Turning the Pages
By
Gabriele Schulz

TITLE: Turning the Pages
AUTHOR: Gabriele Schulz
EMAIL: gabi@gschulz.de
RATING: NC-17
DISTRIBUTION: Everyone who has my general permission. Others please ask first.
SPOILERS: Probably takes place some time after Restless, but nothing specific.
FEEDBACK: Love it. Especially if you like the story ;-)
SUMMARY: Cordelia, the artist, strikes again. Her series of sketches titled 'Buffy and Rupert' surprises not only Wesley and Angel, but has an immediate and very pleasant effect on Buffy and Giles. B/G
DISCLAIMER: The characters are the property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, Sandollar Productions, Kuzui Enterprises, 20th Century Fox Television, the WB Television Network, and whoever else may have a hold on them. I do not mean to infringe upon any copyrights.
NOTES: This is an answer to the theme of the week on my site buffygiles.com. This was for the theme 'Art'.
DATE: 05/14-28/2000


Giles frowned. A letter from a Los Angeles art academy was nothing he usually found in his mailbox.

He was even more surprised when it turned out to be an invitation to an award ceremony. When he was about to discard it as a letter to the wrong recipient he saw the name of the artist that was to be honored: Cordelia Chase.

*~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*

"I have no idea. But I'm fairly certain it's not singing."

Buffy grinned.

"And why is this invitation only for the two of us?"

"Again, I have no idea. Have you heard of this academy?"

"No. There are so many clubs in LA with all those pompous names. Just get a couple of people together and when they get drunk regularly they'll call themselves 'Spirit Appreciation Society'."

"Do you want to go?"

"What a question! Of course. Didn't you read that: Free accomodation at the Cosgrove Hotel."

"Do you know that hotel?"

"No, but it's free and an award ceremony. A great excuse to spent some money on clothes."

She smiled.

"Well... I suppose the tuxedo I have will have to do."

Buffy's eyes lit up.

"Oh no."

"Uh oh."

"Oh yes."

"I really don't need anything new."

She just grabbed his hand and yanked him off the couch...

*~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*

The hotel was small but nice and comfortable. Just like their room.

"Only one bed."

"We can fight for it later, we have to hurry."

"It's still two hours."

She gave him a look.

He muttered something about 'women' and went to the bathroom.

Two hours later Buffy was still in the bathroom and Giles wondered if she would ever come out.

"Are you still alive?"

"Don't be so pushy. Don't you want your date to look good?"

He was pondering her use of the word 'date' when the door opened and she came out. She walked slowly towards him, her simple red satin dress hugging her in all the right places. Then she leaned against the wall and looked up at him tilting her head.

When she saw his reaction she started laughing.

"I... wh-what's so funny?"

"You just looked exactly like Wesley when he first saw Cordelia."

"W-well, you do look... very, very..."

"Thank you. And you do, too. I have great taste."

She smiled at him, then took a step towards him and held out her hand.

For a second he was uncertain what to do, then he just took it and put it around his arm.

"Ready for the show, Ms. Summers?"

"Sure, Rupert!"

She smiled up at him and he felt a thrill go through him at her use of his first name.

*~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*

At the reception everyone immediately greeted them.

"God, what are these guys doing with Cordelia if her friends are treated like this."

He whispered back.

"Nothing she won't be extremely pleased with."

"You're right. She'll love it."

When Giles went to get them some food, Buffy spotted a young man who was admiring her.

"Hi."

"Hello. You are Buffy."

"Wow, everyone knows me."

"You look even better in real life."

"What do you mean?"

At this moment Giles came back with two plates.

The young man smiled nervously at him.

"And you are Rupert."

"Giles, I think we're celebrities."

Buffy smiled at him then looked back at the young man who excused himself and all but ran away.

"That was weird."

"What?"

"I don't know. I thought he was interested in me. But apparently... I hope there are no olives in this salad."

"Of course not."

She smiled at him and they made their way inside when they saw Angel and Wesley.

"Angel, Wesley, nice tuxes. Did you go shopping together?"

"Hello Buffy. Mr. Giles."

For some reason Wesley couldn't look at them.

"Something wrong with my dress?"

Wesley looked at her.

"No, no. Not at all."

Then he suddenly blushed and looked away again.

Giles frowned at Wesley's behavior.

Buffy also thought it was weird, but then again it was Wesley. But when she took a closer look at Angel, he too, seemed a little out of sorts.

