For disclaimers see part one.
Chapter 10 – Thunder Rolls, Lightening Strikes
Joyce moved from her chair, placing herself between Hank and the others. "Hank, what are you doing here?"
"What do you mean, what am I doing here? I’m here to save my daughter from the biggest mistake of her life. This, this, this person," Hank waved towards Giles, "is taking advantage of a naïve child for his own twisted pleasures. He’s used the fact that I’ve been a somewhat inattentive father to lure her into his clutches."
"Twisted pleasures, lured me into your clutches? What movies has he been going to lately?" Buffy murmured to Giles.
Joyce’s voice rose in indignation. "Somewhat inattentive? You have made no effort to see her in three years and you call that somewhat inattentive? I’d like to know what you call negligent."
Helen backed cautiously towards the bookcase. If she got out of everyone’s line of sight, they might forget that she was here. It was a handy trick, one that she had used before, and her intuition was telling her that Hank Summers wasn’t going to be the only party crasher. This might be her best chance to find out what was really going on in Sunnydale.
"This is what I call negligent," Hank said. "Since you wouldn’t talk to me when I called you at home, I called the gallery this morning. Your assistant said that you were out of the country buying things for the shop. That you had been out of the country for the past two weeks. She told me you’ve been doing a lot of traveling lately. Obviously you’ve been too busy running your business to care about your daughter, leaving Buffy alone and easy prey for men like him." Hank scowled at Giles again then turned his wrath back on Joyce.
"I told the judge that you were an unfit mother, that Buffy would be better off with me. But, no, he had to be one of those liberal judges that felt Buffy should have a say in what parent she stayed with. And this, this is the result." He waved his hand in a theatrical manner at Giles.
Buffy’s eyes flashed angrily and she stalked towards Hank. "Don’t you talk to Mom like that. You don’t have the right."
Hank grabbed Buffy’s arm. "You go sit in the car, young lady. I’ll be finished here in a few minutes, then I’m taking you home."
From her corner, Helen watched in amazement at the transformation that came over Rupert Giles. ‘Hello, Ripper’ she thought to herself.
"Take your hand off my wife," Giles said, in a voice that was all the more chilling for it’s softness.
Remarkably, Hank didn’t seem to recognize the threat in Giles’ voice. He blinked, irritated at the fact that his grand speech had been interrupted. "What?" he asked blankly.
Taking two swift strides, Giles grabbed Hank’s wrist and applied pressure. "I said, take your hand off my wife." Hank grimaced and let go of Buffy. Giles drew Buffy against him and gently examined her arm. "Are you alright, luv?"
Buffy’s back was to her father, but Helen had a clear view. Buffy rolled her eyes and smirked up at Giles. ‘What’s that about?’ Helen thought.
Hank drew himself up indignantly. "I would never hurt Buffy. I only want what’s best for her, and that isn’t marriage to a man old enough to be her father. I suppose that I must accept some of the blame for this situation, but that means that I will be the one to set things right. I’m going to petition the court for an annulment. Under the circumstances, I’m sure the judge will agree with me, even if Buffy is 18 years old and technically an adult."
A chorus of voices exclaimed, "What!?" Then Buffy continued in a voice made of ice. "I’m 19, Daddy. Just because you didn’t show up for any of them doesn’t mean my last three birthdays didn’t happen."
Hank frowned. "You were born in 1982."
Joyce looked at him in disbelief. "1981, Hank. Buffy was born January 22, 1981." She shook her head. "And you think that I’m an unfit parent."
Hank stared at her for a moment, then shook his head. "It doesn’t matter. She’s still too young for him. I’m taking her home with me until this mess is straightened out." He again grabbed Buffy’s arm, pulling her away from Giles. Hank turned towards the doorway, but was stopped abruptly by Giles’ hand spinning him around. Hank never saw the punch coming. He staggered backward out the door, arms cartwheeling wildly, then landed on his butt on the patio. The door slammed shut.
Hank blinked a few times, trying to clear his vision. Standing over him was a man dressed in brown tweed. Tweed in California? Hank shook his head, but the man was still standing there. The man extended a hand.
"Mr. Summers, my name is Quentin Travers and I am Rupert Giles’ employer. I believe if we work together we can each achieve our goals."
Hank stood up, rubbing his jaw. "I want that bastard away from my daughter. What does that have to do with you?"
"I want the same thing. Mr. Giles can’t carry out his job properly if a young wife is distracting him. I want to take him back to England with me this afternoon. You want to take your daughter back to Los Angeles with you. If with work together, I believe we can accomplish both." He again extended his hand.
Hank took it and the men shook hands. They turned to the door, but before they could knock, it was opened.
A furious Buffy stood in the doorway. "Get lost, Travers. You’re not welcome here."
"Buffy!" Hank exclaimed. "That’s no way to speak to a stranger."
"You seem to have selective hearing." Giles said sarcastically from behind her. "I would think the fact that Buffy knows his name would be a clue that he’s not a stranger."
"Yeah," Buffy drawled, "it’s kinda hard to forget a person who tried to have you killed."
Hank yelped, "What!"
"Ah, Miss Summers, you still have that delightful sense of humor, I see."
Giles moved closer behind Buffy. "The name is Mrs. Giles, Quentin, I would suggest that you remember that." His voice was even and deadly, as was the stare he gave the other man.
"Not for long, Rupert, not for long. The Council is not without resources here in the States. With the cooperation of Mrs. Giles'" he sneered, " Father I doubt that it will take long to have this farce of a marriage annulled." He looked around the patio.
"Are you going to keep me standing out here all day. Let's go in and talk about this in a civilized manner."
"Civilized," Buffy huffed. "You just threatened us and you talk about being civilized."
