Willow's Birthday Wish
By Gibberish

Disclaimer: All characters belong to Joss Whedon, WB and ME (Mutant Enemy). <I really do just like to say that. If they belong to ME, things would be a whole lot different. Well for Giles and Buffy, anyway ;)>
Rating: R (bordering on NC-17)
Spoilers: Up to the Prom. .
Distribution: Solo-84 and Abby if they want it. Anyone else, just ask :)


It's Willow's birthday. Her parents had even remembered. She was having dinner with them and Oz at what is probably the nicest restaurant in Sunnydale. She'd rather be at the Bronze. She'd rather be almost anywhere. Anywhere waiters and waitresses weren't singing "Happy Birthday" with candle-lit cake in front of her.

"Make a wish." Her Mother urges, once the torment/singing is finished.

Oddly enough Willow thinks of Buffy. Maybe it’s the new green silk blouse she's wearing. Buffy had given it to her this morning for her birthday.

Willow looks up to find Oz watching her. He gives her a reassuring smile, he knows that she hates being the center of attention.

"Willow," her father urges now.

<I wish> Willow thinks, smiling at Oz. <I wish that Buffy could find someone that suited her, the way that I have with Oz. Someone that would love her unconditionally, understand her-at least most of that time. Someone that could deal with her being the Slayer. Someone that made her feel warm and safe and happy. > Thoughts of Angel float through her mind. <Someone with a heartbeat. >

Ira and Sheila Rosenburg exchange a look, knowing that their daughter had wished for something having to do with that Musician. Ira tried to be optimistic; maybe she had wished that he'd get a job.

Oz however, knew better. He knew his love. That look said that Willow's wish had nothing to do with Willow.

<I wish, > Willow closes her eyes and blows out the candles, <for Buffy. >

Buffy is patrolling. Alone. Again. "Pathetic much," she says to herself. She starts wandering aimlessly around Sunnydale. Her head down, senses on alert mind wandering. Angel is gone. To LA. So is Cordelia. Poor Cordelia. Xander is gone. He wouldn't tell them where. Just that he was going and that he'd be back next month. Just enough info to keep them from worrying.

Willow and Oz were still here, but they were trying to spend serious quality time together before fall. And her Mom was in New York on a buying trip.

That left Giles. What would she do without him? She could talk to him about anything. Even if he didn't want to talk about it, or it embarrassed him, he never turned her away.

Buffy felt a shiver go up her spine. She looks around; without thought she had walked to Giles' Condo. She could see Giles' car, but not what had tingled her spider-sense. Then out of the corner of her eye, she catches movement.

Her shoulders slump-there's always one more vampire to slay.

Giles is reading; at least he's trying to. He's oddly restless tonight. He doesn't know why, which bothers him. He supposed that it could be the storm they were predicting for tonight. But he fears that it has more to do with Buffy not having checked in.

He stands up to pace, his robe untied over his pajamas. He looks at the clock-not even midnight. He looked at the phone and decided to call Buffy's house.

He lets the phone ring twenty times; no answer. He hangs up the phone just as there is a bright flash of lightning and a loud crash of thunder. Then, a not so loud pounding on his door.

Giles tenses. He goes to the door and looks out to check. He sees the top of a ver wet, blonde hair. "Buffy," he sighs in relief. He opens the door and she falls into his arms; soaking wet and covered in blood. "Dear God."

Giles carries her over to the couch, and checks her over. She has a gash on her head, slash on her arm, a long cut across her stomach and a badly scrapped knee. He shakes his head; her clothes have been torn to shreds and wet besides.

<Oh dear> Giles thinks, realizing that he has no choice-He would have to undress her.

Buffy wakes up; instantly alert, if not instantly mobile. She knows this room. Giles’ bedroom. Giles. Demons. "Giles," she tries to sit up, only to be stopped by gentle hands. And pain.

"You’ll start bleeding again," Giles tells her. His robe is tied tightly now due to the unexpected reaction he’d had while he had tended to Buffy. His face heated up. "How do you feel?" Then he closes his eyes at his poor choice of words. He refused to let his mind go there.

"I hurt," Buffy says. "But you should have seen the other guys. At least, I think they were guys. Despite the manicures." Buffy puts a hand to the slash on her stomach. She blinks. Lifting the covers, Buffy looks at herself.

Giles watches her, preparing himself. He knows what’s coming.

"These aren’t my clothes." Buffy looks at Giles. "Where are my clothes?"

"They were torn to bits." He tells her. "They were also soaking wet. Y-you were hurt and shivering. There was n-no choice." He silently curses his stuttering.

"But Willow? Right?" Buffy asks hopefully. "But she had to leave, right?"

Giles can’t meet her eyes. "I’m sorry, Buffy. I had no choice."

"You took my clothes off." Buffy says, shocked. "But…but, you’re a man."

Giles knew that of course, but even if he had forgotten, his body had definitely reminded him earlier. He was so ashamed. He’d never thought of Buffy in that way, and now he was afraid that he’d never stop. He was as bad as Xander. No, worse. He should bloody well be old enough to control it.

Buffy watches him. "Giles? Is something wrong?" She misunderstands his look. "I’ll be okay? Won’t I?"

More guilt. "You should be back to your normal self in a couple of days." Giles assures her, but he still won’t look at her.

"I got the demons, didn’t I?" Buffy asks.

"As far as I know," he tells her. "I never saw them." He finally looks at her. "Did you say demons?"

"Blue ones," Buffy tells him. "Long sharp claws. Bad manners. Worse breath." She shrugs. "They kinda’ dissolved."

"Dissolved?" Giles queries. "How do you mean?"

"I don’t know," she says, huffy. "Like Alka-Seltzer."

"Alka-Seltzer?" Giles echoes.

"Yeah. They even kind of bubbled."

"Bubbled?" Giles echoes again. "Fascinating."