"Everything okay, Angel? You seem pale. I mean paler than usual."

"I'm fine. I just... I hadn't seen the pictures before."

"Pictures? Is that what she's honored for? You were right about the not-singing."

She smiled at Giles and didn't see that Angel and Wesley exchanged a look.

Buffy looked back at them.

"What is on the pictures?"

"Eh, I think I should line up for the buffet if I still want to get something to eat."

Wesley was gone in an instant.

"And I should assure Cordelia that she looks great."

Buffy couldn't even begin to protest.

"I thought he had given up on the disappearing act."

"Shall we sit down before the crowd moves in?"

"Sure."

They sat down at their table up front.

The room slowly crowded. Once in a while people came up to them to congratulate them. They were polite and thanked, although they still had no idea what they had to do with Cordelia's award.

"How long till the show starts?"

"I don't know, but I think the star has arrived."

Buffy looked in the direction he indicated.

At first she could only see a group of people moving slowly along, but then she saw Cordelia inside of it. She was smiling at everyone (and especially the cameras) quite obviously enjoying every second.

"Perhaps we should have brought a camera, too."

Buffy couldn't help laughing.

"Giles! This is serious. She'll probably be in their monthly gazette or something."

Cordelia was still acting as if this was a televised event and Giles actually wondered if she would start waving at non-existent rows of fans.

When a spotlight was turned on Buffy had to bite her lip to not laugh out loud. The room was not small, but by far not so large that a spotlight was necessary to point to the small crowd around Cordelia Chase.

After a couple of more minutes she had finally made her way to their table. She kissed both Buffy and Giles on their cheeks and told them how great it was to see them again. Buffy and Giles hid their suprise successfully.

Cordelia might be a really bad actress, but the part of a star was truly hers.

People kept stopping by the table even after the light was turned to the stage.

Then a voice announced the director of the Academy.

A lady of about 50 entered the stage and everyone applauded politely.

When Giles looked over, he saw that Angel and Wesley had joined them at the table.

The lady began to talk about work of the Academy that nobody was interested in anyway, until she eventually announced that they would now move on to the reason for this evening.

Buffy tore her eyes away from the flowers on their table to the stage.

Giles moved a little in his seat and Angel nudged Wesley's elbow.

Only Cordelia sat absolutely still smiling as she had done the whole evening. Buffy wondered if her jaw hurt already.

"Today we want to honor a wonderful new artist, who has displayed an astounding talent at such a young age. There is no doubt the future will be bright for this year's honoree. It is certain that she will delight us with more works as complex and beautiful as her series entitled 'Buffy and Rupert'."

Buffy and Giles looked at each other. Wesley looked at his plate and Angel looked at Buffy and Giles. Cordelia kept smiling at the stage.

Then the curtain was drawn away to reveal eight pictures. Buffy and Giles looked from picture to picture their jaws dropping further and further until they both stopped at one that displayed a close up of their heads. Engaged in a fervent kiss.

"Cordy!"

Buffy hissed, not too worried about the people looking at them.

Cordelia turned around, her smile never faltering.

"What?"

Before Buffy could start ranting, Giles put his hand on hers. When she looked at him, he silently told her to wait until later. She wasn't pleased but nodded.

Neither of them noticed that Giles didn't move his hand from Buffy's. Angel did notice, but his face didn't show any of the many emotions going through his head.

*~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*

When they arrived at their room, Buffy immediately jumped flat on the bed with the book they had been given in front of her. While Buffy flipped through the pages, Giles admired the view in front of him. His gaze traveled from her hair down her back. The long dress had fallen from her calves that she constantly moved around, probably because she had to sit still for so long. Suddenly, she stopped shifting her legs. Then she pushed one shoe away with the other and it dropped to the ground. She moved her toes around and for some reason he blushed. Buffy was still flipping through the book and he sat down on the bed next to her.

She looked at him.

"Cordelia obviously has a loooooot of free time."

She thumbed through the pages, just to show him how many it were.

"Most of these are just quick sketches."

"Yeah, but..."

She thumbed through the pages again and looked at him.

"Yes, she did quite a lot. Wait, what was that?"

He turned the pages, but she took the book away.

"Let's go through the whole thing."

She kicked off the other shoe and turned around, settling herself against a pillow.

When he at first didn't move she smiled.