"That was not a threat, dear girl, if I wanted to threaten you there are a great many others things I could threaten you with. Beginning with the fact the Rupert has broken his oath. A Watcher is never to become intimately involved with his Slayer." He gave Giles a stern look. "Are you going to let us in?"
Buffy and Giles continued to stand blocking the doorway.
There was a sudden rush, and a tall figure covered in a black cloak pushed between the two men heading for the door. Angel stopped when he hit an invisible barrier. Wesley and Cordelia had been following and they pushed Buffy and Giles out of the way to enter. Hank and Quentin gaped in astonishment at the sight of the smoldering figure in front of them.
"Giles, invite me in! Hurry!" More smoke was rolling off Angel and he looked franticly at Buffy. "Buffy, please!"
Giles continued to stare stone-faced at the vampire outside his door. He looked down at Buffy. She lifted a hand and caressed his cheek. "Your choice."
Giles drew a deep breath, put his arm around Buffy and pulled her away from the door. "Angel, do come in."
Angel rushed in and Cordy went to check him out. Quentin and Hank followed cautiously. "Just what we needed," Xander said. "If it wasn't bad enough that Buffy's Dad and that jerk Travers are all buddy-buddy, Dead boy and Watcher junior show up too."
"It's a pleasure to see you as well, Xander" Wesley said. "I would have thought you would be happy to have some help, under the circumstances."
Willow and Xander looked at each other, puzzled. Willow shrugged, Xander shrugged back, and Willow asked, "What circumstances?"
It was Angel and Wesley's turned to exchange glances. Before either one of them could speak, Cordelia said, "Have you been affected by the spell too?"
"Again, not knowing what you're talking about. Spell? What makes you think that someone has been affected by a spell?"
"Well, duh. Buffy and Giles getting married? Has to be a spell at work." Cordelia rolled her eyes.
"Right," Angel added. "Buffy loves me, she always had and always will. It's our destiny."
"And Giles would never break the most sacred taboo of the Council by marrying his Slayer." Wesley added.
"I don't bloody believe this!" Giles looked up as though beseeching heaven. He returned his stare to Travers. "I am not Buffy's Watcher. I have not been a member of the Watcher's Council for over a year. You fired me, remember? So I have not broken any bloody oaths." He turned to Wesley. "Since you seem to believe what you’re saying, you’ve obviously not read any of the older Watcher’s diary’s. Marriage between a Watcher and his Slayer used to be commonplace. It’s only been within the last hundred years that it has been forbidden by the Council." He glared at the two men. "There is no spell. I am just a man. A man who is in love with a woman. So sod off."
Travers frowned at him. "She is not a woman, she is the Slayer. I don’t care what happened in the past. In the here and now the Slayer does not get married. It’s been bad enough that you’ve encouraged her with this nonsense about having a normal life: dating, attending college and so forth. It’s just a waste of her time, time she should be using training and sleeping so she can perform her duties during the nighttime hours. And while you are not officially her Watcher, we all know that you have continued in that capacity since your dismissal."
He turned to Buffy. "As for you, Miss Summers, this little show of independence has gone on long enough. It is your sacred duty to guard the Hellmouth. Everyone here knows you only married Rupert to try to halt his deportation. Well, it won’t work. I have the INS in my hip pocket. When their investigator arrives he will agree with me, and Rupert will return with me to England this very day." Travers gave a pompous little nod of his head to emphasis his point.
At the mention of an INS investigator, Willow, Xander and Joyce got identical looks of horror on their faces and they all looked around for Helen. Buffy and Giles were too caught up in the argument with Travers to notice. When Joyce started to speak, Helen shook her head and put a finger to her lips to indicate silence.
"You can take your sacred duty and shove it. I don’t do this because of any sacred duty. I do it to protect my Mom, my friends and Giles." Buffy got up in Travers face. "And I’ll tell you right now, you old prick, if Giles has to leave the country you had better find a way to bring Faith out of her coma, cause I’m going with him."
Travers got a panicked look on his face. "No, your duty is here. You are the Slayer and you must guard the Hellmouth until you….." his voice trailed off.
"Until I die? Been there, done that. We’re only talking now because Giles didn’t follow the rules and let me have a normal life. It was one of the friends that you would have forbidden me to have that did CPR and brought me back after the Master killed me. I figure that was my ‘get out of Slaying free’ card. I’ve just been hanging on cause it was the right thing to do, but you start messing with the man I love, and you’re on your own."
Buffy turned to Angel. "It’s our destiny? Listen, our destiny is for me to dust you. You Vampire, Me Slayer, ring any bells?" She walked over and caressed his face. "Angel, you were my first love, and you’ll always have a place in my heart, but you told me to move on and I have. I grew up and I finally had the sense to see who has been right in front of me all along. My true destiny, the other half of my soul. Giles."
Angel smiled sadly. "I knew he loved you, I saw it in his eyes the night of the Prom, but I never dreamed that you would feel the same way. You really love him? It’s not a spell?"
Buffy smiled back at him. "No spell. Real love."
Angel leaned forward and pressed a gentle kiss to her forehead. "He’s the only person I know who’s worthy of you. Be happy."
"Does that mean that Buffy and Giles are gong to be getting all groiny?" Cordelia made a face. "Ewww."
In unison Wesley and Angel said, "Shut up, Cordy."
Travers, who had been staring silently at Angel, said in a horrified voice, "Angel? You welcomed Angel into your flat? Are you mad? Angelus could kill us all."
Cordelia spun around and grabbed Travers’ lapels. "His name is ANGEL. He’s not Angelus anymore and he doesn’t kill people. He only kills other vampires and demons." She pushed him away. "Although maybe he should make an exception in your case. Buffy’s right, you’re an old prick."
"WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE!"
Silence fell over the room and everyone turned to look at a very red-faced Hank Summers. "Is everyone in this town crazy? There are no such things as vampires, and my daughter is certainly not a slayer, whatever the hell that is. And what was that part about her dying? I was never informed that she had ever been in any kind of accident." He turned back to Joyce. "This is all your fault! You brought her to this town. You should have stayed in Los Angeles as I asked, but no, you wanted to be independent" he ranted on, but Buffy tuned him out.
"Angel," she said quietly.
He nodded and walked over in front of Buffy’s father. "Excuse me, Mr. Summers" he said, cutting into the tirade. When Hank stopped to look at him, Angel vamped into game face.
Hank shrieked, turned white, and fell to the floor unconscious. Angel turned around to Buffy and there were a few seconds before he changed back.
Helen got a good look at his face and felt a little light-headed herself. Then Angel switched back and gave Buffy a sheepish smile. "I know it’s a little juvenile, but I do enjoy doing that to someone who’s being a jerk." Everyone, except Travers and Helen, laughed.
Helen’s view of the world was undergoing a rapid change. Without her gift, her ability to KNOW when someone was lying, she would have agreed with Hank Summers. Everything she had just heard sounded crazy. Vampires were real? There was one in the room with her? The others didn’t seem to be worried, so, a good guy vampire? A vampire named Angel? What the hell kind of name was Angel for a vampire?
Wait a minute, the life knowledge quiz. The name of Buffy’s first lover had been Angel. And she had just said that he was her first love. He was that Angel? Buffy’s first lover had been a vampire? Helen looked closer at Angel and remembered Giles’ remarks, ‘Brown hair, brown eyes, constantly brooding over his fate. Sound like anyone we know?’
Helen started laughing. The others, who had either forgotten her presence, or had never noticed, stared at her. Their startled expressions made her laugh harder. Looking at Giles, she finally managed to gasp "Now I understand why you were so upset that ‘Interview With a Vampire’ is her favorite book."
Buffy started giggling and Giles muttered, "Dear lord, I forgot she was here."
"Who is this, someone else that you have taken into your confidence?" Travers looked at Helen with disapproval.
"No, actually she didn’t know anything until you started talking about Watchers and Slayers." Giles huffed.
Helen stepped forward, extending her hand to Travers. "Helen Cavanaugh, senior investigator for the INS." She looked Travers over. "Contrary to what you said a few minutes ago, I’ve never been in anyone’s hip pocket, and certainly not in yours."
Travers paled, then flushed a most unbecoming red. His mouth opened and closed a few times before he was able to speak. "I was speaking metaphorically. I never intended to imply…"
"Oh, you most assuredly intended to imply that you had bribed a government official. That you had bribed me." Helen said sternly. "You were planning to bluff Dr. Giles into leaving with you today. You were so sure that I would rule against him, that it was just a matter of time before he would be forced to leave America. There's just one thing wrong with your assumption. I'm not ruling against them."
Several gasps filled the room. Helen turned to face Buffy and Giles.
"I've heard a great deal here today, most of it lies. From what I heard a few minutes ago, I can understand why you felt I wouldn't believe the truth. I do believe that my letter precipitated your marriage; that is pretty obvious. It's also pretty obvious that you love one another, and that given time, the marriage would have taken place anyway."
Buffy gave a little cry and flew across the room to envelop Helen in a bruising hug. Giles frowned. "Earlier you said that because we had so few answers in common that you couldn't give your approval. Have you changed your mind, and how can we be sure that you won't change it back? Or that your supervisor won't counter your decision?"
Buffy released her just as quickly, and backed next to Giles. He put his arm around her and the pair looked at Helen distrustfully.
Helen ducked her head, her cheeks pink. "Ah, right. About that." After a small pause, Helen looked back at them. "I was being cruel, I know, but so much of what you told me was truth mixed in with plausible sounding lies. I thought if you were upset enough, maybe you would let something slip and I could find out what was really going on."
She grinned. "Although, it was true that your quiz score was the lowest I've ever seen. Even if one of the ones you got right was the most intimate of the bunch."
Willow asked, "Which question was that?"
"What type of underwear does the other wear?" Helen smirked.
Cordelia looked interested. "Really, Buffy knew that? I've always wondered if Giles was a boxers or briefs guy. Which is it?"
In unison, Buffy and Joyce said, "Neither." Mother and daughter looked at each other, startled. Joyce shrugged and said, "Candy." Buffy nodded. "Grappling during training."
Giles moaned and hid his face behind his hands. "Bloody hell."
Everyone in the room looked at Giles. Cordelia said, "You mean all those times in the library….. and right now…..Ewww."
This time Buffy joined Wesley and Angel in saying, "Shut up, Cordy."
In a stunned voice, Xander said, "Giles and Mrs. Summers did the horizontal hop? And you're okay with that, Buffy?"
"It was only the two times, Xander, and it was because of the spell on the candy. They could hardly stand to look at each other for months after that. It's of the past. It's no big."
"Twice?" Xander yelped.
"Now see, this is the kind of thing I would like to have explained." Helen said. "Spells on candy? Sacred duty? Buffy needing CPR? Who is Faith and why is she in a coma? And the real big ones: what exactly are Watchers and Slayers and how did you get to be ones?"
Before anyone could answer, there was a loud groan, and Hank sat up. "What happened?" Everyone stared at him. He wrinkled his forehead in confusion, then scowled. "What the hell was that?" He looked at Angel with suspicion.
"That, Mr. Summers, was a vampire in what we call game face. It is the face of the demon that inhabits the body. If Angel did not have his soul, that would be the last thing you would have seen before he drained you of your blood." Wesley's voice was a dispassionate monotone.