"Glad you think so," Buffy grumbles. "So what were they?"

"Well, I can’t be certain." Giles begins. "What were they doing?"

"Doing?" It’s Buffy's turn to echo. "They were stalking me. Then the jumped me. They were mean."

"Yes. I could see that." Giles say sympathetically, again averting his eyes. He had seen the bruising, as well as the cuts.

<So that’s what’s wrong> Buffy thinks. <Removing my clothes had embarrassed him> Maybe she should say something. Tell him it was okay-no, that would just, make it worse. The best thing she could do was keep to the subject of demons. At least for now. "So what were they?" She asks again, trying to sound nonchalant.

"I'm afraid that I'm still not quite certain." Giles tells her sheepishly. "Why don't you get some rest and I'll do some research. See if we should be expecting any more of them."

"Oh, there's a cheery thought." Buffy says mildly sarcastic. "I guess I should head home then." She again tries to sit up. Agin, gentle hands stop her. Although, not quite as gentle.

"You're staying right there," Giles informs her. "Do you think that I'm going to let you just go; after being injured like that? Do you even realize that you were unconscious for nearly three hours? What kind of person would that make me? Especially knowing that your mother's away and that you'd be all alone. No. You're staying right where you are so that I can look after you."

"That's sweet Giles, but..." Buffy begins, only to be interrupted by Giles.

"That's final, Buffy. My mind is quite made up," Giles tells her sternly. "You are not leaving my bed."

Surprised silence follows his pronouncement. Giles closes his eyes, as if in pain. Hoping feverently that, on the Hellmouth, one could die of embarrassment. Hoping that it's a quick death. Knowing that he wouldn't be that lucky. Then, impossibly, she laughs. It's happy and humorous, not snide or derisive. He pens his eyes.

"Oh Giles," Buffy says, still laughing. "We have got to work on your technique."

Giles face reddens even more, but he does relax, at least a little.

"Giles, it's okay," Buffy tells him. I know what you meant."

"Oh good," Giles says, not quite sounding certain. As for himself, he wasn't quite sure he knew what he had meant. How could he be thinking of her that way? "I'll go research." He says with a quick glance at her. A tiny niggling thought made it's way to the forefront. How could he not?

"Buffy watches him go, concerned, but her eyelids are getting very heavy. She'd make him talk later. Then she was asleep.

***************************

Giles was downstairs, chastising himself. He grabbed several volumes of demon lore, but cannot focus on them.

Buffy. She had said that she understood, but how could she when he didn't? The only thing he understood was that he was losing his mind.

He finally settled down and could concentrate again. He opened one of the volumes.

Giles had been reading for an hour. He looks up at the clock, deciding that he should check on Buffy.

He quietly walks up the stairs and to the bedroom. Standing next to the bed he watches her quietly. He puts a hand to her cheek. <No fever> He tries so very hard not to notice how soft her skin was. When he removes his hand, her face moves as if seeking it. He restrains the urge to replace his hand.

Next he moves his hand to check her pulse. <Good, it's steady> He jumps when her hand grabs his.

"Shouldn't you be sleeping?" Buffy asks without opening her eyes.

He wonders at first if she's dreaming. <Dreaming of Angel? > "I'm alright."

She scoots over, pulling him on to the bed. Giles' eyes widen as she nearly pulls him on top of her. <Definitely dreaming of Angel> He tries to get up, but she pulls him back down.

"You need sleep. You're exhausted," Buffy says. "I'll be alright."

Giles decides to just remain still until she settles back down. He hears her sigh and it shakes him to his soul. Then she shakes him further.

"Goodnight, Giles," Buffy says. She rolls to where she on her other side facing away from him.

Giles is staring at her in shock. <She isn't dreaming of Angel> So stunned is he, that he just lies there.

Soon they were both asleep.

Buffy isn't really awake, she just knows that her front is cold, and her back is warm. So she rolls over and snuggles into the warmth.

Giles is also not quite awake. He feels the feminine form snuggle into him, so he wraps his arms around her.

A sudden pounding disturbs them both. Buffy and Giles slowly wake. They find themselves looking into each other’s eyes, arms around each other, and legs entwined. Caught up in swirling emotions, felling and sensations, neither moves.

Then they hear someone knocking at the door. Suddenly Giles looks horrified. "Oh dear God. Buffy, I'm sorry." He nearly falls to the floor in his haste to jump from the bed.

"Giles," Buffy calls after him, but he's already through the door.

Giles rushes down the stairs, calling himself all kinds of names. He reaches the door just as there is another knock. Giles takes a few deep-steadying breaths. He looks down. <Well that didn't help> He ties his robe roughly. He looks out the door. Willow. A couple more deep breaths, trying to appear calm, he opens the door.

Willow walks in without even a hello, obviously agitated. "I can't find Buffy. I called her last night. I called this morning. I went to her house. She's not there." She looks at Giles, too agitated, to notice his agitation. "Something's happened to her. I know it has."

"Willow, calm down," Giles tells her. "It's alright. Something did happen, but Buffy's all right. She's upstairs resting."

"Resting? Resting from what?" Willow asks. "What happened?"

"Two rather nasty demons," Giles informs her. "She's hurt rather badly, but recovering quickly."

Willow drops, relieved, onto the couch. "Oh thank...." Willow jumps up, looking at the couch. "Giles, did you know that your couch is wet and covered in blood?"

"As I said, she was hurt rather badly," Giles says. "She was also very wet."

"Can I see her?" Willow asks in an uncertain tone.

"Of course you can," Buffy says from the stairs, a bit self-conscious wearing just one of Giles’ oxford shirts.

Giles and Willow look at her.

"Oh Buffy, I was so worried…." Willow begins; only to be interrupted by Giles.

"You shouldn’t be out of bed." He says sternly. Then he looks away from her.

Willow looked at Giles oddly. Then she turns to Buffy, who is looking at her Watcher with an oddly tender, if confused, expression. <What’s going on her? > She asks herself.

