Title: Yes, Dear
Spoilers: Minor spoilers for Chosen, but this takes place in the future and assumes that Buffy and Giles are already a couple.
Summary: A domestic tiff leads to some odd behavior on Buffy's part.
Distribution: If you've had my permission in the past, you have it now. All others, ask and ye shall receive.
Feedback: Constructive criticism always welcome. Praise abjectly sought.
Disclaimer: It all belongs to Joss, Mutant Enemy, etc., etc., etc. I just let them have all the fun Joss won't. I own nothing except my twisted mind which you really don't want. Please don't sue.
Notes: This one is all the fault of Dword and her fakie entitled 'Yes, Dear'. That, and the fact she's learned to turn my mind control rays back on me.
Dedication: To MamaDword for the inspiration and all her support. You can put down the pitchfork, now.
Giles took a deep breath, set his shoulders squarely, and mentally prepared himself as best he could for the coming storm - a five-foot-four-inch blonde one. He'd seen the storm clouds on the horizon during breakfast when Buffy was scanning the want ads in the local paper and he'd asked her what on Earth she wanted with a job. After all, he had a good job with a nice little museum now, and a comfortable income off his investments. All their needs were cared for, and a tidy college fund sat in the bank, waiting for Dawn to choose which campus to spend it at. No, there was no reason for Buffy to take on a nine-to-five job in addition to her local slayer duties.
Of course, She didn't see it quite the same way.
"I want to feel useful," she'd pouted.
"You are useful," he'd assured her. "Why you, you do the lion's share of the cooking and cleaning...." He'd trailed off, noting the warning flash in his love's eye.
"So, you think now I'm not the only Slayer I should be what? June Cleaver? Is that it?"
Desperate for an out that wouldn't be physically painful, Giles had glanced in the direction of the clock.
"Good heavens! Is that the time?" he'd babbled, scrambling to his feet. "Look, we can talk about this tonight when I get home. 'Bye, darling."
"Yes, dear," she grumbled sarcastically.
He'd quickly risked a peck of a kiss on her cheek, then raced to the door at seven-thirty AM - fully an hour earlier than he usually left.
Now, twelve hours later, he stood before the door of their apartment, flowers in hand, and a box of chocolates under his arm, girding his loins in preparation for a long night on the sofa.
At last, he decided he could put off his fate no longer. He reached out and opened the door.
He blinked in surprise.
Soft jazz music wafted from the CD player. The living room was immaculately clean and tidy, and he could smell tempting aromas from the kitchen. Yet more surprisingly, Buffy stood near the door wearing a pretty dress and heels. She'd leaned her head back and her lips were pre-puckered for his arrival. Giles smiled to himself, bent over her, and kissed her in his gentle way that told her to expect more later on. A lot more.
"Did you have a nice day at the office, dear?" she asked sweetly. At bit too sweetly.
"Uh - I - not too bad, actually," he answered warily. A slight shift under his arm reminded him of his peace offerings. "Here," he said as he thrust them at her. "These are for you."
"Oh, Honey, you shouldn't have. Now you sit right down and I'll put the flowers in some water, then I'll bring you a nice drink."
All the while she was talking, Buffy was also leading Giles to the most comfortable chair in the living room. She pushed him into it just a little less gently than she might have, then moved to the kitchen. All the while she arranged the flowers and prattled on about her day, Giles sat in stunned silence. He loosened his tie slightly and watched nervously for Buffy's return.
A moment later, she was back at his side and handing him a martini.
"When did you learn to make one of these?" he asked in confusion.
"Silly," the tittered disconcertingly. "It's every good girlfriend's job to know how to make cocktails for her guy. So, is it good?"
Giles put the drink down.
"Buffy, a-are you feeling...entirely yourself?"
"What? Am I doing something unusual? Is there something strange about a girl wanting to make her fella happy?"
"Well...no, not...a-as such...."
