Title: Slight Variations
Distribution: If you want it just ask.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything WB or Buffy related. Please don't sue me.
Feedback: You'll make me super thrilled.
Spoilers: EARSHOT. Very much Earshot.
Summary: Earshot my way.
I wonder if Cordelia and Wesley have kissed, Xander thought.
"It really bugs you huh?" Buffy asked.
"Cordelia and Wesley smooching."
"Man, you read my mind."
That's it, Buffy thought. This is my aspect of the demon.
Buffy walked into the library. This mind reading stuff wasn't bad. She'd received complements, well sort of, from some of the students in the hall. It was just really cool.
Look at her shoes if a fashion magazine told her to she'd wear cats strapped to her feet, Giles thought as he saw her. She'd look beautiful anyway.
"Giles, guess what," she said as she walked up to him.
"I can read minds. Is this it? Is this the aspect thing? Because if it is it's way better than a tail. I mean, I have a hard enough time as it is finding jeans that fit."
"Buffy, slow down. I'm not even convinced that this is genuine mind reading. You may just be-"
"When I came in here you though, 'Look at her shoes if a fashion magazine told her to she'd wear cats strapped to her feet.'" She'd keep that other comment all to herself.
A smiled formed on her face. Giles thinks I'm beautiful, she thought to herself. For some reason that made her truly happy. She never thought that Giles would ever think of her abilities as a Slayer.
"I, uh..." The demons are telepathic. Of course, I should have known. That's why they don't need mouths.
Always has his mind in the Hellmouth, that's my Giles, Buffy thought.
"Course, The demons are telepathic," he said.
"I know, you just told me. That's why they don't have mouths, and you should have known."
"This is astounding."
"It was happening out in the hallway. Principal Snyder has 'Walk Like an Egyptian' stuck in his head. And the boys at this school are seriously disturbed. It's weird. But Giles, think about it. Think about what I could do."
"This could be very useful. You could anticipate you enemies every move. You could turn his moves against him."
"Oh way better than that."
What could be better than that? he thought.
Doesn't he ever think of anything else? Like what? Girls? Does he even know any girls besides me, Willow, Cordy, and... my mom? God, does he have any friends his own age?
She's looking at me. Why is she looking at me like that? Does she know? Did I unconsciously think it? Have my thoughts betrayed me?
He took off his glasses, and rubbed the bridge of his nose. I wish I could stop thinking.
"Are you all right?"
"Good, 'cause there's nothing worse than a cranky Giles."
"A cranky you, maybe."
"Nah. Well, I'm gonna get going."
Thank God, he thought as she turned toward the door.
She flinched at the thought that he wanted her gone. She felt his eyes on her as she walked through the library doors.
Lovely, he thought just in time for her to hear.
That afternoon Buffy had gone to see Angel, to find out what he had thought about Faith. She just couldn't get Giles out of her mind. He thought she was beautiful and lovely. Okay, so they pretty much had the same meaning, but still.
She was on her way back to the library to tell the whole Scooby Gang of her fun new powers. Back to Giles... Oh, for God's sake we're taking a complement a little out of context now aren't we? Buffy asked herself.
"It's just Giles," she told herself aloud. Giles is just my stuffy old, British librarian/watcher. Okay so he's not really that old, about two hundred years younger than Angel. The stuffiness isn't as bad anymore, and that accent's kinda sexy. He's kinda handsome too... okay, really handsome... sexy even. She was unaware of the smile that was plastered on her face as she entered the library.
"Hi, Giles!" she exclaimed in a high pitched voice she refused to believe was her own.
"Hello," he answered in a calm, slightly bewildered, voice.
Buffy took a seat, and proceeded to tell the Gang, which included Wesley, about her aspect of the demon.
"She can read our minds? Our every impulse and fantasy?" Xander asked.
"Every one," Buffy answered as she looked to Giles.
He was already looking at her. Surely she doesn't mean mine.
Oh, God, Xander thought.
I don't see what this has to do with me. "I don't see what this has to do with me," Cordelia said.
"I think it's great. I mean you enjoy all your other slayer powers," Willow pointed out.
"Yeah, it'll be fun. And did you see Nancy Doyle's face in English class today?"
