask...
SPOILERS: Set in season 2, so not really!
CONTENT: G/Jen, B/G subtext
DISCLAIMER: Not mine. Joss's.
SUMMARY: Giles' visit to Jenny is interrupted by his slayer needing him. Jenny's POV.
NOTE: This is dedicated to Gabi for her kindness and encouragement!
Its gonna be one of those quiet Friday evenings. No good
movies on, a mountain of work to correct and I'm just glad that
week is over with! It's peaceful in my apartment - a nice
pleasant change from the anarchy of school...
Right now, Friday evening, it's all good... I'm here, curled up on my bed, a half-finished mocha on the table beside me, and my laptop for company. Its been a while since I could just spend an evening in chatrooms and catching up on my mail. Not like I could go out, anyway, it's raining. It hardly ever rains in SoCal - Rupert must feel right at home.
Rupert. Once again I've caught my mind wandering back to him. Dear, sweet, shy, technophobic Rupert. The Tweed-clad High School Librarian by day, Stalwart and Brave Watcher hopelessly devoted to his Slayer and their Immortal, Noble Quest against the Darkness.
A smile curls on my lips as he comes to mind, slightly tinged with sadness. I know he's attracted to Jenny Calendar... but what of Janna? He hasn't seen very much of Janna of the Kalderash; technopagan gypsy. What would he think of her? And, you know, it really
comes to something when you start thinking about yourself in the third person!
Third person... Anyone who falls in love with Rupert will have to get used to the third person in the relationship. Well, anyone but her. She'll always gone first for him, and so far she has yet to notice. What will happen when she finally clues in? As I lean over to get a sip of my mocha before it gets cold, my doorbell goes, drawing me out of my reverie. Typing a quick 'BRB!' I get up and answer the door.
Staring back at me is the subject of my mental ramblings.
"Rupert!" I smile, honestly delighted.
"Uh, hello, umm... Jenny," he stutters in that liquid velvet voice. A shy smile creeps across his face.
"To what do I owe the pleasure?" I stand aside, letting him into my apartment.
He holds up a large brown paper bag and a bottle of wine. "I, uh, brought some Chinese. I thought that, uh, if you haven't eaten, we could, umm..."
"Oh Rupert!" I kiss his cheek in my typical touchy-feely way, and he smiles at me. He's not the most physically affectionate - I blame that on the Brit upbringing! - but he likes to be hugged or kissed. I know that, she doesn't... Ugh, how petty am I getting? Jealous of a high school junior? That's miserable... He's here now, enjoy it while it lasts.
"Thank-you!" I lead him to the kitchen-diner area and quickly remove the pile of eccentricities from the table. He puts the brown bag down and removes the foil boxes, laying them out as I grab plates, glasses, cutlery and stuff.
Two plates, two knives, two forks and two large blue-glass wineglasses. It so nice not to eat alone. As he dishes up I light the candles around the room. I like candlelight, okay?
"Lemon or cashew chicken?" he asks, "I enjoy both, so I don't mind which you prefer."
Ever the gentleman, Rupert, I smile and offer, "Why don't we share both then?"
He returns the smile, "I'd like that."
The food is served, so I kill the lights and we sit across from each other in the candlelight, eating the absolutely fantastic Chinese he brought with him.
"Mmm... This is just delicious, thank-you, Rupert!" I manage between mouthfuls of chow mein. We exchange smiles again and he swallows some egg roll.
"Uh, why thank-you, Jenny... I'm just glad you, uh, like Chinese food."
"I love it," I assure him.
We eat in silence for a while, but it's a companionable silence, not in the least uncomfortable. What are you thinking about, Rupert? Your library? Sacred duty? Or does she occupy your thoughts even when you're here with me?
When the food's all gone, I clear up the plates and he insists on helping me with clean up. So, I'm up to my elbows in soapy water, washing the aforementioned small amount of dishes... Meticulous, aren't you, Rupert?
My bangs fall into my eyes and I try, unsuccessfully, to blow it away. Damn... Rupert stops my wet hand halfway, and I look up at him, puzzled. His eyes were gentle, almost laughing at me.
He brushes the dark hair from my face and then places a very gentle kiss on my forehead. A gentleman's kiss. Smiling up at him, I move to return it -
The telephone rings.
Drying my hands, I go to unplug the damn thing, but he shakes his head. "I told Buffy I'd be here, she might need me," Rupert tells me. Sighing, I answer the phone.
"Ms Calendar, is Giles there?" It's her. The 'Other Woman'. His Slayer - the one who will always come first for him.
"Its Buffy," I tell him flatly, handing him the phone.
Suddenly, he's all business. By the moment the phone reaches his ear, he's in what I've heard Xander and Willow call 'Watcher mode'. His mind focused on her voice; his eyes fixed on some indeterminable spot that only he sees.
"Ummhmm... yes....? Oh? Oh! ... Uh, Buffy meet me at -- yes, the library... on my way. No... Don't worry, she understands.... Yes... alright, goodbye... DO be careful, Buffy..." He hangs up and turns back to me.
"Jenny, I, uh...I have to go..."
"Your Slayer needs you..." I hope I don't sound too bitter.
"I knew you'd understand." Ok, obviously I didn't sound bitter enough. He kisses my forehead again and hurries out.
Sighing, I slump into an armchair, grabbing my plate and my laptop... Its not like this is unexpected. It's happened before, it'll happen again I have no doubt. It'd just be nice to have one date go by without her coming between us. Just one. I know its stupid and selfish - I'm not here to romance the Watcher. I'm here to watch, too. And my observations tell me that those two are only a matter of time...