Giles, who appeared to have regained his composure, began, "Contrary to popular belief, the world did not begin as a paradise."
There were groans from Xander, Willow and Buffy. "Please," Xander begged, "not the speech."
Giles glared at him. "Buffy, dear heart, the more interruptions, the longer it will be until later."
Buffy blushed. "Okay, everybody shut up and let Giles tell it. You can ask your questions when he finishes. Where do you think you're going?" This last was to Travers who was headed for the door.
"There is no need for me to remain. My flight leaves in a little over an hour, so I'm going to the airport." Travers glared at Giles. "This isn't over, Rupert." He opened the door, but halted when Helen spoke.
"You are correct, Mr. Travers. This isn't over, not for you. My supervisor has complete trust in my rulings and he will believe me when I tell him that Buffy and Giles are a love match. He will also believe me when I tell him that the dealings of RCOW Ltd. need deeper investigation. Expect a phone call from the INS in the near future." Helen met his gaze, until he nodded briefly and continued out the door.
There was a moment of relieved silence, then Giles said, "This will take some time, everyone should make themselves comfortable. Is anyone interested in something cold to drink? We have lemonade, ice tea or bottled water." As people rustled around finding places to sit, a few requested drinks. Buffy followed him into the kitchen to help.
Giles turned from the refrigerator with the pitcher of ice tea in his hands. Buffy took it from him, sat it on the counter, and then pulled him into her arms. His arms circled her as well and they stood for a few seconds. Buffy started trembling. Giles swayed, rocking her gently, whispering softly, "It’s alright, it's alright."
Buffy pulled back slightly and looked at him with tear bright eyes. "You don't have to leave. I'm not going to lose you." She pulled him down for a kiss.
"Um, guys. Guys." Giles became aware of Willow hissing from the doorway. "We're still waiting for our drinks." He and Buffy pulled apart.
Buffy giggled. "I'm on the counter again."
Giles leaned forward and whispered against her ear. "We need to try this when we know we won't be interrupted. It could be very interesting." He backed away and turned to the cupboard for glasses.
Buffy sat for a moment; stunned at the mental image his words brought to mind. Then she jumped down and helped him carry the trays of drinks out to the living room.
After the drinks had been handed out Giles took up position in front of the fireplace. He cleaned his glasses while he collected his thoughts. It was so reminiscent of the old library that Buffy, Xander and Willow exchanged grins. He glared at them briefly, then began.
"This world is older than any of you know. For untold eons demons walked the Earth and made it their home. In time they lost control to mortals. All that remains of the old ones are vestiges, certain magicks, certain creatures…"
Xander and Willow exchanged grins again. He did so love this part, no matter how much they teased him.
Two hours later most of the group stood on the patio and watched as Hank Summers drove away. He wasn’t happy. Even with Wesley, Angel and the others backing up what he said, Giles wasn’t sure that they had convinced Hank of the truth. Everything was so alien to his personal view of reality. In fact, Giles was reasonably sure that the thing that had bothered Hank the most was that Buffy was stronger than he was. Hank needed for Buffy to see him as perfect. He couldn’t comprehend that she loved him, as he was, a normal, flawed, human being. Giles shook his head. Hank’s loss.
Giles turned around to view the others. Joyce, Willow and Cordelia were chatting in one corner, while Xander, Wesley and Helen were standing near the door. Just inside the flat Giles could see Angel speaking seriously with Buffy. Buffy broke into a big smile and threw her arms around Angel, giving him a kiss on the cheek. Giles had a moment of doubt. Did she still love Angel?
Buffy left Angel and joined Giles on the patio. She put an arm around his waist. "Angel just gave us a wedding present. He said he’ll send us something else later on, but that this was something he was sure we could use now."
Giles raised a brow in inquiry.
"He’s going to stay in town until next Sunday and patrol for me." Buffy leaned up to whisper in his ear. "I get to spend six nights in bed, or wherever, with you, without interruptions. Isn’t that a thoughtful gift?" She gave his earlobe a nip.
Giles shuddered and closed his eyes. He drew a couple of deep breaths then said, "Yes, a very thoughtful gift." He opened his eyes to see everyone smiling at him. He glared back.
Helen cleared her throat to hide a chuckle. "Well, it’s getting late. We should be on the road."
"Wesley is riding with me and Cordelia is staying here to drive Angel back on Sunday."
Wesley chimed in. "Today made me realized that I am uncertain as to my green card status since my dismissal from the Council. Helen and I are going to discuss my case and my options on the drive. Gunn and I shouldn’t have any problems handling the office for a week."
Helen looked at Giles seriously. "I meant what I said. My official determination is that you and Buffy have a valid marriage and since you are now married to an American citizen, you no longer need a green card. I will send you a letter for your files in the next couple of days." She gave them a big smile. "Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Giles."
Buffy gave her a hug. "Thank you." She looked over at Cordelia with a little frown. "You’re going to stay at the mansion with Angel?"
Cordelia gave a little snort. "As if. I wouldn’t be caught dead in that musty old place. I’m staying with your Mom. Angel is too. If I let him stay at the mansion he’ll just turn into broody guy and be impossible on the drive home."
Buffy looked over at her Mom. Joyce shrugged. "I’ve got all that art work coming into the gallery in the next couple of days so I’m not going to be home all that much anyway. The drapes are heavy enough that he won’t have a problem."
The next few minutes were a confusion of people gathering up belongings and leaving. Each had given Buffy a kiss and Giles a hug on their way out the door. Soon it was just Willow and Xander lingering for a moment.