"Yeah," Willow said before thinking, She's hardly even human anymore. She doesn't need me.
"No, I need you!"
"Okay, what are you talking about? Because you are so creepy right now," Cordelia said.
"I think there must be some precedence for this. I'll go research it. Wesley, would you give me a hand?" Giles asked.
He looked at Buffy again who was now smiling at her. He blushed, smiled back, and looked down almost as if he were embarrassed. What is with her today?
"Of course. Where should we start?"
I am my thoughts. If Buffy can hear them then she becomes me. I cease to exist. "Hmm," Oz said.
What am I going to do? I think about sex all of the time. Sex. Help. 4 times5 is 30. 6 times 5 is 42. Naked girls. Naked women. Naked Buffy. God stop me.
"God, Xander! Is that all you think about?"
"Actually... Bye!" He got up, and ran out of the library.
"Xander has just demonstrated something. Chances are you are all going to be thinking things that you don't want Buffy to hear. It's all a question of mental discipline," Wesley stated.
No shit, sherlock. It's not that bloody simple though, is it? "He's right."
Buffy giggled at the difference between Giles's thoughts and his words. He blushed once again knowing she heard him.
Look at Cordelia. No, don't look at Cordelia. She's a student. I'm bad. I'm a bad, bad man, Wesley thought.
Buffy smiled, and raised her eyebrows at him. "Excuse me," he said as he escaped into Giles's office.
"What's it like, Buffy?" Willow asked.
"I don't know. It's a little weird. Look, please don't for a second think that I don't need you, because I do. And I want to share this with you. It's like all these doors are opening to all these little worlds and I can just walk inside."
What if no one else exists either? Buffy is all of us. We think, therefore she is, Oz thought.
She knows so much. She knows what Oz is thinking. I don't even know that! Before long she'll know him better than I do!
"No, don't think that," Buffy told Willow.
"I can't help it, Buffy, I just can't."
She gathered all her stuff, and left the library. Oz started after her.
"Uh, if you don't need me, I'm gonna follow the red head." Oz left as well.
"Guess I won't be writing that book 'How to Win Friends Through Telepathy.'"
Whatever. I wonder when I can go. "Can I go?" Cordy asked.
"Excuse me, but can you hear me thinking in here? I can go down the hall," Wesley said from the office.
"You know what? You stay. I'll go. I'm getting a headache anyway," Buffy said as she got up.
"Don't go, Buffy," Giles said. Cordelia left, tired of waiting for people to tell her she could.
"Why shouldn't I? Shouldn't you be glad I'm leaving?"
"No, of course not. Why would I be?"
"Duh! So I don't know what you're thinking."
"Buffy, I'll always accept you no matter what." And I'll always love you.
He smiled warmly at her. She smiled back. He loves me, she thought. Her mind repeated it a million times. She wasn't sure if he was aware that he thought that. She felt all warm and fuzzy inside. She knew that she loved him, too, and not as a father. As a man. She just hoped that he didn't love her like a daughter.
"Thank you, Giles. That means a lot to me. You mean a lot to me."
"You mean a lot to me, too, Buffy. You always have.
She walked closer to him. He looked a little nervous. Okay, more than a little.
Don't think, Rupert, he told himself, don't think about how much you want to kiss her. Damn.
Buffy smiled, that's what she'd been waiting for. She put her hands up behind his neck. She went to kiss him, but he pushed her away from himself. She was terribly confused, and visibly hurt.
"I thought you wanted-"
"Not with Wesley in my office, he could easily see."
She smiled again. The stacks, he thought to her. As they headed that way Wesley came out of the office stopping them in an instant.
"Oh, Buffy, I thought you had gone. Mr. Giles, if you would give me a hand..."
A frustrated groan went through Giles's mind, and Buffy's as well. "Of course. Buffy, we'll continue this later."
"Later," she said as she waked out of the library.
As Buffy rushed into the cafeteria her mind became clouded
with the thoughts of everyone around. She was becoming dizzy in
the munch line.
"Are you done with the mashed potatoes?" Jonathan asked as he stood next to her. She doesn't even know I'm here.
She walked away and thoughts increased in volume, filling her mind. She felt even more dizzy.
By tomorrow they'll all be dead. All of them, some one thought. It out weighed all of the other thoughts.