Buffy turns to Willow, "c’mon Will, you can tell me about your birthday dinner."

Willow looks at Giles, but he remains silently looking away. So Willow follows Buffy upstairs. She follows Buffy into Giles’ bedroom, and watches Buffy climb carefully into the bed and lay back down. "Are you okay?" Willow asks, closing the door. Then she joins her friend by sitting on the bed next to her.

Buffy nods, "I think so. Other than a massive headache. The rest doesn’t hurt much."

"You seem okay," Willow says. "But, if you’re okay, what’s wrong with Giles?"

Buffy was quiet a long while, debating what to tell her best friend. "I don’t know how to put it into words."

"Did you and Giles have a fight?" Willow asks concerned.

"No," Buffy assures her. "No, it’s much more complicated than that." She takes a deep breath. "Last night, I was in bad shape. Giles said I was unconscious for like three hours. I was cut up pretty bad, wet from the rain. I was a mess." Another breath, "Giles had to undress me."

"Naked?" Willow asked, her voice rising three octaves.

Buffy nods. "At first, it really bugged me."

"Did you feel…violated?" Willow asked, not knowing what other word to use.

"No," Buffy answered quickly. "Guy-wise, I trust Giles more than anybody. He would never take advantage of something like that. It just caught me by surprise. I think it embarrassed him more than me. He had no choice."

Willow looks at her friend shrewdly. "There’s something more, isn’t there?"

"I have a vague memory of Giles checking on me," Buffy told her. "He was exhausted, and I…."

"What?" Willow asked, curious at her friend’s reluctance.

"I think I pulled him into the bed," Buffy said, her face reddening. "We woke up all snuggled up."

Willow just stared at her, mouth hanging open. "You and Giles?" She finally manages to utter.

Buffy shrugged. "Bizarre, huh? But it was kinda’ nice, you know?" She looks at Willow, unsure how to explain it. "It felt good, safe and warm. When I looked into his eyes, I felt surrounded by him, and for the first time in a long time, it felt like nothing could hurt me. Pretty dumb, huh?" She asked, self-conscious.

"No," Willow said, comforting her. "I think it sounds nice."

"But Giles?" Buffy commented.

"Why not Giles?" Willow asked. "Who could understand you better?"

"Well, no one, but…." Buffy almost laughed, "I was going to say he’s older, but he’s two hundred years younger than Angel." She sighed. "This is crazy."

"What are going to do?" Willow asked.

"I don’t know," Buffy told her.

"What about Giles? How do you think he feels?" Willow asked.

Buffy sighed again. "Embarrassed mostly." Then she smiled impishly. "But he shouldn’t be."

Willow just looked confused.

Buffy rolled her eyes. "You and Oz get…friendly. Doesn’t he ever get excited?" Buffy asked with a meaningful look.

"Well sure, but…" Willow began, still not understanding. Then her eyes widened. "Giles?" She squeals.

Buffy nods. "And if that’s any indication, we just might have some possibilities." She said in some satisfaction.

"Buffy," Willow said in surprise.

Buffy’s face reddened again. "I said it was crazy."

"But is it really?" Willow asked. "I mean, you and Giles are more alike than you realize. And, your choices are kinda’ limited. It really makes a lot of sense." Buffy was looking at her, "listen to us. It makes sense? Me and Giles?"

There was a quick knock at the door and it opened. Giles, skittishly, walked in. he silently went about getting his clothes together. He was acutely aware of the two pairs of eyes on him.

He glanced briefly at Buffy and was taken by surprise by the look in her eyes. Understanding, confusion, and hurt. What an unlikely combination. They would have to talk. Soon. But not now.

He left as silently as he had arrived, closing the door behind him.

"Wow," Willow said, turning to Buffy as the door closes. "Intense."

Buffy looked at her. "Tell me about it."

In the shower, Giles was thinking about the look in Buffy’s eyes. He had expected the confusion. He wasn’t totally surprised by the understanding. It was the hurt that did him in. He had hurt her. But he hadn’t frightened her. There had been no fear in those lovely green eyes.

************************

Buffy and Willow had been sitting quietly for a while. Willow waited expectantly, Buffy remained silent.

"Did something else happen?" Willow finally asks.

"What do you mean?" Buffy asked in return, being evasive.

"I knew it," Willow said. "You're not telling me everything."

Buffy didn't say anything.

"You don't trust me," Willow said in a hurt voice.

"C'mon Will, you know that's not it." Buffy assured her.

"Aha!" Willow said triumphantly. "I knew there was something. What is it?"

"It's just that...." Buffy began, then stopped, uncertain how to go on.

"Buffy?" Willow said, concerned now.

"Giles...he...." Buffy still wasn't sure what to say, how to say it, or even if she should say anything. But she had to talk to someone, and that someone was usually Willow. "Giles ran. This morning. When we woke up. He was in such a hurry, he almost fell. I mean, at first I think he kinda' liked it, too. Or at least part of him did. Then he ran."
"Which part?" Willow asked.

"Huh?" Buffy returned, confused.

"Which part?" Willow asked again, "you said part of him liked it. Which part?"

Buffy looked at Willow, shocked by how naive she could still be. She gave Willow a significant look. Comprehension dawned. And Willow's face turned red and her eyes widened "Oh you mean the part that has possiblities. Right?" At Buffy's nod, she continued, "How do you know he was...that part of him liked it. I mean, how can you be so sure?"

It was Buffy's turn to blush. "I could feel it. He was very...he liked it a lot."

"What was it like?" Willow asked, then her face reddened even more when she realized what she asked.

"Willow," Buffy said, shocked. But she anwers. "It felt...surprising." Then they both started laughing, mostly due to embarrassment. They'd had personal talks before, of course. But not quite like this. And not about Giles.

"So that means he likes you, too," Willow said.

