Slutty Much?
By Lily2332

TITLE: Slutty Much?
AUTHOR: Lily2332
SUMMARY: A brief add-on to Tuesday’s episode.  What is Buffy’s deal lately? I can’t give her the talking-to that she needs, but Giles can!
SPOILERS: All of Season 4
DISTRIBUTION: Solo, Cap, anyone else ask first
DISCLAIMER: Not mine, don’t sue.

Buffy turned to leave.  “Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go find something slutty to wear tonight.”   She was already mentally going through her closet for the perfect outfit, not noticing Giles rising to his feet.

What she heard stopped her in her tracks.  “Xander. Go now.”  His voice was harsh, despite an enormous effort to wait until Xander was gone to have words with his slayer. 

“What?” She asked nervously, looking to her friend for help.  Xander just shook his head, breezing past her on his way out. 

Long after the door had closed behind the boy, Giles stood glowering at Buffy. She had the sense not to ask what he was angry about. Obviously it was something that she should already be aware of, or else he wouldn’t be so far past his limits of good grace.

“Look,” she began, swinging her purse a little, still trying for nonchalance. “I guess I can patrol tonight after the-“

“Don’t bother.”  His body language spoke volumes, and it was clear that he was holding back a great deal.  “Although, while we’re on the subject, since when do slayers instruct their watchers to go patrolling while they attend a party?” 

<Should I point out that he’s not my watcher anymore?> she thought, <No, probably not the best time...hey, thinking before I speak!  Smart Buffy.> 

 “I don’t know, Giles, isn’t there a statistic somewhere in one of your books?  In the “When Slayers Party” chapter?” <okay, sarcasm wasn’t the best way to go.> she noted as he clenched his jaw tightly.  She could almost hear him counting to ten.

In fact her flippant attitude merely fueled the fire that had been building within her watcher for a long while.  It was really incomprehensible that she didn’t know the reason for his anger.  Since she’d arrived at college, Buffy’s behavior around men had been appalling, going only from bad to worse.  And the way she flaunted it in front of him!   He thought of the black back-tied top she’d almost taken off in his presence the day after she and Parker...

“Buffy.”  He walked over near her, unconsciously standing between the girl and the door.  She noticed this gesture and finally, anxiety made an appearance on her face.   He continued, “I thought I could go without saying anything, Buffy, but this matter has got to be addressed.  Since you’ve been at college, well, there are several things I’d like to mention, but let’s begin with the most pressing matter.  I don’t wish to embarrass you, but you’re obviously looking for something, hoping to find it in the form of male attentions.”

Buffy opened her mouth to defend herself, but he didn’t give her a chance.

“Damn it, Buffy! Didn’t you learn from what happened with Parker? By allowing him to use you like that...I know that the experience caused you pain.  But what were you doing not a week later?  Drowning your sorrows by boozing it up with a group of men you’ve never met before.  Do you know what could’ve happened!?  You weren’t exactly in prime decision making mode that evening.  We were lucky that you didn’t end up in a bloody orgy with the lot of them!” 

At that, Buffy gasped. How dare he? The fact that it was the truth only made it worse.  “We?!” she demanded, “There is no “we.”  Just me. My life. Not yours.” 

Giles approached Buffy, not at all surprised by her anger.  He’d known it wouldn’t be easy to bring up.  But they’d been through worse than this.  “I see.”  He coldly remarked,  “My opinion no longer matters to you.  The one person who’s always treated you with respect, who would give his life for yours, is banished to spend every day in solitude, grateful for any shred of attention that you can spare.  But for any young fellow who can get your bra unfastened quickly enough, you’re theirs for the taking.”  The biting words shocked even Giles, who usually had a tight rein on his emotions.

Buffy felt the blood drain from her face.  Her hand flew out, striking his cheek with forceful accuracy, despite the shimmer of tears blurring her vision. Tears that his words had drawn from her.  Why did he think he had the right to judge her?

Lack of preparation for the blow, more than the blow itself, sent him to the floor, where he stayed, disgusted with himself for letting this go so far.  He fought the urge to rub his face, instead just riding the wave of pain until it faded to a dull throb.  She’d struck him before, but never in anger.  Not like this. But he deserved it.

“You are really one to talk.”  She tried to keep up a facade of indignation, not helping him up out of the principal of the matter.  “You don’t want me to have casual sex? What about Miss ‘Look at me, I’m naked underneath Giles’ shirt.’  You are such a hypocrite!”

Giles got to his feet, wondering how in the world she could have turned this around on him. “This isn’t about me!”  He shot back. 

“What is it about, Giles?!”  She shouted.  “What, you want to decide who I sleep with and how often?  What I wear?  Yeah,” she paused, giving him a disdainful glance. “don’t think I don’t notice how you look at me, all critical and ‘tsk, tsk, what corner is Buffy going to stand on tonight.’”  “It’s about us, damn it!”  He seethed.  “You are ready to give away to any boy who comes your way, what you deny me, the man who loves you above all else!”

In her anger, this declaration actually made sense to Buffy.  “Well, you did it first!”  She shot back.  “You and Olivia, standing there, waiting for me to leave, just gloating about your night together..right in front of me.”  The tears began to spill over onto her cheeks, but she choked out a final truth.  “Everything was f-fine before that day.” 

It figured that Buffy would throw the ball into his court at such an awkward moment, he thought irrationally.  “What are you saying, then?”  He asked carefully, going to her, softening his words a bit. 

Buffy leaned her forehead against his sweater, and he wrapped his arms around her.  “You moved on.  I was trying to do the same thing...I guess I’m not very good at it.”  She added.

Giles smiled wryly at that.  “Well, it’s probably not the best method of moving on that I’ve seen.”  As he spoke the words, he was trying to make sense of what she’d said.  Had she made a confession like his, or was she simply saying that him pushing her away had left her feeling abandoned, in the way that a child would?   “Buffy, I’m sorry.” 

She understood the apology for what it was. Not just for the cruel comments today, but for pushing her away, for Olivia, and for anything else that she might have against him.

“Me too.”  She said, caressing his cheek, the one that she knew was going to be black and blue. “And for...”  She felt ashamed that her behavior had tortured Giles so much, yet she was pleased over the same fact.

“Would you like to join me for dinner?”  He asked after a long, though not uncomfortable silence had passed.  "I'm cooking." 

“Okay.”  She pulled away from his embrace, smiling up at him.  “That sounds great.”  She said, wiping the remaining tears from her cheeks.  “Are we okay?”  She asked.

“Of course.”  He answered, a bit discouraged at his lack of clarity what had just happened.  He started towards the kitchen, noticing her heading toward the door.  “Where are you going?”  He asked.

She smiled.  “I’ll be back, Giles.  I just have to go find something slutty to wear first.”