Buffy dropped her tray, and the extremely immature student body began to clap. The voices were continuing to get louder. She started grabbing people hoping to find the one who had thought such a terrible thing.
She touched me, Jonathan thought as she grabbed him.
A sharp pain formed in her head. Blackness started to creep into her mind as she collapsed.
Buffy's eyes slowly began to open to see the face of her friends, and Giles. I think she's waking up, Willow thought.
Thank God, Xander then thought.
Her eyes came across Giles's face. I think she's all right. She wanted to reach out to him.
"I told them not to move you. They probably severed your spinal cord," Cordelia said.
"I'm okay." She tried to sit up, and Giles (not fully believing her) went to her side and helped. Buffy smiled at him. Oh, he's such a sweetheart.
He looked into her eyes seeing them sparkle and fill with love as she looked at him. God, I'm lucky.
She turned back to the rest of the gang. "Listen, there's a killer in the cafeteria."
"See, I've been saying for years that the lunch lady was going to do us all in with the Mulligan Stew," Xander commented.
"Xander!" Cordelia reprimanded.
"I mean what the hell is a Mulligan?"
"Someone was thinking it. They thought, 'This time tomorrow I'll kill you all.' I have to find them."
"Did you recognize a voice?" Giles asked her.
"Boy or girl?" Willow asked.
"I don't know. I mean, it was hardly human. It was so full of anger and pain."
She attempted to walk towards the cafeteria, but the thoughts once again became too much. She fell back into Giles's arms, but did not lose consciousness. She held onto Giles for support.
"No, I have to find them."
"Are you sure they meant it?" Oz asked.
"I mean, who hasn't idly thought about taking down the whole place with a semi automatic?" Everyone glared at Xander. "I said idly!"
"I know the difference. He.. she... whoever. They meant it, they're gonna do it."
The thoughts of her friends began to fill her mind, giving her that woozy feeling, again. Her arm around Giles tightened.
"Shut up! I'm sorry. It's just, could you guys just not think so loud? Or so much?"
"Buffy, you should go home. I'll take you," Giles offered. Desperate enough? he asked himself.
"Yeah. Good. No, I need you guys to go back to the cafeteria. Make a list of who's there. We have to find the killer before lunch tomorrow."
"We'll do it, Buffy, a list of all the students," Willow assured her.
"Yeah. Nancy was there. She's scary. And, uh, oh, teacher's too. Mr. Beech, he thought something about getting rid of all the students."
Buffy and Giles started to walk towards his car. "Giles, I can't shut them out. All these thoughts... that I shouldn't know. I can't even be around people. Not that they're fighting to get near me. Giles?"
"I lo- I'll be okay, right? I mean, even if it doesn't go away?"
"You'll be fine, I promise." If it doesn't go away she'll go insane.
She stopped short, but he continued walking. When he realized that she wasn't by his side, he turned around.
"Is something wrong?" he asked.
"Is something ever right?"
She walked over to him, and they walked to his car. They got in, and he started driving.
"Taking me home... just everything ever."
"Oh, w- well you're welcome." What on earth is she trying to say?
"So, now that we're alone... I was wondering..."
She put her hand on his. "Well, it's later."
He looked over at her. Does she want to kiss me? Now?
"Yes, she does."
He pulled over. "A-are you sure? In your present condition y-you may rather wait."
"I've been waiting. I'd like to try to doing now."
They leaned toward each other, and their lips met. I've wanted to do this for so long, he thought. She put her hands behind his head, and brought him closer. Their tongues danced within their mouths. After a few minutes, she pulled away.
God, he really knows how to kiss. That felt so good, and so right.
More, was the thought going through Giles's mind.
"I- I should get you home now."
She was ready to protest, but she knew he was right. "All right," she said with a sigh as she fell back into the seat.
Buffy was in her room, alone with her mother. She was lying in her bed, and Joyce was tucking her in. Buffy couldn't stop thinking about Giles. I kissed Giles, she kept thinking.
"There you look better already," Joyce said.
Joyce left the room. "I'm, er, I'm just gonna get you another pillow."
"I really don't need one."
Joyce came back into the room. "But you need another blanket," she said as she placed the pillow on her daughter's bed, and left yet again.