"He still ran, Will." Buffy said. "Maybe he hadn't realized who he was holding."

"Maybe he just doesn't know how to react any more than you do," Willow told her.

"I don't know what to think, Will."

"I think you should talk to him," Willow told her. "Actually, I don't think you have much choice."

A half an hour later, Giles had calmed considerably. The shower had helped. Eventually, he and Buffy would talk, but Willow's presence would delay it.

Giles made his way to the kitchen, and set about fixing breakfast. Eggs, toast, juice. Light, but nourishing. Two plates, two glasses, just in case Willow hadn't eaten. He placed it all on a tray, and carried it upstairs.

He balanced the tray, knocked a warning, then opened the door, only to stop short. Willow wasn't there.

Buffy, who had watched from the bed, knew exactly what he thought. "She had to go."

Giles tried to act normal. He walked over and sat the tray on the bed beside Buffy. He turned to leave.

"Are you going to run again?" Buffy asked his back. He stopped at the door without turning around. "What did I do, Giles?"

"You?" Giles asked, surprised. He turned to face her. "You didn't do anything."

"Then why did you run?" Buffy asked. "You couldn't get away from me fast enough."

Giles looked at her, flabbergasted. "Are you saying that you wanted me to stay?"

"I'm saying that you ran as if staying were a fate worse than death," Buffy informed him defensivly.

Giles was stunned. "Well I...." Giles sighs in defeat. "I don't know what to say, Buffy. Except that it wasn't you."

Buffy put the tray on the floor and patted the bed. "I think we need to talk."

Giles knew that she was right. He joined her on the bed, but sat at the foot.

Buffy almost smiled. "Are you afraid of me?"

"Of myself," Giles muttered

But Buffy heard him. She hadn't considered that. "Okay," she said. This had been her idea. "So here's my question. What happen this morning?"

"Nothing," Giles said quickly, trying to reassure her. If the look she gave him was any indication, he hadn't succeeded. "What do you want from me, Buffy?"

"Just the truth," Buffy told him. "I'm not accusing you of anything. I just want to know what you felt." Having asked for the truth, she gave him truth. "'Cause I thought it felt kind of nice."

Giles stared at her for a moment. "I'm afraid that I don't understand."

Buffy wanted to hit him, she really did. But he looked kind of cute in his confusion. She took a breath and explained. "I felt surrounded by you; safe, warm, cared for. It felt nice."

Giles was speechless.

"Giles, it's kinda' hard to have a conversation if you don't say anything." Buffy told him nervously.

"I don't know what to say." Giles commented. "That's the nicest compliment that I've had in a long time."

"Giles, I need to know how you felt," Buffy said quietly. "I mean I know you felt something, at least physically...."

Giles' eyes snapped to hers. "You knew?" He asked hoarsly. He could see the answer in her eyes.

"It was kind of...hard to miss." Buffy told him, her cheeks coloring.

Giles was torn between smiling at the compliment and running from the room. His own face red, he met Buffy's eyes.

"Is that why you ran?" Buffy asked.

Giles nodded. "Buffy, I know that you are no longer a child. So much has happened in the last year, but you are still very young.

"Giles, I'm the Slayer. In some ways, I'm older than some women twice my age," Buffy said. "Most Slayers don't even make it to eighteen. And God only knows if I'll make it to nineteen. But I know how I feel. Knowing that you were..." she indicated with her hand, not quite as blase as she tried to sound. "...Excited. Because of me." Then she looked vulnerable. "It was because of me wasn't it? I mean,you weren't dreaming of...someone else?" She asked, having chosen her her words, careful not to use Jenny's name.

"No, I wasn't dreaming of someone else," Giles assured her. <What have I gotten myself into?> "Buffy, I woke up with a lovely bundle in my arms, I reacted as any man would."

Buffy's eyes widened, and she looked as if he had slapped her. "Are you saying it wasn't personal?"

Giles wished that he could take the words back. He hadn't meant to hurt her. It hadn't sounded the way he had meant it. "I didn't mean it that way."

"Then what did you mean?" She asked, the hurt still there on her face.

"I..I don't know." Giles said, back to being at a loss. He looked at her, sitting on his bed, wearing his shirt. He knew that he'd never be able to look at that shirt again without seeing her in it. The way she had looked standing on the stairs. The shirt had enveloped her, but he knew what was hidden. He felt himself react to the image. By God, he was too old for this.

Buffy looked at her clenched hands, she felt like an idiot. "Maybe we shouldn't talk about this, after all." She said quietly.

"You wanted the truth, Buffy." Giles said. "Well, the truth is...it was personal." Her eyes shot to his. "It would be easier if it weren't."

"It would be easier if no one ever felt anything."

Giles could not deny the truth of that. "Buffy, you do realize that no matter what happens, things will never be the same?"

"They wouldn't have, anyway."

"I'm still more than twice your age." He said, somewhat self-conscience.

"Believe me when I say that this morning I wasn't thinking about your age."

After that things seemed to return to normal for the pair. They ate, and decided to research the demons.

Giles brought a dozen or so books upstairs, and they read together on the bed. They read for hours without finding anything.

Buffy glanced over to Giles, she watched him push up his glasses. She smiled. As if he could feel her eyes on him, he glanced up.

Giles looked up to find Buffy watching him with a small smile. Had he done something that he wasn't aware of? "What?" He asked.

"Nothing," Buffy answered, still smiling.

"Then why are you smiling?"

"Why not?" Buffy asked in return.

Giles tried to ignore her. He turned the page on the book in his hand.

"What's that?" Buffy asked, pointing to the picture. "That's them. What are they?"

Giles looked at the picture, then read. The he read it again.