"Giles you can come closer. I won't bite."

He smiled nervously.

"Unless you want to."

She grinned at him and he blushed, but removed his shoes and settled himself next to her. She held the book between them and then searched for the first sketches, skipping the introduction.

The first pictures were single portraits beginning with Giles.

"Hey, when did Cordelia see you smile?"

He glared at her, then turned to the next page.

"That looks more like you."

"Really?"

"Sure. Why not?"

"I look so... stern."

"Well. You're not exactly Mr. Soft. That's your 'Buffy-you-should-know-better' look."

He looked at her, but she ignored him and turned the page.

"Oh and here's the 'What-the-bloody-hell-is-she-talking-about' look."

He suppressed a smile.

After a couple of pages they got to a sketch of him laughing.

"What is this? You don't laugh like this. I mean you hardly do. When did I ever see you laugh about something that you found funny. Except for that stupid moon pie joke of Xander's."

He started laughing.

She turned around to him staring.

"Giles, that joke was *not* funny."

He kept laughing and she hit him.

"Stop!"

He just laughed harder.

"It's not funny! Do you see me laughing?"

He got his laughter under control for a second to look at her, then he reached out to tickle her side.

"Giles!"

"You're laughing."

She tried to move his hand away, but he just tickled her other side with the other hand. She shrieked and tried a counter attack, but he took the chance to tickle her on both sides and she laughed helplessly.

"Stop. Stop, Giles. I'm laughing. Okay. I'm laughing."

He stopped tickling and looked down at her. She was lying beneath him, her face flushed, her hair a little tousled from the way she had tossed her head around, while trying to get free. She was beautiful.

Before more dangerous thoughts could enter his brain, he moved back to his original position and she sat up rearranging the pillow behind her and opening the book at the page with the laughing Giles.

The next pictures were of Buffy only. Giles stared at the pictures, amazed at how Cordelia was able to capture Buffy's beauty.

They came across one picture where Buffy looked very serene. When Buffy wanted to turn the page he stopped her.

"This is..."

"What?"

"Very... good."

He wondered how he could ask Cordelia for the picture without having to give away the reason for his interest. Then his thought went to the picture of them kissing. Maybe Cordelia knew his interest in Buffy very well.

He tried to keep his reactions to the sketches in check, but at one he just gasped.

"Beautiful."

He couldn't help the whisper. Buffy didn't say anything but watched him from aside. To see someone admiring a picture of her in such a way was wonderful. And the fact that it was Giles made it just more special. She knew that she meant very much to him, but to know that she also was beautiful to him made her heart beat a little faster.

She studied his face as he tried to get every detail. While looking at the pictures of him she had realized how handsome he was - on the pictures at least, but now that she watched him in person, she had to admit that it wasn't just Cordelia's sketches, but him. He was goodlooking in his own way. His face had a history and his eyes could be so expressive when he wasn't trying to hide what he was thinking. For a second she felt the urge to reach out and touch him. So she looked at the book again and turned the page.

The next picture showed the two of them sitting next to each other reading a book. Buffy had her chin propped on her hand and Giles was pointing at something. The following pictures all showed them in similar everyday situations. They were mostly reading or talking to each other. Cordelia had been able to capture it so well, that they often had the feeling that they could exactly see what they were talking about just because of the look on their faces.

Next came a couple of pictures where they were training. Buffy saw one portraying a sword fight.

"Now I get it."

"What?"

"That guy who seemed interested, but ran away when he saw you coming. Guess he didn't want to mess with someone who works with deadly weapons professionally."

"I wonder how much more Cordelia has drawn. I got the impression that people thought her pictures portrayed our real relationship. I hope she didn't draw any demons."

His answer came in the following pictures which showed them fighting. They were mostly back to back attacking something that was either out of the picture or only very vaguely shaped.

"I still wonder what they think we are doing."

"Perhaps fighting in shows. Or movies."

He turned the page and she heard his sharp intake of breath. The picture showed Buffy in his arms with a bloody wound in her stomach. His face was a mixture of pain and rage. It seemed so real that Buffy didn't want to look at it longer and turned the page.

The next one showed the opposite. Giles dying in Buffy's arms. She was holding his head to her chest, her head turned upwards, tears running from her closed eyes.

"Oh God."

"This is..."

"Too real. Why did she do this? This... it will never happen."

"Hopefully it won't, but it is part of us."

She turned to him.