"Er, Mom, I'm fine."
Joyce came back in, blanket in hand. "How, er... About some soup? Chicken and stars?"
"Mom, please. Just come sit with me?"
She backed away a little bit. "Um, I've, uh... I've got laundry."
"Why are you..." Her eyes grew wide. Buffy felt shock with a little jealously thrown in wash over her as she shot into an upright sitting position. "You had sex with Giles?!"
Joyce tried to speak, but to no avail. "You had sex with Giles?!"
Joyce started to leave her daughter's room. "It was the candy, we were teenagers."
"On the hood of a police car?!"
Joyce stopped, and turned to Buffy. "I'll be downstairs, you feel better." She left the room.
Buffy lied back down. She didn't really feel angry, she knew that they had been under the influence of the candy. He had been sixteen and so had her mother. He was Ripper, and Buffy doubted that Ripper cared about her mother. She couldn't blame Giles for the things her had done when he was sixteen.
In the library, Giles and Wesley were researching for a cure for Buffy. Giles was slightly desperate to find one. He didn't want Buffy to find out about what he did with Joyce. He was trying his best not to concentrate on his kiss with Buffy. He wasn't doing very well.
"Well, it seems we're coming along all right," Wesley said.
At that point Giles was very frustrated. "Yes, Buffy's been driven mad, we have no proof that this is going to work, and it still requires the heart of the second demon which we have no idea how to find without the Slayer."
"Negative thinking doesn't solve problems."
"Who's going to get the demon heart?"
Angel got the potion and gave it to Buffy. Now, Joyce, Angel, Wesley, and Giles were waiting for her to wake up. Angel held her hand, and kissed it. She began to wake up.
"Giles?" she asked.
Angel looked slightly hurt. Giles walked next to Angel.
"Thank God. Are you all right? Do you hear thoughts?" Joyce asked.
Both Angel and Joyce looked surprised and upset when Buffy replaced Angel's hand with Giles's
"No. Did you find the killer?"
Buffy went back to the school to try to stop the murderer. The Scooby Gang figured it to be Jonathan, but they turned out to be wrong. Xander was walking around in the kitchen of the cafeteria after previously spotting jello. He found a bowl of it, and took it. He brought the spoon up to his mouth, but didn't eat it as he felt someone's eyes upon him. He looked up to see the lunch lady pouring rat poison into a pot on the stove. They stared at each other until Xander dropped the jello and began to run. The lunch lady began to follow him, with a meat clever in her hand. Xander ran into the cafeteria, took a boy's tray, and threw it on the floor. He went around, turning over tables.
"Rat poison! Rat poison! Avoid all the food!" he shouted.
The lunch lady came into the cafeteria, and Xander tripped and fell on the floor. She hurried over to him, and raised the clever. Buffy came from the side, and stopped her from putting it in Xander.
"Okay, let's calm down," Buffy said.
"Vermin. You're all vermin. You come in here and you eat and you eat. Filth."
"I don't see this being settled with logic."
Buffy fought with the older, over-weight lunch lady until she had knocked her unconscious.
The next day, Willow, Buffy and Xander were walking to school, but were already on campus.
"So, did you tell Angel about you and Giles?" Willow asked.
"Yeah, and he didn't take it too well. Better than I thought he would, but still... not half as good as you. Or even Xander."
As they climbed the stairs, Xander went ahead of them. "Well, I think it's better. You should be happy, ands Giles can give you happiness."
"And it's not my destiny to kill him."
"And he's a lot closer to your own age."
"Morning," Giles said as they all stopped to meet.
Buffy grinned. "Hey, Giles."
"Oh, I should get to the Yearbook office. I'm gonna give them the murderer profiles, they're a really good read," Willow said as an excuse to leave them alone.
She went into the school as Buffy and Giles continued to walk. "H-how are you?"
"Very well, and you?"
"Giles, I've gotta to tell you something," she said as they began to walk on the grass.
She looked around before saying, "I love you."
He blushed and smiled. "I love you, too, Buffy."
Their hands brushed until he interlocked his fingers with hers. They walked in silence for a little while until he took his hand back to push his glasses up.
"Y'know I can't believe that I'm in love with a man who had sex with my mother."
He stared at her, and continued walked until he walked right into a tree.