With one last hug Willow said, "Have fun." When Buffy and Giles both gave a nervous giggle, she turned red. "Oh, you know what I mean." She stomped out the door and half way across the patio, then turned back. "Aren’t you going to walk me home, Xander?"
Xander walked over to Willow then turned back. He gave Buffy and Giles a wicked smile. "Now, you kids don’t do anything I wouldn’t do." He and Willow started laughing as they hurried away.
As Giles was closing the door he remarked, "With all the things that I have heard that he and Anya have done, that won’t limit us very much."
Buffy giggled. "Do you suppose that they’ve tried out Xander’s kitchen counter?"
Giles pulled her into his arms. "I wouldn’t be at all surprised." He smiled down at her, his eyes hungry. "Alone at last, Mrs. Giles?"
Buffy looped her arms around his neck, looking at him with equal hunger. "Alone at last."
Chapter 11 – This Love, This Heart
Giles pulled her closer, lowering his mouth to hers. He was puzzled when Buffy suddenly burrowed her face against his chest. "Buffy? Love, what’s wrong?"
She mumbled something indistinct into his shirt.
"Dear heart, I can’t hear you. What is it?"
Buffy pulled back, but didn’t look up at him. "It’s just hit me that this is really going to happen. We’re alone and no one is going to interrupt. The other times it was just supposed to be a kiss, and then, Wow. But now, it’s really going to happen and it’s going to be on purpose and we’re really planning to do this and…"
Giles gave a little bewildered huff of laughter. "Buffy, you’re babbling." He cupped her face and lifted it so that their eyes met. He was surprised to see the same panic-stricken look that he had seen at their wedding. "Beloved?" he asked gently.
Buffy blushed and her eyes avoided his. "I’m scared."
"You’re afraid?" He frowned briefly, then his hands dropped away from her face. "You’re afraid of me?" He started to turn away, pain clear on his face.
"NO! Not of you." Buffy embraced him fiercely. "Of this, of myself. That I won’t know what to do to please you." She let him go and turned away.
"I’ve had two experiences, and both of them weren’t that great. I mean, Angel was gentle and cared about not hurting me, at first, but the next day was all grr arrg and it kinda ruined the good parts. As for Parker," she huffed "the phrase, ‘Wham, bam, thank you ma’am’ could have been invented for him. He seemed to be having a good time, but I didn’t get anything out of it." She made a helpless little gesture with her hands.
"You have so much more experience. You’ve made love to a supermodel. You’ve been to orgies. How can I compare to that?"
"Oh, Love." Giles put his arms around her. "You can’t compare, because there is no comparison. I’ve never made love to a supermodel." When Buffy started to turn and look at him, he stopped her. "I had sex with a supermodel. It was good sex, but just sex, a very important difference. As for the orgies, I was usually so high on magic and drugs that all I cared about was my own satisfaction. My partner didn’t enter into the equation."
Giles released her and this time he was the one turning away. "Buffy, there is something you need to know about that time. As I said, the magic and the drugs were a pretty heavy combination and I didn’t use a lot of discrimination when it came to my partners. I, I,…." He couldn’t finish his sentence.
"Had sex with men, with Ethan? I already figured that one out."
Giles looked at her incredulously. "How?"
"Eyghon. Willow looked up the information and found that he was usually summoned for orgies, and you told me that there were six in your group, five guys and Deirdre. Do the math."
"Well it wasn’t always just Deirdre, other women were there at times, but you’re not disgusted by that?"
"Giles, like you said a while ago, you don’t have to justify something you did before I was born. That was a different time, and you were a different person. All indications are you are strictly about women now."
He smiled. "No, I’m strictly about you. No one else, man or woman." He held out his arms to her and she nestled against him. "I’m nervous about this too. I’ve made love with one other woman in my life, the rest were just about sex." He frowned slightly. "I’m not sure that came out right. It makes me sound like that Parker prat. What I meant to say was that even when I cared about the satisfaction of my partners, my heart wasn’t involved."
"Who was the other woman you made love with?"
"My first love, Sara. We were both virgins, so we learned together. And over the years I have discovered this one truth. The first time with a person is like the very first time all over again. For all my experiences, I have no knowledge of what you like. I need to learn what pleases you, just as you need to learn what pleases me. So, we learn together. That’s why I didn’t want our first time to be at your mother’s house this afternoon. Some part of both of us would have been listening for the door to open. We wouldn’t have been able to relax and take our time discovering each other."
Giles leaned down and kissed her forehead. "You need to relax a little more before we begin anything serious. Why don’t you go take a nice hot bubble bath?"
"Go take a bubble bath. It will help you to relax. I’ll fix us a little something to eat." He turned her towards the bathroom and gave her a gentle shove. "Go on." He headed for the kitchen. He turned back briefly. "Don’t forget to put some of that coconut scent in it." He grinned.
"Giles! It’s vanilla." She flounced into the bathroom, giggling.
A few minutes later Buffy sank into the tub of blissfully hot water. The bathroom was filled with her special scent. She leaned against the back and discovered the even by stretching her legs she couldn’t touch the other end. Ah, the pleasures of a big tub. She closed her eyes and let the heat melt away her tension.
Buffy’s eyes shot open and she sat up when the door opened. She saw Giles look down and realized that her breasts were exposed. She blushed and slipped back down in the tub. "Giles!" Her gaze slid over him. He was standing in the doorway wearing a knee-length, white, terry-cloth bathrobe and he was carrying a tray in his hands. He walked over to the tub and sat down beside it.
"I thought we could have our snack while you relaxed. Save a little time." On the tray was a plate of cheese cubes and fruit. There were also two wineglasses with what appeared to be champagne.
Buffy giggled a little nervously. "Finger foods? Giles, soapy fingers." She held up her wet hands.