"Well?" Buffy asked. But Giles just shook his head. "Bad?" Buffy asked as she crawled to the bottom of the bed, and took the book from him. She read. "'Commonly mistaken for demons, these fiends only become aggresive when interrupted.'" She looked confused. "What did I interrupt?" She asked. Giles just pointed to the words below the picture. "Sex fiends". Buffy started to laugh. "No wonder they were so mad." She flopped back, as she laughed hysterically. A moment later Giles was laughing as well.

Buffy couldn't catch her breath but she couldn't stop laughing . A look to Giles showed him with the same problem. She couldn't remember having seen Giles laugh like that. She scooted over to kiss him on the cheek, but he, unaware, moved at the last moment and the kiss lands on his mouth, They both pulled away, surprised. Suddenly, the laughter had stopped.

They were looking at each other, both breathing heavy

Buffy slowly leaned down and kissed him again, this time intentionally on the mouth. The kiss was tenative at first, both a little awkward. Giles put a hand to her cheek, as he leaned more into the kiss. That was all the encouragement Buffy needed. She put a hand to his chest, She felt his heartbeat pick up speed. She knew that her own heart was doing the same. Amazing.

<Amazing> Giles thought. He moved his hand from her cheek to her neck, he felt her pulse race. From her neck, he moved his hand to the back of her head, where he ran his fingers through her hair. He deeped the kiss, as he wrapped his other arm around her so that his hand was on her back.

Buffy realized that she was lying half on top of Giles. <He's so warm.> The hand still on his chest unbuttoned a couple of buttons. She ran her fingers through his chest hair.

The rational part of Giles' mind told him that things were moving too quickly. Meanwhile, his hands had a mind of their own, as they roamed her back. He pulled away slightly, as he trailed kisses to her ear, then the top of her head. He tried to regain his senses. He hadn't counted on her nibbling from his throat down to kiss his chest. His whole body jerked at the touch of her mouth.

Buffy pulled back, afraid she had done something wrong. "Did I hurt you?" She asked, as she tried to breathe.

"Oh I hurt." Giles rasped. "And it is most definately due to you."

Buffy Slowly looked down his body. "Wow," she said. "Okay, here's my question." She looked back to his face. "Where have you been hiding that?" She asked with a wicked grin. She propped her chin on her hands, on his chest, and looked up at him. "So, you catch your breath, Old Guy?"
Giles knew she was teasing him. So he decided to tease her back. "I'll show you old." Suddenly, without warning...

...Buffy found herself flipped onto to her back, pinned beneath Giles. She stared up at him, startled. Then, she laughed, "an oldie, but a goodie." She wrapped her arms around him.

Giles looked down at her, his rational self told him again that this was moving much too fast. How had things changed so quickly? "Buffy..." He was interupted by a pounding on the front door.

Buffy groaned. "Deja vu." But she knew by his expression that he had been about to call a halt to their activities. She also knew he was right, at least most of her knew. She smiled at him ruefully. "Betcha' a dollar, it's Willow." Her teasing manner let him know that she was okay.

"I believe that's what's called a 'sucker bet'." Giles said. He leaned down and gave her one more kiss. Another knock. Giles stood up and buttoned his shirt, and tried to apear once again as a proper British gentleman. He knew he wasn't going to be able to pull it off, though. His pant were too tight.

As Giles made his way downstairs, he smiled to himself. Sex fiends. Buffy was quickly turning him into one.

Giles opened the door. It is indeed Willow. With a bag. Willow walked in and he closed the door.

Willow looked at Giles, his hair messed up, glasses a little askew and his shirt button weren't right. <Looks like they had their talk. Uh-Oh> "Should I come back later?" Willow asked timidly.

Giles looked at her. <What had she and Buffy talked about anyway?> "No, it's alright." He gestured to the bag. "What is that?"

"Clothes and things for Buffy." Willow told him. "She said that the one's she'd been wearing were ruined."
"Quite true," Giles said. "She's upstairs. We were researching."

Willow raised her eyebrows, but didn't comment. "So what kind of demons were they?"

Giles looked at her. Why had he mentioned it? "Actually, they weren't technically demons. They were fiends. We shouldn't have any more problems." Giles explained. "Buffy is upstairs."

"You said that," Willow said, mildly amused.

"Yes. So I did." Giles commented.

"I'll just go on up, if that's okay?" Willow said as she tried not to smile. At his nod, she started up the stairs. <That must have been some talk.>

Giles walked into the kitchen. Tea. Something soothing. He'd nearly lost control with Buffy. <How can this be happening?> He asked himself as he filled the teakettle. He was honest enough to admit that for a while now he had been noticing things about Buffy that he hadn't noticed before; her hair, her eyes, her smile, her walk coming and going. So he understood, somewhat his reaction.

He didn't unstand hers. He had never considered himself an ogre, but he was no...well, whomever the current Hollywood lust idol was for young women. Buffy had the kind of looks that drew men like flies. And yet, she had responded. Wonderfully.

So what had happened that Buffy was suddenly attracted to a stuffy, British Watcher more than twice her age?

***********************

Upstairs, Willow waited for Buffy to come back from her shower. There were books scattered across the bed. Only one was open. She picked it up. Her eyes widened. Sex fiends? "Wonder how many other expressions aren't just expressions."

"Apparently, I interrupted them." Buffy said, as she came back from the connecting bathroom, dressed now. "Thanks for the clothes, Will."

"You're welcome." Willow said. "Are you going to tell me now what happened with Giles?"

"What makes you think anything happened?" Buffy asked in return.

"Aside from looking all mussed up, Giles has looked less dazed after a night on the Hellmouth."

Buffy blushed.

"I take it your talk went well." Willow commented.

"It's so strange, Will." Buffy said. "He's so different from Angel."

Outside the door, Giles was bringing up the tea tray when he heard them. He stopped outside the door and listened.

"Different, how?" Willow asked.

"Warmer. I never realized how warm Giles is." Buffy said. "His eyes, his body. I could feel his heart beating. I didn't know it could feel like that."

"It? The It?" Willow asked, shocked.