"Our fears. My greatest nightmare. To lose you."

"I don't need to see this in a picture. It's enough if I see it in my nightmares."

She looked at the book again and turned the page.

They both stared at it for over a minute before Giles could finally say something.

"She cannot know. She wasn't there."

"I never told her or anyone."

"I didn't either. It's unbelievable."

In the sketch, Buffy sat on a chair while Giles was kneeling in front of her tending a wound in her face.

It took him another minute to realize that she was wearing something else and that the wound was more on the temple than the forehead, but still the resemblance was striking. Her open hair and the way she looked were an exact mirror of how he remembered that fateful day.

Finally, Buffy reached out and turned the page. The next picture seemed to be a follow up to the one before. They were hugging each other. Buffy had her head against his chest and he seemed to be lightly kissing the top of her head.

Buffy couldn't help the sadness that suddenly overcame her. She wished that would have happened afterwards. Something more tangible than their wordless reconciliation. Giles seemed to feel the same because he quickly turned the page.

She looked at him, but his eyes were on the next picture. On it the two of them were looking at each other their arms still around each other. It seemed to be the third of this series because she was wearing the same. Their looks were... intense.

They both knew what the next picture would show. The pictures were sorted by the theme of the sketch and they were obviously entering the arena of romance. Still, neither of them turned the page.

Giles kept wondering if Cordelia knew about his feelings, or if this was just a possibility that she chose to draw, because she wanted a wider range in the relationship of her 'objects'. But to even come up with the idea that the two of them could have a romantic relationship. It was too far-fetched to come out of nowhere. Then again, Buffy was feeling the same in those pictures so they probably were really just fantasy.

Buffy's thoughts were similar. She wondered if Cordelia just made all of this up or if she had been sending out some signals. She had been thinking about Giles romantically for a while, but had always dismissed it as impossible on so many levels that she didn't bother to count them. Maybe Cordelia had somehow noticed. She wondered if perhaps others had noticed as well. Willow or Oz. Or Giles himself. No, probably not Giles. Then again he would never say anything to her.

She reached out to turn the page as did Giles that same moment. Their hands touched and they looked at each other. They were quite aware that they had to appear very much like the picture they had just been looking at. They moved their hands in an attempt to turn the page without taking their eyes of each other and ended up stroking the other's hand until they had managed to expose the next picture.

They kept gazing at each other until they slowly turned to the page just to see what they had expected.

They saw themselves kissing deeply.

Buffy tried to think of Riley, then Angel, then Xander and even Willow, but the truth was she wanted to kiss Giles so badly right now that she had to force herself to not even look at him.

Giles felt the same, but he was more used to fighting these urges and managed to glance at her. Her jaw was clenched and she kept her eyes straight at the book.

Then she turned around the page.

They were kissing again on the next picture, but this time Giles' hands were in her hair and Buffy's tongue seemed to be in his mouth.

Giles didn't think he could look at the pictures for much longer, while Buffy was lying next to him in a bed.

He quickly turned the page around, but that didn't make things better. He saw his own face buried in her neck, while Buffy's face was upturned, mouth open, a display of sheer pleasure.

Before he could take in more details, Buffy turned the page. And upon seeing what was on it turned it again.

With every sketch they seemed to wear less clothes and the situations they were portrayed in became more and more graphic.

When she saw one picture where Giles was sucking on her right breast, while kneading the other she had to comment.

"She sure has an eye for proportions. That comes as close to reality as it gets."

When Giles heard that he wordlessly jumped up and ran to the bathroom.

"Giles!"

She got up worried that she had said something wrong.

"Giles are you okay?"

He didn't answer.

"Giles talk to me."

Still no answer, just a muffled sound.

"Giles?"

She heard a noise and suddenly began to panic. What if for some reason he wanted to do something to himself. She couldn't immediately come up with a good reason for that, but then she thought that maybe the drawings reminded him of Jenny or Olivia and of how unhappy he was.

"Giles!!"

She banged on the door frantically. He couldn't kill himself. Not at all and especially not now when she thought that Cordelia's pictures perhaps could turn into a reality.

When he still didn't answer, she opened the door.

He spun around, his pants and boxers pooling at his feet, his hand around his hard penis.

"Buffy!"

"Oh."

He turned his back to her again.

"Wh-what... why are you here?"

"Didn't you hear me? I was worried."

"Wh-what did you think could attack me in here?!"