"That’s all right, I’ll feed you, just lean back and relax. What would you like first, cheese or fruit?"
"What are my choices?" She leaned back again, mesmerized by the love in his eyes.
"We have two kinds of cheese, cheddar or swiss. For the fruit, we have grapes, strawberries, and slices of apple, peach or pear."
"Swiss cheese sounds nice."
Giles took a cube of cheese from the plate. When she opened her mouth, he gently placed the cheese inside, brushing her lips with his fingers before he withdrew his hand. "What next?"
Buffy chewed for a moment, swallowed, and said "How about a grape?"
The pattern was repeated for several minutes, the atmosphere between the pair growing more heated. When Buffy bit into a strawberry, juice ran down the side of her mouth. Giles leaned forward and licked it off. Buffy drew in a breath and moved her mouth in search of his, but he had pulled back.
"Tease," she accused in a husky voice.
Giles gave her a satisfied grin and held the glass of champagne to her lips. She sipped, running her hand up his arm and tugging on the sleeve of the robe. "What is this?"
Giles gave her a puzzled look. "It's my robe."
"What happened to the Hef robe?"
"The robe you were wearing the day I caught you with Olivia. It looked like something Hugh Hefner would wear."
Giles chuckled. "I'm not entirely sure, but I think that maybe he had. Liv gave it to me on one of her visits. She said she got it at the Playboy mansion during a photo shoot. I never asked, I just assumed it had been a prop that she was allowed to keep. I only wear it when she visits. It's not really my style."
"So you won't mind if I ask you to throw it away?"
"I would rather give it back to Liv. Maybe she would like to give it to someone else."
Buffy seemed to consider this. "That's okay, just as long as it's gone." She blushed. "I know that it's childish, but I don't want you wearing something that came from another woman. At least, not from another woman that I've met." She pressed a kiss into his palm. "Sorry, I'm just possessive. You're mine and I don't like to share."
"That's all right, I don't like to share either. The Slayer may belong to the world, but Buffy is mine."
He smiled, selected another piece of fruit, this time a slice of peach, and lifted it to her lips.
Buffy bit into it and juice squirted out onto her chin. Instead of leaning forward as he had before, Giles sat and watched. Buffy started to wipe it off, but he grabbed her hand to stop her. The liquid ran down her neck, the coolness tickling her. It pooled in the hollow of her neck, then continued down between her breasts.
This time when Giles leaned forward, Buffy met him halfway. They exchanged a brief, peach flavored kiss, and then he moved to lick her chin clean. She arched her neck, giving him better access to the trail. He paused to thoroughly clean the hollow, then followed the juice down. One hand slid behind Buffy's back to lift her slightly. His mouth settled over the peak of a breast, then there was an odd sputtering sound.
Buffy opened her eyes to see Giles making a face. He grinned. "Soap."
"Well, you were the one who decided to seduce me in a bubble bath."
"Is it working?"
"It's working beautifully." She pulled his mouth back to hers, finding even the taste of soap acceptable when accompanied by his tongue. The kiss intensified and Buffy pulled him closer. Unfortunately, he was on his knees beside the tub, and one arm was behind her under the water. When she slipped slightly against the back of the tub she grabbed him, pulling him further off balance. Giles fell into the tub on top of her.
There was a large splash, and they pulled apart to look at each other in amazement. Giles started giggling. "Some seduction."
Buffy grinned and again tugged at the sleeve of the robe. "Aren’t you a little overdressed to be in here with me?"
"I do believe I am. However, since I think you are relaxed enough, perhaps we should both get out?" He gave her a questioning look.
Buffy leaned forward and kissed the end of his nose. "This has been fun, and you’re right, I’m much more relaxed. I think I’m ready to discover more of you now."
Desire flared in Giles’ eyes and he covered her mouth in another heated kiss. Before things got out of control he pulled back, breathing heavily. Holding her gaze, Giles stood in the tub and casually removed his robe, letting it fall into the water.
Buffy’s gaze swept over him, her eyes widening at his obvious arousal. As she watched, it grew more. "Wow," she said, impressed.
At the dazed look on her face, Giles chuckled and stepped out of the tub. Unconcerned by her stare, he leisurely dried himself, then tucked the towel around his waist. Taking another towel from the rack, he leaned over the tub and held out his hand.
Buffy blinked at him for a few seconds, then blushing slightly she took his hand and let him pull her to her feet. Her blush deepened as his gaze slowly traveled over her. "So beautiful," he whispered, and steadied her as she stepped onto the bathmat.
The look of love in his eyes melted the last of her nervousness away and she stood quietly as he dried her off, then tucked the towel around her. He lifted her into his arms. "Are you ready for the next step, Mrs. Giles?"
She looped her arms around his neck, and laid her head on his shoulder. "Ready, Mr. Giles."
Giles walked across the living room and up the steps to the loft. Buffy slid a hand around and tugged gently on the hoop in his ear. "I can’t believe that I never noticed that you had a pierced ear. Then when I did see it, I didn’t really see it because of the way you were acting. Seeing you smoking, drinking and kissing my Mom made a much bigger impact. You were so cute that night."
Giles made a face. "Cute? You thought Ripper was cute? How strange."
"But you weren’t really Ripper that night, not from other things you’ve told me about that part of your life. There were just parts of Ripper there. Actually, you were more like Xander."
Giles got a horrified look on his face and he put her abruptly on her feet at the top of the stairs. "Xander? You thought I was acting like Xander? And you thought it was cute? Buffy!"
"Well, just in the horny, trying to impress me by being manly, way like Xander was at first. Except that you were all horny for my Mom." She gave him a wicked grin. "I had my first really hot dream about you that night. I dreamed that you were all over me, and I really liked it. Freaked me out when I woke up. I think that’s why I did so well on my SAT’s, I used them to keep the dream out of my mind."