"No," Buffy laughed a little. "Just being close. Strong hands touching you with a butterfly's touch."

Oh wow," Willow sighed.

"It was very 'oh wow'."

Giles felt guilty for listening, but was glad that he had done so. He quietly walked away from the door, then walked back. He knocked, then walked in. "Would anyone like some tea?"

Tea consisted of more than tea. It was a proper British Tea.

Buffy looked at Willow, "You never told me what Oz gave you for your birthday."

"Yes, How was your birthday?" Giles asked.

"Mostly, it was great." Willow told them. "Oz was so sweet. He gave me a little cassette player. He turned it on and there was a tape already in it. He wrote a song for me. 'My Willow'."

"That's so sweet." Buffy said.

"It's sounds lovely," Giles concurred.

"What about your Mom and Dad?" Buffy asked.

"A gold locket," Willow told them, not so enthusiastic. It was around her neck, so she showed it to them.

"It's beautiful, Will."

"It's the exact same one they gave me last year." Willow told her.

"Oh." Buffy said. then looked at Giles. He shrugged, he didn't know what to say either. "They took you out to dinner, right?"

"Yeah, that was mostly okay." Willow told them. "Until they brought out the cake and sang Happy Birthday."

"Oh, Will." Buffy said with sympathy. How could her parents do that to her? How could they not know that Willow hated being the center of attention? Unless it was Oz. Or she was teaching. "But, cake. And Birthday Wish."

"True, but....Oh." Willow said, remembering what she had wished for. She looked from Buffy to Giles back to Buffy again. "Oh." Did she do this?

"Willow, is something wrong?" Giles asked. He and Buffy both looked at Willow with concern.

"No, I'm fine." Willow said, but wasn't very reassuring. "I have to go now, though. I'm meeting Oz." She stood up.

"Okay," Buffy said, as she looked at Willow oddly.

"I'll see you later." Willow said. She left the room, went downstairs, and left.

Buffy looked at Giles. "Well, that was strange. Very un-Willow like."

"Yes. She didn't even say good-bye." Giles commented.

"You think she's alright?"

"Yes, I think so." Giles assured her. "She said that she was going to see Oz. He will find out what's wrong."

"That's true." Buffy agreed. "I guess I should head home myself." She gave him a searching look. "What now, Giles?"

"I honestly don't know," Giles said. "I suppose that we'll just have to see what happens." He stood and helped her up. "I'll drive you home."

Buffy wrapped her arms around him in a hug. She felt his arms reciprocate. She closed her eyes; enjoying the sensations. She took a deep breath and released him. She gathered up the few things that Willow had brought her. Giles watched her with a stunned expression.

Willow made her way to the Bronze, where Oz and the Dingoes were rehearsing for a gig tonight. She went inside, and sat. She waited as patiently as she could for the Band to take a break.

Oz saw her agitation. So he called a break and went over to her. "Tell me."

"I made a wish." Willow said. "All I wanted was for Buffy to be happy, like I am with you." She rushed on. "I didn't know it would be Giles. Now I don't know what to do. Should I tell them?"

Oz looked at her blankly. Usually he followed Willow pretty well, but this time.... "What about Buffy and Giles?"

"My Birthday Wish.," Willow told him, agitated. "It was for Buffy. She's been so lonely since Angel left." Oz nodded. "I just wanted her to have somebody that would make her happy." Willow went on to explain that when she couldn't find Buffy, she had gone to Giles' and found Buffy there, hurt.

"She okay?"

"She was hurt pretty bad, but she'll be okay." Willow told him. "But now she and Giles have this sudden awareness thing."

"And you think it's all because of your Birthday Wish?"

Willow nodded, miserable. "Should I tell them?"

"Willow, that 'sudden awareness', isn't as sudden as you think."

"Wha...huh?"

"I'm saying that if your wish did anything, it was only to make them see what was already there." Oz explained.

"How come I never notice things like that?" Willow asked. "You always notice."

Oz just smiled at her.

"So, do you think I should tell them?" Willow asked.

"You have to do what you think is best." Oz told her.

"But you don't think my wish had anything to do with it?" Willow asked next.

"I think it was only a matter of time."

"But they're so different." Willow commented.

"Are they?" Oz asked.

Gils stopped in front of Buffy's house, they got out of the car and he walked her up the walk.

"Giles," Buffy said. "Have Watcher's and Slayer's ever gotten together, before?"

"Upon occassion, yes."

"What happened," Buffy asked, as she opened the door.

"The Council replaced the Watcher." Giles said.

"Yeah, well, they've tried that before." Buffy commented.

"Indeed they have." Giles commented, amused. The Council didn't intimidate her one whit. What's more the Council knew it.

"What's so funny?" Buffy asked.

"I think that the Council is afraid of you." Giles told her as he followed her inside.

"They should be."

"It's probably the first time in a millenia that the Council has been openly challenged."

"Why?" Buffy asked. "I can't believe that I'm the first Slayer to realize that they need me more than I need them."

"The Slayer, the Watcher and the Council are supposed to work together." Giles said.

"Does the Council know that?" Buffy asked, "because they don't seem like team players."

"Power corrupts." Giles said.

Buffy shrugged, then leaned against them. "But they sent you to me, so I guess they can't be all bad."

Giles wrapped his arms around her. "Buffy...."

"Buffy." Joyce Summers said from the kitchen.

Buffy and Giles just had time to jump apart before Joyce walked in. "I thought I...." She stopped at the sight of the bandage on Buffy's forehead. "Are you all right? What happened?"

Buffy touched her bandage. "I'm okay. I had a run in with a ... fiend." She barely managed to get the word out. Giles looked anywhere but at her. "Giles took care of me." Now he glared at her.

"That was very nice of Mr. Giles," Joyce said without looking at him. "But maybe he should have taken you to the hospital."

