Tea Solves Everything
By QueenTweed

Tea Solves Everything
By QueenTweed (queen_tweed@she-geek.com)
Rating: PG-13 (for language)
Spoilers: Through "Passion". Jenny's dead, folks.
Summary: Giles has a hangover, and his Slayer arrives with the perfect cure.
Author's Note: Alright, I'll admit, I'm totally new to the Buffy fandom.
Long story short: I worked whenever it was on TV, I got the Season 1 DVDs from work (I work at a library, hence my affectation for Giles), and I was hooked. Now that I've seen everything up to Season 2, and bits and pieces of Season 3 (thank you FX!) I finally feel like I can write a halfway decent B/G fic. Or at least attempt one. So bear with me, and please, please, please let me know what you thought. Feedback feeds the muses!
Disclaimer: "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" isn't mine, although I wouldn't mind if it was. ;) It all belongs to the folks over at UPN now. Pity.

The bright, glaring red numbers on the digital alarm clock seemed to mock Rupert Giles with their very existence. Here he was, with a hangover to end all hangovers, and those numbers had the audacity to exist, telling him in no uncertain terms that it was time for tweedy Watcher-librarians to get their asses out of bed and join the rest of the world. He considered his options for a moment: get out of bed, or tell the clock to 'sod off' and return to the blissful darkness of sleep. What the hell had he been thinking, getting so drunk the night before? Oh yes; Jenny.

He moaned aloud, causing his head to throb even more as he pulled himself out of bed, crawling on all fours to the bathroom, where he proceeded to vomit up what was left of what he'd consumed the night before. He had just enough strength left to flush the toilet before he slumped down again, closing his eyes. That was where Buffy found him, passed out with his head over the toilet bowl. The blond girl sighed, surveying the mess that was her Watcher, and decided to fix this mess he'd gotten himself into. After all, Giles would do the same for her, providing she wasn't awake to hear the lecture. Pulling a washcloth from a rack on the wall, Buffy wet it and cleaned up his face gently. He didn't wake, and when she had finished cleaning him up to the best of her ability, she hauled him back to his bed, tucking the covers around him. She knew he'd wake up again with a killer headache, and it was without hesitation that she used Giles' phone to call Xander, who she knew would have a hangover remedy that would be sure to work. "Hello?"

"Xander?" Buffy cradled the phone between her ear and shoulder, walking down the stairs, careful not to make too much noise. "Can I ask you a favor?"

"Sure thing, Buffy." Xander sounded bleary, as though he'd just woken up. She winced, realizing that she had indeed probably woken him up from a sound sleep. Oh well, she'd make it up to him later. Right now, Giles needed her.

"Do you have anything that would work to cure a hangover?" she asked, pulling the teapot off Giles' stove and rinsing it out. She filled it with new water and set it on the stove to heat, knowing Giles would want tea, if nothing else, when he awoke.

"Why?" Xander sounded curious now, and his voice was slightly accusing. "You didn't-"

"No, not for me." Buffy found a loaf of bread in Giles' cupboard and put two slices in the toaster, deciding that some toast would make Giles feel better as well. "It's for Giles."

"G-man's got a hangover?" Xander sounded impressed. "Didn't know he had it in him. Score one for the tweed-man." When Buffy made an impatient noise, he relented, and continued on. "Anyway, yeah, just keep him real hydrated. Aspirin and food are good too, but nothing too much too quickly. Keep him in bed if you can.oh god, that sounded really bad-"

"Xander!" Buffy was not amused, but before she could work up a rant, the teapot shrieked, and she heard Giles moan in response from upstairs. The toast chose that moment to pop up as well. "Well, thanks. I'll talk to you later." She hung up the phone and poured some of the hot water into the largest mug she could find. Into that she put a teabag to steep, then pulled the toast out of the toaster. She buttered that, and put it on a plate, then put the mug and the plate onto a tray she found in the cabinet. Picking up the tray, she carried it upstairs, pushing the door to Giles' room open with her foot.

He was lying on the bed, curled up in the fetal position, a pillow over his head. He was muttering something, and Buffy strained to hear what he was saying as she set down the tray on the bedside table.

"-stupid bloody hangover. Fuck me, this hurts, oh bloody fuckin' hell, it hurts!"

Buffy was torn between shock and amusement: she'd never heard her Watcher swear like that before. It was kind of cool, actually. Laughing to herself, she picked up the mug of tea in one hand, pulling the pillow off of his head with the other. "Giles, come on now, drink some tea, please?"

Giles blinked in the light of the bedroom, staring up at her with a blank, confused expression. "Buffy? Why are you in my bedroom?" He put his hand to his head and moaned again, rolling over onto his back. "Who the fuck cares why: you said something about tea?" His voice had changed with the question about the tea, and Buffy was reminded of a small child hoping for a treat. She laughed, and held out the mug to him.

"Yup, tea for my poor Watcher." She sat down on the edge of the bed and watched him drink the tea, sighing in pleasure.

"You're a bloody angel, Buffy." he said between sips. "Don't know what I'd do without you."