"I thought... I was afraid you might do something to yourself."

He turned his head to her, only to see her running up to him. She hugged him tightly from behind.

"Don't ever scare me like this again."

"Buffy, I would never try to kill myself."

"You mean never again."

He turned around to her forgetting about his half-erect member.

"Buffy, I..."

"I thought that perhaps the pictures made you think of Olivia or... Ms. Calendar."

"Buffy."

"I can't lose you. Not ever and especially not now, when I..."

He looked at her upturned face. Then he felt her hand encircling his penis and his eyes grew wide.

"Y-you..."

"I want you, Giles."

Then without letting go of his rapidly hardening shaft, she pulled his face down for a kiss. It was tender for a second, before they deepened the kiss, sucking, exploring with their lips and tongues. Both their hands moved into the hair of the other, the kiss getting so heated that Buffy moved her legs around him. With his pants around his feet, he couldn't keep his balance and they crashed to ground, Giles turning around so that she fell on top of him. She was holding his head so tightly towards her that it didn't hit the hard floor.

"Are you all right?"

"Ye-"

Then she was all over him again, kissing him passionately and at the same time getting him out of the rest of the clothes and pushing his pants, boxers, shoes and socks off with her feet. When she finally had him naked beneath her, she stopped the kiss to take a deep breath and smile down at him. She was straddling his stomach now, still wearing her long dress.

He moved his hands underneath it along her legs to her bottom.

She shifted against his hand moving backwards until she felt his erection pressing against her.

She smiled and stood up, one foot on each side of his hip. Then she slowly lifted her dress higher and higher, watching his face as her legs were exposed. She was quite sure that right now he wouldn't be able to form a correct sentence if his life depended on it. She pulled the dress over her head, holding it above her.

She looked at his open mouth, then looked further down at his pulsing penis. She licked her lips and dropped the dress on top of his face before climbing over him out of the bathroom.

She jumped onto the bed on her stomach and gripped the book opening it at the graphic scenes they hadn't reached yet. She smiled when she felt him straddle her legs. He bent down and pushing her hair aside kissed her neck. He nibbled at her ear and she sighed contentedly, closing the book. He kissed down her shoulder then her back. He unclasped her bra and she moved up and got out of it. He scooted further down her body and kissed his way down until he reached her slip. He kissed her along its border and then with one swift movement pulled it down. He sat up so that he could remove it and they were both completely naked.

He kissed each of her buttocks, then kissed a trail upward and sideways. Then he turned her around.

"Oh God, Buffy."

She lay beneath him, her mouth well-kissed and half open, her body as beautiful as he had known it would be.

"Rupert."

He groaned and bent down to kiss her with everything he got.

When he felt her hand around his penis one thought pushed his way into his consciousness.

He turned away and lay beside her picking up the phone.

"Rupert Giles, room 77, could you bring us... ehm, do you have condoms?"

She smiled.

"Yes, thank you, no wait, make that two."

She wanted to tell him that he could ask for more, but then stopped herself. He wasn't 20 anymore. And she didn't want to ask too much of him - at least not this first night. She grinned to herself.

He hung up and turned around to kiss her again. She responded eagerly, wondering for a second why on earth she ever had any doubts that this could be anything but real and right. So much time wasted.

Then he began kneading her breasts and all thought fled from her mind. He moved further down her body kissing her on his way until he could suck on one of her nipples. His tongue brought her towards heaven.

When there was a knock on the door, she groaned in frustration. He smiled and got up. He put on a hotel robe and answered the door. He came back, dropping the robe and putting the condoms on the nightstand. When she saw that it wasn't two, but rather two packs, her face lit up.

She pulled him over her onto the bed, where she immediately straddled him and began to kiss his neck, shoulders and chest. She felt his erection straining against her back and wriggled around to make him groan.

He did groan, but he also flipped both of them around so that he had her beneath him.

He nibbled on her breasts then moved down and between her legs. He spread them apart and licked along her wet slit. She moaned loudly. He flicked his tongue over her clit and she screamed out. Then he moved his tongue between her folds and entered her.

"Giles! Rupert."

"Yes?"

She panted and pointed wordlessly at the nightstand.

He smiled and put on a condom, reveling in her look. She held her legs apart waiting for him. Her eyes were glazed, her hair was tousled, her nipples read and her half-open mouth breathing heavily. She was a perfect picture of anticipation and he never wanted to forget this all his life.