"No, he shouldn't." Buffy told her. "I'm fine." She paused. "I thought you weren't due home until tomorrow." Buffy commented to change the subject.

"I finished early." Joyce told her. "I didn't like New York."

"Dreadful city," Giles commented. <If one discounts the Art Museums, the History Museums, the Opera, oh and Broadway.> But, of course, he didn't say that out loud.

Buffy gave him a look though.

But Joyce goes on, oblivious. "The noise never stops. But the Art...." She sighs. She looked at Buffy and put a hand to her cheek. "Are you sure you're all right?"

"I'm fine, Mom, really." Buffy assured her. "Just a headache."

"I imagine." Joyce commiserated. "Where did you go so early this morning. I called to let you know that I'd be home early. Where were you?"

Buffy and Giles carefully did not look at other.

"Well," Buffy thought fast. "Willow. She was um...upset. Her birthday."

"What happened?" Joyce asked.

<She would> thought Buffy. "Well, you know how her parents can be. And Willow hates being the center of attention. Cake, singing, restaurant. She hated it."

"Poor dear." Joyce said. She looked from Buffy to Giles, and back to Buffy. "Were you discussing Slayer things? Something I should know about? Or something I don't want to know about?"

Buffy did look at Giles then.

"Actually, it's probably better if you don't kbow just yet." Giles answered. "You'd only worry unduly. And to be quite honest, we're not quite sure of things ourselves." He didn't look at Buffy.

Joyce looked at him oddly. "I always worry," she said a bit sadly. "I was going to fix a sandwich, would either of you like one?" She asked.

"No, thanks, Mom."

"No thank you," said Giles.

"Then I'll let you two get back to business." Joyce said, then she went back to the kitchen, suddenly not hungry any more.

Buffy and Giles were both quiet. "That was close," said Buffy.

"We just lied to your Mother." Giles commented.

"I lied,' Buffy said. "You just didn't tell her everything."
"Somehow that doesn't make me feel any better."

"Then why don't we just go into the kitchen and tell her the truth." Buffy said.

"What exactly would you tell her?" Giles asked.

Buffy looked at him innocently, "I stayed at your place, you took off my clothes and we shared a bed."

"Well, that's sure to win her over." Giles told her snippily. "Buffy, have you considered all the complications that could occur?"

"Giles, we live on the Hellmouth," Buffy said. "There's no telling what all the complications could be. And yes, I know what you meant," she said in exasperation when he gave her a look. "Complications; I'm the Slayer, you're my Watcher, you're older."

"Quite a bit older." Giles pointed out.

"But I'm legal," Buffy pointed out herself. "I get it. Look Giles, I don't know where things will go. All I want is the chance to find out. Don't you? If you don't then say so. Don't just...humor me."

"I just worry over the outcome," Giles told her.

"Then quit assuming it won't work out." Buffy told him with a grin. Then she turned serious. "What do you want to do?"
"I want very much to kiss you." He told her simply.

"With Mom in the next room?" She asked with a grin, but the grin is soft.

"I'd better leave while I can still resist." Giles told her. He walked to the door, she followed. When he stopped and turned around, she bumped into him. And he was pretty sure that she had done it on purpose. She looked up at him expectantly. He bent down and kissed her. "You do realize that you'll probably kill me." Then he opened the door and left.

After the door closed, Joyce came back in. "Did Mr. Giles leave?"

Buffy wiped the the smile from her face before she turned around. "Yeah, he had to go."

"Is something happening that I should know about?" Joyce asked.

"No," Buffy said quickly. "Just typical Slayer/Watcher stuff."

"You're trying to protect me again." Joyce concluded.

"I tell you everything I can Mom." Buffy told her.

"I just want to help you," Joyce said. "I want to understand.

"Good luck," Buffy told her. "I don't always understand. It just is." She gave her Mom a hug.

**************************

Giles returned to his home. "I'm utterly out of my mind" He told himself. But when he had left her he'd felt like a kid again. Which could be dangerous. Ripper.

But he couldn't seem to help himself. He knew that he should put a stop to it. Now, before it went any further. But she was an adult. Okay, a very young adult. A brand new adult.

She wanted to see what would happen. He knew what would happen. Especially if they had any more mornings like that one.

He could still see her lying there, tousled, in his bed. Tousled by him. And she'd enjoyed it. Her response to him had been real and honest. So very sweet. And his response; well there had been no doubt as to his response.

But was it just physical? Oh, he cared for Buffy. He could, in all honesty, say that he loved her. But he had never expected to fall in love with her.

His thoughts screeched to a halt. In love with her, When had that happened? However, he couldn't deny it. Now, what the hell was he going to do?

Buffy was sitting on her bed, thinking. Giles. She hugged herself. He made her feel things, she didn't think she'd ever feel again. But it was different. Warmer. Scarier. She had survived losing Angel. She didn't know if she could, if she lost Giles.

What was the right thing to do? Play it safe or take a chance? But she knew that she'd take the chance. It was Giles.

Joyce was sitting in the living room, watching TV, when Buffy came down with her jacket on.

Joyce looked at her, surprised. "You're not patrolling tonight. You're hurt." Being the Mother of the Slayer wasn't easy.

"I'm fine Mom." Buffy told her. "I'm hoping it will be a quiet night." She paused thoughtfully. "Of course, I always hope that."

"Even Mr. Giles wouldn't expect you to go out tonight." Joyce told her.

"Well, I guess I'm just not any good at living up to others expectations." Buffy commented.

"Buffy."

"Look, Mom, I'm sorry," Buffy said, somewhat contrite. "I have to go." She went out the front door.

"Well, what was that all about?" Joyce asked the now empty house.

Buffy walked along, feeling guilty. Her Mom hadn't done anything. She had reacted to a mental argument. She knew how her Mom would react to her and Giles. She already blamed Giles for so much. As if he had hand picked Buffy to be the Slayer. It wasn't anyones fault. It just was.