Buffy smiled at him, holding out the plate of toast as well. "Eat that, and I'll find some aspirin for your headache." Giles took the plate of toast and began to wolf that down as well in-between gulps of tea. Buffy went back into the bathroom and rummaged through the medicine cabinet until she found a bottle of aspirin. Reading the label, she shook out two capsules and headed back into the bedroom. Giles had finished both the toast and was drinking tea, looking somewhat human again.

"Here," she said, handing over the aspirin. Now that he was looking better, she felt odd for being in his bedroom. "I'll get you some more tea, and you can rest then." Before he could say anything, she had fled the bedroom and returned to the kitchen, grabbing the pot of water off the stove and more teabags out of the cupboard. Slowly, she went back upstairs again. Giles was sitting, propped up against the headboard now, and was watching her as she came back in, his eyes full of something that made her stomach flutter.

"Well, here's, uh, the rest of the tea," Buffy stammered, putting the pot and teabags down on the bedside table. "I'll just go, then, and let you rest."

"No." Giles caught her wrist and looked seriously at her. "You don't have to run away, Buffy. I don't mind that you're here, in fact, I'm glad you are. Though I'm sorry you had to see me in such a state."

Buffy shrugged as Giles let go of her wrist. She didn't flee, however, and sat on the edge of the bed again, picking absently at the blanket. "It's okay, really." she said, not meeting his gaze. "Better me than Xander or Willow. But I don't understand.you promised you'd never do that again."

Giles heard the hurt confusion in her voice and felt a stab of guilt. He had promised her, after the last time she'd found him drinking. He didn't want her to see what he became when he drank like that, and he hadn't touched a drop since, until last night. He'd been all alone, since Buffy had joined Xander, Willow, and Cordelia at the Bronze after patrolling, and the loneliness had lead to thoughts of Jenny. Those thoughts were too painful, and he had drowned them the only way he'd known how: alcohol.

"I'm sorry, Buffy." he said, covering her slender hand with his own and squeezing it slightly. "I was thinking about Jenny, and-"

"I'm so sorry." Buffy whispered, and Giles saw a tear slip down her cheek. He set the mug of tea down and reached for her, feeling the need to embrace her was stronger than any awkwardness of their situation. She willingly folded into his arms, crying softly against his chest.

"Buffy, it's not your fault. You didn't know he would turn like that." he stroked her hair gently, while a treacherous part of his mind considered the other things he could be doing with a vulnerable Buffy in his bed. Stop that, he told himself, and put his hand under her chin, forcing her to look at him. "I don't blame you. I blame him, and myself for not protecting Jenny." He felt a tear of his own slip down his cheek and unthinking, Buffy brushed it away with her hands, causing his breath to catch in his throat.

"No, Giles." Buffy protested, unaware of the sudden tension. "You can't blame yourself for this. It's his fault. You couldn't have known what he would do."

Giles forced himself to breath and leaned back against the headboard, willing his libido to be still. But her words had struck something inside of him and he sighed, pulling her closer even as his mind screamed in rational protest. "I know, Buffy, I know." he whispered, pressing his face against her hair. He didn't care of the consequences now, he just knew they both needed this contact, and that drawing comfort from each other was natural. "If I could spare you from all this, I would."

Buffy looked up at him, frowning. "Giles, I-" But she stopped in mid-sentence, as the movement of her head had brought their faces just a breath away from each other. Slowly, giving him time to pull away, she leaned forward and brushed her lips against his, just the barest touch of her lips to his.

Giles let out the breath he didn't know he'd been holding and leaned down, capturing her lips in a true kiss. She responded immediately, her arms wrapping around him, one hand coming up to stroke his cheek. When they parted for air, Buffy laid her head against his chest, sighing softly. Giles, too, sighed, and stroked her hair thoughtfully. Silence passed between them for a moment, then Giles spoke.

"I love you, Buffy. As much as I loved Jenny, you have always been first in my thoughts."

She nodded, picking up one of his hands. She twined their fingers together, then kissed his hand softly. "I know, Giles. You're my whole world. I don't know what I'd do if I lost you."

He kissed the top of her head, then leaned back again. "Perhaps I should have you make me tea more often." he mused, eliciting a laugh from Buffy.

"Nope, I think next time you're going to be the one who gets to make me breakfast in bed." she said, not even thinking. When the implications of her words set in, both of them laughed nervously, then Buffy shrugged. "Well, you know what I meant."

"Yes, I did." Giles tipped her face upwards, then kissed her lightly. "I fear we'll need to remember moments like these in the days to come."

Buffy savored the kiss, squeezing his hand tightly in her own. "I could never forget this." Suddenly, she giggled, spoiling the emotional moment. "Oh my god. What are Willow and Xander going to say?"

Giles paled at the thought of the Slayerettes' reaction, shrugged, then cleared his throat. "Well, we'll just have to deal with that particular mess when we get there." He pulled Buffy closer, pulling the blankets over them. "Until then, however, I would be much obliged if you would kindly keep me company while I take a nap. Then perhaps we can talk some more."

"Only if you keep holding me." Buffy whispered, and Giles knew she didn't mean just while he slept.

"Always, my love. Always."