Giles stared, speechless, then he started laughing again. He picked her up and swung her around. "Shall I tell you a secret? I dreamed about you that night too, that you were the one with me on the police car. It disturbed me as well because I hadn’t let myself acknowledge my feelings for you yet." He threw her on the bed and followed her down.
Buffy giggled breathlessly. "I know it’s silly, but right now I have this line from a song running through my head."
Giles gave her a mock scowl. "We’re about to make love for the first time and all you can think of is a song? Obviously I need to try harder at keeping your attention." He pulled her towel open, and leaning down, blew a raspberry on her stomach.
"Rupert," she shrieked, "that tickles."
Giles froze, then Buffy felt the tip of his tongue touch her stomach. He slowly licked up between her breasts, then lifted his head to give her a smoldering look. He leaned back down, and like a cat at a bowl of cream, gave the tip of each breast a swipe. Buffy shuddered and moaned.
Giles looked back at her, eyes still hot. "Still thinking of that song?"
Buffy looked dazed, then she blinked and grinned. "As a matter of fact, I am." She started giggling again at the look on his face. "Just a minute, let me explain. When I was little Mom used to play this album a lot and there was this one song that she and Dad would giggle about. I didn’t understand, but I do now." She looped her arms over his neck again.
"I don’t remember the name of the album, or the name of the song, but the group was Fleetwood Mac. There were two lines at the end of the song that they would sing over and over." Buffy softly sang, "’You make lovin’ fun, it’s all I want to do.’ That’s all I’ve been able to think for the last hour. You've made this so much fun, so natural. I had no idea I could feel like this."
Giles smiled. "It’s all right if you think of that song. I was afraid it was that Olivia Newton John song." At Buffy’s puzzled look he continued. "You know, ‘Let’s Get Physical’?" They both started laughing again. Giles rolled onto his back, pulling Buffy on top on him.
"I promised you some discovery time. " He flung his arms wide, stretching like a big cat on the bed. "Discover away."
Buffy sat up astride his lap. The towel that was still wrapped around his waist separated the heat and size of him from her. She gave a little wriggle.
"Christ, Buffy," he moaned and grabbed her hips. He started to lift her off. "Maybe we should get the towel out of the way."
Using her Slayer strength for the first time, Buffy grabbed his wrists, and leaning forward pinned his arms beside his head on the bed. "Not just yet. I think if the towel was gone, I wouldn’t get my discovery time." She kissed the tip of his nose and gave another wriggle.
Giles growled and twisted his wrists free, sliding his hands up her torso to cup her breasts. Staring deep into her eyes, he flexed his hands, the calluses in his palms brushing her nipples. Buffy moaned. "Discover fast," he rasped in a husky voice.
Buffy nodded, drew a deep breath, then mimicked his actions. She swept her hands up his torso, lingering for a moment on his stomach. "You're in good shape, but then you did train me, so I guess it's to be expected." She blazed a trail up his sides, finally brushing her fingertips over his nipples. Giles made a sound, a kind of growling purr, and arched into her hands. Her fingers combed through the hair on his chest, feeling the play of muscle under the skin. She stopped. She could also feel scars. Her eyes met his. "Rupert?"
"No, dear heart." When she began to speak, he put his fingers over her lips. "Yes, we will talk about it, but not today. Today is only for love and joy."
Buffy nodded and kissed his fingers. "Love and joy." She leaned over and kissed him. Before the kiss deepened very much, Buffy giggled.
Giles pulled back. "I know I said today was about joy, but I didn't think my kisses were a source of amusement."
"I can still taste the soap."
Giles just growled again, and pulled her back down. This time there was no interruption, no stopping. Mouths met and tongues tasted, trying to become one with the other. Time ceased to exist.
Giles paused, cradled between her thighs, wanting her full attention before taking the final step. Buffy ran her hands down his back, caressing his hip. "What happened to the towel?"
"You ripped it off and threw it over the railing. Buffy, are you absolute sure? If you have any doubts, we can wait."
Buffy looked down at his body. "Only you would be gentleman enough to give a girl an out at a time like this." She grabbed his ass and tugged. "I love you, Rupert." He groaned and surged forward, joining them. They lay still for a moment, savoring this first time of togetherness, and then Giles propped himself up on his elbows and started moving.
Thanks to all the foreplay, it wasn't long before Buffy experienced the first orgasm of her life. Giles stopped moving, waiting for her to come down. She blinked up at him and gasped, "No wonder Anya wants to do that all the time. How soon can we do it again?"
Giles laughed and thrust sharply, causing her to catch her breath. "Love, we’re just getting started."
Meanwhile, in the Holiday Inn across town, a familiar figure entered room 410.
Ethan Rayne closed the door and leaned back against it, dizzy. What the hell was going on here? He had been pulled to Sunnydale like iron to a magnet.
There he had been in his flat, minding his own business, when he had had the irresistible urge to fly to Las Vegas. When he had gotten there, the urge had died, and he had thought that Chaos had a chore for him to do there, so he waited. He had spent a couple of enjoyable days fleecing some of the casinos, then this morning he had awoke with the feeling that he had to get to Sunnydale.
He had immediately called a travel agent and had been shocked to find that all direct flights were booked. That left two ways to get there, rent a car and drive, or fly to L.A. and drive from there. And again, things had seemed to be conspiring against him. There were no flights that would get him into L.A. before 2 o'clock in the afternoon. He decided to drive, only to be told that the only cars available were compacts or mini vans, neither of which he would be caught dead in. Chaos seemed to be sending him a clear message. 'I want you in Sunnydale, but only after you go to LAX in the afternoon.' As soon as he had confirmed his reservations, the urgency had abated. He had shrugged and gone back to the casino for a few more hours.