She decided to head for the Park first. No vampires. Just a pair of lovers who didn't even notice her. She watched wistfully for a moment, before she moved on.

She slowly made her way to the cemetary. She heard something. Someone up ahead. She moved quietly. When she saw him she stopped. "What are you doing here?" She asked the rather tall man in tweed.

Giles jumped. "Buffy." He said surprised. "I didn't think you'd patrol tonight."
"Why?" Buffy asked.

Giles indicated her forehead. "Because you're hurt."

"I'm okay," Buffy told him. "But thanks." She smiled.

They were both a little awkward. They both had done a lot of thinking today.

"So, any vamps?" Buffy asked.

"Actually, no."

They started walking together. Buffy, who attempted to be casual, slipped her hand into his. He smiled at her and squeezed her hand.

For a week, they went on like that. Holding hands, kisses goodnight. Patrolling together, videos and talking. Sometimes she'd listen while he read poetry. She'd become quite fond of that.

Tonight, he had fixed dinner. He told her about his last Watcher retreat. All those highly intelligent men and women, and no one had thought to bring matches to start the campfire. So they sat there, fireless, until Giles had thought to use a car cigarette lighter. Buffy laughed at the vivid images he created.

"Why do you go to those things?" Buffy asked.

"Why did you want to be Homecoming Queen?" Giles asked in return. "We all want to be accepted by our peers."

"I guess things really don't change all that much." Buffy commented.

"No, I suppose not." Giles agreed.

Buffy sighed. "Tell me about England," she urged.

"England. Home." Giles said. "I've actually become quite fond of Southern California, but I miss home. The gentle hills. The rain. Nothing quite the same as and English countryside after a spring rain. It's fresh and clean and quite beautiful."

"It sounds wonderful." Buffy told him.

"I'd love to show it to you sometime."

"I'd like that," Buffy said softly.

They cleaned up the table together. Once done, they sat together on the now cleaned couch. She leaned her head against his shoulder and sighed contentedly.

Giles wrapped his arms around her and held her to him. "This has been nice."

"Mmm. Very." Buffy agreed, as she snuggled. As she wiggled, his hand grazed her breast. She looked up at him.

"Sorry." He mumbled.

"I'm not," she told him. She leaned up and kissed him.

He returned the kiss, amazed by how quickly his body reacted to hers. Her hands moved to his chest. The pair slid down until he was lying on top her. She wrapped her arms around him, and held him tight. His right hand moved to caress her breast. She squeaked and moved into his hand. Her hands returned to his front and unbuttoned his shirt, she pulled it from his pants and pushed it off his arms, with his help. He lifted her a bit as he removed her own shirt, he groaned at the sight of her. She hadn't worn a bra.

His hand returned to her breast. She moaned. She moved her legs so that they cradled him. Then she lifted against him. Her hands moved to the front of his pants. He jerked at the touch of her hand. Her hands were shaking as she undid the button and lowered the zipper. Their eyes met.

"Are we crazy?" Giles asked.

Buffy smiled. "I hope so." She wrapped her hand around him, he sucked in a harsh breath. She felt very powerful-until he started to move his hands. Her breasts, her stomach, her thighs. That was when she realized that her skirt was up around her waist. His hand slid up her thigh.

Giles watched her face for any sign that she wanted to stop. Right now, her eyes were closed, her head thrown back. <God, she's beautiful.> He inched his thumb closer and touched her through her panties. Her body jumped at the contact. Her eyes opened and she looked at him. She pushed his slack and boxers down. When she finished, he reciprocated. Her skirt, and panties joined the pile on the floor.

"Are you certain?" Giles asked, even though she'd done nothing but encourage him.

Buffy responded by pulling him down for another kiss. She wrapped her legs around his hips. She felt his tip, gently probing and her body instintively moved to make them one. Her hands slid down his back to his backside.

As one they moved to complete the coupling, they both moaned their pleasure.

Giles pulled almost completely out, only to slide slowly back in, relishing the sounds she made. He felt her nails digging into his backside, as she tried to pull him closer. He moved to kiss the base of her throat, felt her pulse throb as he began a to move in a slow steady rythym. Her fingernails moved slowly up his back. He shivered. And the pace picked up. Harder, faster. Until he was driving into her. She met each thrust and pulled him as deep as possible.

He moved a hand between their bodies to fondle one breast, then the other. When Giles felt her begin to tighten and convulse around him, he was sure he'd have a heart attack. <Wouldn't they have fun explaining that?> Then his own body began to tighten. One more hard thrust. The ultimate pleasure.

Spent, he collasped atop her. She wrapped her arms loosely around his waist. Rubbed her cheek against his chest. "Wow."

Giles chuckled softly. "I would have to agree."

After they caught their breath and regained some energy, they made their way to the shower.

A long, hot, slippery, satisfying shower. Together.

Buffy found herself back in one of Giles' shirts. Actually, it was the same shirt. She gave him a sidelong look as she wondered if he'd given her the same one on purpose. She rather suspected that he had. She watched him finish dressing. He'd been very quiet. "You're not regretting, are you?"

He turned to face her. "How could I regret something so wonderful?"

"You're so quiet," Buffy said.

"I was thinking how lucky I am." Giles told. She blushed and he smiled. "What about you? Any regrets?"

Buffy shook her head. "No. I feel like I found something very special. Something that I didn't even know was missing."

Giles sat next to her on the bed and touched her cheek. "I don't think that I've ever had a nicer compliment."

"I think I love you," Buffy told him. Then she corrected herself. "Actually, I've loved you for a long time, but now I'm in love with you, too."

Giles was stunned. "Oh, Buffy."

"Is that a good 'oh Buffy' or a bad 'oh Buffy'?" Buffy asked.

He kissed her exuberantly. "I love you, too."

Buffy smiled, it lit up her face. "Now all we have to do is figure out how to tell Mom."

END