He positioned the tip of his penis at her entrance and leaned forward to see her face more closely.

"I love you, Buffy."

She wanted to say something, but her answer turned into a moan when he entered her in one deep stroke. He kept still and kissed her.

Then her legs wrapped around him and he began to thrust into her. He went slow at first, but soon she was urging him on, thrusting up faster forcing him to pick up speed.

"Yes. Yesss. Harder, Giles! Rupert. Oh God."

He pushed harder into her trying to think of anything but her exquisite tightness. She was wet and hot around him, occasionally contracting, which made any effort to think of anything futile. He realized that he wouldn't be able to last very long, but was determined to bring her with him.

So he began to pound into her furiously. He moved her legs further up, so that he could penetrate her even more deeply.

She stopped urging him on and just moaned only interrupted by sharp intakes of breath and an occasional 'Rupert' or a short 'Yesss'. He was very close now and then he felt her beginning to shake and convulse around him. He pulled out and with one deep hard thrust he impaled himself fully in her, shooting his seed in several spurts.

They lay together coming down slowly, kissing each other.

Then he pulled out of her and removed the condom. She snuggled into him.

He kissed her forehead and she took the book, that was still lying on the bed.

"Let's see what else we can do tonight."

"Buffy, don't expect too much."

"You already did better than every expectation I ever had. But since you ordered this whole bunch of condoms, we might as well do something with them. Oh, this looks interesting."

Before he could see the picture, she had thrown it aside and encircled his penis.

"Are you up to it again?"

"You will kill me."

She looked at him seriously.

"I only kill what I love, when I have to."

They looked at each other, then he pulled her down for a kiss...

*~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*

When Giles awoke the next morning, something was nibbling on his earlobe. He tried to push it away.

"Hey! Is that what I get after a night of passion."

He opened his eyes.

"Buffy. Good morning."

"That's better."

She kissed him.

"So what do we want to do this morning? I think there are still some condoms left."

"Cordelia and Wesley will pick us up in... twenty minutes!"

"That's enough time."

She started kissing his neck.

"We should take a shower before they come and get dressed."

"You're right. And we've got only twenty minutes. I think we should save some time and shower together."

She grinned at him and he sincerely doubted that showering together would save them time, but knew better than to question her.

*~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*

They barely managed to get fully dressed before Cordelia and Wesley came in. She was proudly waving a newspaper in her hand.

"Wow, you're in there?"

Cordelia opened the paper and showed her a tiny article in the local arts section.

"Wow."

Buffy and Giles exchanged an amused look, but didn't want to ruin Cordelia's day of glory.

"Uh, I'm sorry that the room had only one bed. Cordelia forgot to inform them that your relationship was... uh... not entirely the way she portrayed it. I hope it wasn't too uncomfortable."

"Not at all Wesley."

"Right. Who of you took the bed? I bet you've been fighting over who could sleep on the ground."

"Actually Cordy we didn't. We both took the bed."

Wesley's eyes shot to Giles then to the unmade bed, then to the nightstand. He gulped and looked away blushing.

Cordelia stared at them, then pushed Giles aside to take a closer look at the nightstand and the bin next to it.

"Oh my God. How many times did you do it?"

Giles put his hand on Buffy's mouth before she could say something. She pulled the hand away.

"Hey. Just because we're lovers now doesn't mean you can tell me what to do and what not."

"So you weren't lovers before?"

"Of course not. I've been with Riley."

"I know. Still."

"Cordelia, what made you draw this sketches?"

"I like drawing. It's a hobby."

"I meant why did you draw... that kind of pictures of us. Our relationship was never romantic. And I don't think either of us gave any indication that it would ever turn this way."

"Really?"

They looked at her.

"I saw you when Buffy ran away, remember? And Xander and Wesley told me about the sticking a sword into the mayor thing. And I drove Buffy home on her birthday. I didn't know what was going on at that time, but I knew that she hadn't even looked this bad when Angel had turned. You say 'no indication', I just say 'D'uh'."

They all stared at her.

"How about going now? Angel waits for us at the office."

She walked past them out of the room.

"She is full of surprises."

Wesley followed her out.

Buffy and Giles looked at each other and finally laughed before following them.

Outside Wesley approached Cordelia.

"I have to say that was..."

She turned to him and smiled.

"An artist's intuition."

The END