This isn't a funny one, not like the last two, but kittens in the Jose verse made me think of only one thing.
mrsdrake, hope you enjoy it anyway.
Giles looked up as the clock chimed midnight. He sighed and put his book down next to the now cold pot of tea. Another night alone. It was pathetic, really, he even missed Spike. He had thought after the defeat of Adam that things would change, but they hadn't. Not really. True, Buffy did come by more often. All of the children did, but it wasn't the same. They were paired off, Willow and Tara, Xander and Anya, Buffy and Riley. They weren't comfortable around him in his single state.
Buffy had told him she would be over this evening, then had called to cancel. He had heard the sounds of a party and Riley's voice in the background. After he had hung up the phone he had called Willow and asked her to do some research for him on her computer. He had expected protests, but her voice had been subdued, and strangely sympathetic. She had said that she would bring the information right over, but he told her not to bother, the next day would be fine.
Giles felt tired. Tired of being alone, tired of being everybody's fool. Ethan, Spike, Buffy's. Time to go where he could be useful, be a man. Time to go back to England. He gave a quiet little snort. England, not home. Five years ago if anyone had told him that an obscure town in America, a Hellmouth no less, would feel more like home than the country of his birth he would asked them to have their heads examined.
No, he wasn't going home. Not yet. It would take time, but England would become home again. It must, because he couldn't stay here. Not any longer. Giles rose to his feet and took the tea tray into the kitchen. He was leaning over to turn off the lamp when the front door opened. Buffy entered, and he straightened in alarm.
She was carrying a large box in her arms, but he scarcely noticed because of the look on her face. She was angry, angrier than he had ever seen, and she was crying. "Buffy, what's wrong?" He quickly crossed the room, his eyes sweeping over her, looking for injuries.
She shoved the box into his arms. "He was going to give them to them. They were going to eat them. They're just babies."
Giles looked into the box in bewilderment. It was full of kittens. A dozen at least, probably more, all different colors, and some a little bigger than others. But still kittens, none of them more than a couple of months old. "Who?"
"Spike," Buffy hissed. "I saw him climbing out of a basement window, carrying three kittens. I followed him back to the box. When I asked him what he was doing, he said he had to pay off gambling debts." She was practically vibrating in anger. "Gambling debts! Kitten poker! He was stealing them to give to the demons that had beaten him at poker. They were going to eat them."
She started pacing restlessly. "He expected me to accept that, to condone that. To just look the other way while he stole babies away from their mothers and took little kids pets. He tried to pull that 'poor me' act, saying that he didn't have a choice with the chip in his head. That he had to survive somehow."
Buffy stopped pacing and gave Giles a grim smile. "Well he doesn’t have to worry about that anymore. I dusted him."
Giles blinked in surprise. "I thought that you didn't think it was fair to dust him, since he couldn't fight back."
"Just because he couldn't fight us physically didn't mean he couldn't hurt us. He's been hurting us all year, you most of all." Tears welled up again. "I'm sorry I didn't see that sooner." Buffy looked away then moved to take the box out of his arms. She placed it on the floor and sat next to it, reaching into the box the caress the kittens.
"He played us for fools, me most of all. I've been everybody's fool the last couple of years. Parker, Spike, Riley." The last name was said quietly, but Giles heard.
"He's been seeing someone else, but didn't have the guts to tell me. He asked me to meet him at a party this evening and he introduced us. I guess he thought I wouldn't make a scene in public." She gave a little huff. "He was wrong. I broke his jaw."
Giles, who had been thinking of finding the young man and doing a little damage himself, smiled. "Good girl. Teach him to mess around with my Slayer."
"Are you what?"
"Am I your Slayer? I know I haven't been acting like it, but I still think of you as my Watcher. Do you really think of me as your Slayer?"
Giles decided to be honest, since he didn't really have much to lose. "No, not really." He saw hurt in her eyes before she looked away. He sat beside her on the floor and gently turned her face to look at him again as he continued, "I think of you as my Buffy."
Buffy looked deep into his eyes, hers filled with confusion. He could see the moment that she understood what he was trying to say. She blinked. "Oh. Oh!" She blushed. She cleared her throat. "Well, to tell you the truth, I don't really think of you as my Watcher. I haven't for a while. You’re my Giles." Then her eyes flashed and she frowned. "And I'd better never catch another woman wearing one of your shirts."
Giles laughed and pulled her to him for a quick hug. "Never." He pulled back to look at her. "This isn't going to be easy."
"With us, what is?" Giles nodded and bent down to give her a gentle kiss. Buffy sighed when he pulled away, giving him a happy smile. A smile that faded when she looked back at the box.
"I took the three back to that house, but I don't know where the others belong. What are we going to do with them?"
"We'll put a advertisement in the newspaper saying that you found the box in the park and if anyone is missing kittens they should come and see if they are here. Any that aren't claimed we'll find homes for. And speaking of homes, you should be going to yours. You've had a busy night."
"Can I stay here? Just to stay with you," she added when she could see him beginning to object. "Nothing else. It's too soon for that." She blushed again and looked away. "I'm just afraid I'll wake up at home and this will have been another dream."
She looked back down at the box. "Besides, I need to go buy food and litter and stuff for them."
Giles looked at the kittens. "They all look healthy, and quite comfortable where they are. I think they'll be alright until morning." He stood up. "I'll make up a bed here on the sofa and get you something to wear. You go on up." He nodded towards the stairs to the loft.
Buffy shook her head. "If you don't mind sleeping sitting up for one night, I'd rather cuddle down here."
The next morning Willow opened the door and quietly walked in. She stopped in surprise at the sight on the sofa. Giles was reclining against one end, his feet on the floor. Buffy was curled up on his lap; her face nestled into his chest.
Backing up silently, Willow left, carefully shutting the door. She looked at the papers in her hand, and smiled as she tore them across. Giles wasn't going to need the travel itineraries after all.