"Then just sit back and enjoy it, Ward." The timer went off in the kitchen. "Oh! The roast is done. Now you go wash your hands, and come to the table." She flounced to the kitchen door. "Don't be late," she added archly, wagging her finger.
He stared after her.
He put down the martini and headed for his bookshelf. There had to be something about possession spells that would help explain Buffy's bizarre behavior. He rifled hopefully through a volume of lore until Buffy came along and playfully swatted his hand.
"Now, now, Honey," she said with an indulgent smile, "books can wait until later. Dinner needs to be eaten while it's hot."
She tugged the book from his suddenly paralyzed hands. Once the volume had been replaced on the shelf, she took one of his hands and lead him to the table. As soon as he was seated, she handed him the carving knife.
"This is a man's job," she told him cheerfully.
He stared at her yet again, barely resisting the urge to test her for fever.
"You're...quite certain you're well, Buffy?"
"Why? Do I look sick?"
He set down the knife.
"It's just...you're...you didn't black out today, by any chance, did you? O-or smell a heavy, unexplained perfume?" he asked. He knew he was grasping at straws, but there had to be a logical explanation for his girlfriend's odd behavior. "Ethan hasn't been here, has he?"
"Oh lord," he breathed. This might be worse than he'd suspected. "Ethan Rayne. Do you know who that is? Do you know who I am?"
Buffy crossed her arms under her breasts.
"I haven't lost my memory," she assured him tartly. "I know who you are, I know who I am, I know who Ethan is - even though I'd like to forget that - and I even know who's president. In fact, I remember *everything*, Giles."
"E-everything...?" Understanding dawned at long last. "Is this about this morning?"
"Then why did you call me 'Ward'?"
"Have you ever seen Leave It To Beaver?"
"I'm sorry...?" he said faintly.
"'Ward, I'm worried about the Beaver'? The woman who vacuumed in heels and a pearl necklace and never, ever even considered getting a job of her own because that's not what proper women do? Any of this ringing a bell?"
"So...you thought I was saying...I wanted a timid little woman who would do as I say, is that it?"
"Gotta say, I never pictured you for the keep 'em barefoot and pregnant type," she muttered unhappily.
"That wasn't what I meant at all, Buffy." He reached out his hand across the table. "Come here, and I'll try to explain."
She moved to his side and took a chair next to him.
"Why, then?" she asked. "Why don't you want me to work?"
"It isn't that I'm going to stop you. More...you could do so many things. You could go back to school, if you like; finish your education so you can get a good job. A career, even. Or you can stay home and have your friends round. Or you can get a job, if that's what you'd really prefer to do. I just want you to take your time and be certain you're making the choice because you really want it; not because you feel you have to."
"So...it wasn't about me not having choices?"
"It was about you having as many choices as you would like...including that of being a kept woman, if that's what you'd really like."
He tugged gently on her hand until she moved to settle in his lap.
"Kept woman, huh? Are you sure you should be tossing that sort of term around? 'Cause I bet I could put together a kept woman outfit for tomorrow."
"I see," he murmured between kissing her throat. "And what does a kept woman wear, precisely?"
"Lots and lots of designery stuff and expensive frilly Victoria's Secret undies."
"Sounds expensive...but fun."
She looked down at his wolfish grin and couldn't resist kissing him softly.
"You're loving that idea way too much, you realize," she teased him.
"Yes, but if you decide to be that sort of kept woman, you're going to have to buy all your own clothes, I'm afraid. I'm not sure I can afford to keep you to that extent."
"So I get to have a job. Yay me."
"Getting a job in order to be a kept woman...? I'm not sure you can do that," he laughed.
"Um...Giles, this is me. Buffy. Little Miss breaks-the-rules." She leaned down and kissed him thoroughly to let him know he'd been forgiven. "I can do anything I want."
Giles laughed happily and hugged her tightly.
"Yes, dear," he agreed. "You certainly can."