Change of Pace part 1
Rating: FRAO
Pairing: Buffy/Giles

"This simply won’t due," Giles swiped his glasses from his face and began to clean them with irritated determination.

"Hey… I’m in the know here too, Giles. This isn’t working out but what can I do? I’m under a parental government here, not to mention critically grounded." Buffy shrugged and slumped into a chair at the library table.

"Buffy, I understand it must be a chore balancing slaying with your responsibility to your mother, but I must insist on your patrolling tonight." He returned his glasses, planted his hands to the table, and leaning forward. "Vampiric activity has almost doubled in the east end since you’ve been under house arrest."

"Yeah, I had that nagging feelin’. Been having some major Technicolor nightmares lately."

Giles brows perked. "R-really? What sort, prophetic?"

"Not sure but major wiggins." Buffy stood and hooked her bag over her shoulder. "I better get going. Got a date with a hell spawn of evil."

"Algebra or chemistry?" Giles grinned.

"Chemistry." Buffy pouted. "I’ll try to duck in here after sixth period, before mom picks me up." She headed for the library doors.

"Buffy, I am sorry this has become such a burden on you and your mother." His gaze following her to the exit. "But do try to patrol tonight. My attempts to fill your shoes are shoddy at best. Sunnydale needs its Slayer."

"I know, Giles. I’ll try." She sighed and tried to leave.

"Oh… and one more thing." Giles stepped after her. Buffy paused and glared back, obviously put out. I’ll be leaving next weekend for a overnight stay in England. Please check in with me Saturday morning before I depart."

"Your order is my command," she mumbled, kicked open the library doors and stormed off.

Giles shook his head. As forgiving as he was, he knew the Council would assume Buffy wasn’t properly managing her life as a Slayer. He’d tried to give her some leeway with having a social life but her mother’s interference was a valid hazard. Joyce’s insistence that Buffy participate in extracurricular activities at school made Buffy short for time to the point she was cutting into her rest in order to keep up with demand. It was disconcerting how it was affecting Buffy’s physical performance. Her speed was lacking, her endurance was nonexistent, and to say her mood was unstable was more than a generous understatement. Giles concluded that it was time to discuss a change of pace.

One week later…

"Rupert, I must admit to a bit of shock at your request." Travers allowed a slight grin to show through his stiff resolve. "You’re not one who adheres to traditions easily. Perhaps I should inquire as to why there is this sudden insistence to repositioning the Slayer?"

"W-well, I’m afraid c-circumstances require…"

"A simple ‘you were right’ would suffice, Mr. Giles." Travers smiled smugly and gave a nod. "Permission granted. The council will make the necessary arrangements and report back to you when suitable lodging has been acquired."

Giles gritted his teeth, trying to hide his contempt for the man. "Thank you." He started his escape toward the exit.

"Oh, Mr. Giles, there is one more thing."

Giles turned around, wearing his practiced counterfeit smile."Yes?"

"You must commit the Slayer to her new circumstance. The Council would never have dealt with Miss Summers in such an unruly fashion. It is your responsibility to deal with the repercussions of your insubordinate behavior."

‘That’s right, press your luck, you weasely twit!’ Giles thought and smiled brighter. "Yes, of course." As he left the building he loosened his collar and tie to relieve the tension knotted in his neck. It was nearly inhuman, how infuriating Travers condescending tone could be.

Back in Sunnydale…

Buffy dragged herself through the library doors with Willow and Xander in tow.

"What’s the hubbub G-man? The Buffster said you had some news?" Xander claimed his chair in with a squeaky spin of the wooden legs on tile. He straddled his legs around the back support and drummed his hands impatiently on the table.

"Do we have a wacky fun ghoulie in our quaint little township?" Willow asked eagerly.

Giles smiled at how Willow lit up the library with her perkiness, then his glance fell on Buffy who was less inviting in her enthusiasm. In fact, she could barely keep her eyes open, with a posture to match, shoulders drooped low in the chair.

"Get on with it," Buffy grumbled.

"Uh… alright," he started. "Firstly, I want both Willow and Xander to know how much I appreciate your help in these… erm, matters."

"My keen sense of rejection is sounding the alarm for a brush off. Are you breaking up with us?" Xander smirked.

"What? You’re kicking us out of the gang?" Willow shot Giles a wounded look. "What did we do wrong? Xander, what did you do?"

"W-Willow, wait," Giles stammered.

"It’s not his gang, Will. He’s not the boss of us," Xander interrupted.

"Yeah... well, Giles, I usually respect my elders but I gotta throw a big veto in on this smear campaign," Willow continued, "We invented the Scoobie gang and… and I think it’s up to Buffy to decide who gets kicked to the curb."