He was nearly at the car rental counter at LAX when he had the close encounter with Quentin Travers. Not that Travers had noticed him. The mood Travers was in Ethan would have had to step directly in his path for him to have noticed, and even then it wouldn't have been a sure thing. Anger and chaos had swirled around him so thickly that, to Ethan, it had been visible. Of course, that had made it even more imperative to get to Sunnydale. If Travers was upset, it had to be something to do with the Slayer. And that meant Ripper was involved. He had gotten on the road as soon as possible.
Half way to Sunnydale, the car had started to act up. Ethan had tried using magic to keep it going, but to no avail. He had pulled into a rest area and called the service number. They promised to have a replacement car to him within the hour. Ethan had paced restlessly, not sure of what to do. The urge to go to Sunnydale seemed to have quieted again, but his own unease made him want to get back on the road. He sat down at one of the picnic tables.
A car pulled up and two people got out: a short middle-aged woman, and a tall young man. Ethan looked at the couple with scant interest, until he heard the man speak. "I'm going to get me a soda, would you like one as well?" The voice was English. The woman replied, "Thank you, Wesley. Pepsi if they have it. I'll just be a minute." The woman wasn't English. The air seemed to twinkle around the woman, but Ethan couldn't sense that she had any magical abilities.
The woman walked back, took the soda from Wesley, and stretched. "I appreciate that you didn't care if I stopped. I know it's not that long a drive from Sunnydale, but for some reason I felt the need to get out and stretch. It has been a long and emotional day."
"For both of us. I've hardly had any sleep since Willow called last night. Angel carried on and on all night about Buffy and Giles and how we had to get to Sunnydale. Neither Cordelia nor I were able to calm him down." The pair got back in the car and drove off.
Ethan sat there in shock. His delay had been necessary so that he would hear that conversation, but that only made him more anxious than ever to get to Sunnydale. That woman had served Chaos, even if she hadn't known that she had. The energies that had been gifted to her were obvious to those who could see. What was going on? A car followed by a tow truck pulled up behind his rental. A few minutes later he was on his way.
As soon as he crossed the city limits into Sunnydale, he had been buffeted by chaotic energy. He had stopped at the magic shop in town to buy some supplies, only to find it closed and for sale. He had checked into the hotel, hanging onto the desk to keep from falling down. When the clerk had asked if he needed help, he had told her that he needed herbs for homeopathic medicine and found, to his amazement, that she was a herbalist who grew her own. She promised to bring him what he needed in a couple of hours. He lay down on the bed.
He had never felt the forces of chaos concentrated so densely in one place before. What the hell had Ripper and his Slayer done? His dizziness seemed to ease a bit, and he decided to try a simple spell, one that might answer a few of his questions. Ethan propped himself up with the pillows. He concentrated on the mirror above the dresser across the room, and said the viewing spell. The reflection of the hotel room disappeared, and Ethan found himself looking at a woman's naked back.
He blinked, surprised, and mentally went over the spell. Had he made an error? This was supposed to show him where Ripper was. The woman sat up, and Ethan saw Ripper. He was lying on a bed, and the woman was moving on top of him. Ripper was shagging someone. A pretty, young, someone, with long blonde hair. A very limber someone, from the way she was moving. Ethan watched with semi-detached interest. So Ripper was getting shagged? So, what? What did that have to do with the inflow of chaotic energy to Sunnydale?
The woman climaxed, her head thrown back, and for a moment Ethan got a glimpse of her face. He sat up, a wide smile on his face. Ripper was shagging his Slayer! No wonder Travers had been enveloped in such a black cloud. Since he had fired Rupert, he had no control over what they did. How marvelous! The girl collapsed on Ripper's chest, and he smoothed a hand down her back, soothing her. Ethan's eyes narrowed.
What was that?
He waited for Ripper's hand to move over her back again, but he had buried it under her hair to pull her face to his for a kiss. Move your hand, damnit. Instead, Ripper rolled over. She may have been finished, but he wasn't. 'That's my boy', Ethan thought. He settled back on the pillows to watch.
One small, very small, part of him thought that perhaps he should end the spell and give the couple their privacy, but on the other hand, they didn't know they were being watched, so what was the harm? His interest wasn't prurient, it really wasn’t. He had seen Ripper in action on many occasions. He was simply observing his technique. Like that move, very interesting. The Slayer wasn't the only one who was limber. Was that the end? Yes, the action seemed to be over for now, Ripper had collapsed on her this time. In a replay of before, her hand now smoothed down his back. Ethan was surprised to see the gold band on the Slayer's left hand.
No. Not possible.
Ripper rolled again, placing the girl on his chest while he pulled a sheet over them.
And there it was. A gold band on his left hand as well.
Ethan waved his hand and released the spell on the mirror. He stared at himself in shock. Ripper had married his Slayer. Very well, that explains the chaotic energy of Sunnydale. This was a major disruption of Council business, and about damn time. But, why was he here? Maybe he had just been sent here to witness what he had just seen. Lord knows that if he had been told that Ripper married his Slayer he wouldn't have believed it. Ethan tried to stand, and fell back onto the bed as a wave of dizziness swept over him.
All right, that wasn't it. He was needed here for some reason. As soon as that girl brought his herbs he would pin point magical energies in Sunnydale and see why Chaos wanted him here. Ethan smiled. Ripper married his Slayer. He reached over to the mini fridge and took out one of the little bottles of rum. Opening the bottle he lifted it in a toast. "Here's to you old friend. I wish you joy."