"Kicked to the curb?" Xander cocked his head to the side and cast a curious look to Willow.

"Just trying the hip terminology. Being in 'the now'," she explained.

"Not working for ya, Will. Stay in the 'you', okay?"

Giles watched the two friends continue to ramble for a moment then noticed Buffy was fast asleep, her head supported by a pillar of textbooks on the table.

"That’s enough," he ordered louder than he’d wished. He looked back at Buffy who, mercifully, remained asleep. His attention returned to Xander and Willow, motioning urgently for them to escort him to his office. They glanced at Buffy and nodded in agreement, following Giles to his sanctuary. Once the door closed, Willow opened her mouth to continue the argument.

"Wait, please," Giles interrupted."You don’t understand. I'm not kicking you out of anything. I simply need to discuss something that's likely to affect all of us." He took a seat at his desk. "As of late, Buffy has been suffering from extreme fatigue and sleep deprivation brought on by her mother's interference with her schedule."

"Oh, is that why we have the Rip Van Winkle routine going on out there?" Xander asked.

Giles sighed. "Yes. Buffy is in dire need of a change and I'll need your help… the both of you…" he smiled at Willow, "…to get Buffy through this difficult time."

"Whatever you need G-man, the Scoobies are at your service," Xander agreed easily.

"Don’t call me that," Giles growled.

Xander smiled. "You’re the pimp G!"

Willow punched Xander in the shoulder. "Now you’re just being mean, making fun of me." She pushed him toward the office door. "I was just trying something new." She continued bickering quietly as she shuffled them both to the library exit.

"One of these days I'm going to have to ask what the bloody hell is a Scoobie?" Giles mumbled under his breath.

Xander rolled his eyes as he let Willow bully him out of the library.

Giles quietly returned to the library table where his sleeping Slayer slept contentedly. She looked so peaceful, so vulnerable, so very precious. He gently curled a stray lock of golden hair behind her ear, admiring her delicate features. The gentle caress was welcomed with a slumbering smiled as she nuzzled up to his fingers. If only he could have such moments with her when she was awake.

He knelt beside her and carefully placed a hand on her shoulder. "Buffy." He shook her very slightly. "Buffy, wake up, please."

Her barely opened her eyes, smiling tiredly when she saw him. "I’m sorry. I pulled another nap time, didn't I? Did I miss anything important?" She lifted her head and tried to rub the sleep from her eyes.

"Buffy, you need sleep. You can’t keep up this schedule." With the realization his hand was still on her shoulder, he jerked back, laboring inelegantly to hide his embarrassment.

"I know, but what’s a busy working Slayer to do?" She shrugged and slumped back onto the stack of textbooks, sound asleep a moment later.

"Dear girl." Giles returned to one knee and tried to stir Buffy awake again.

"Buffy, please, you can’t sleep here. Um, well… perhaps if I relocated you to my office." He looked around the empty library, as if waiting for someone to disapprove. then tried once more to awaken her. She was lost to the waking world. It was obvious he wasn't going to revive her.

"Damn," he whispered. What could he do? "I’ll write you an excusing note if you will just wake up and move, Buffy." No answer. Finally, he swept her up into his arms, surprised when she immediately wrapped her arms around him and snuggled into the crook of his neck. Giles froze as a jolt of arousal washed over him.

"Lord, not now," he muttered and continued into his office. The warmth of her breath tickled his neck, sending blood rushing to parts better left slumbering in his current predicament. His composure was quickly unraveling as he reached the destination and tried to place her on the ground by his calisthenics gear. Unfortunately, she wasn’t releasing her hold on his neck. He tried to gently unclench her fingers, prying with desperate tenderness to get himself free from her distracting conduct. Soon, the unintentional wrestling sent inappropriate thoughts creeping into his head.

"Buffy," he whispered not wanting to wake her but desperate to get away, "Please!" Her grip lessened and she began to roll over.

"Thank God," Giles sighed with relief, failing to notice she’d caught hold of his vest. As she continued to roll, her Slayer-strength grip pulled Giles over with her and he found himself worse off then he had been before, pinned beneath her bare leg with her arm stretched possessively over him and her hand cupping his increasingly responding groin.

‘You’ve got to be joking,’ Giles thought, ‘There is no bloody way she could sleep through all that.’ Amazingly enough, she was still sleeping soundly, a contented smile plain on her lips and not a care in the world. It broke his heart to move but he knew he was in a dangerous dilemma that was growing with every moment. With a regretful sigh, he slipped out from under her, straightened his suit and closed the door to the office. He watched Buffy for any sign of waking as he took a seat at his desk.

"It'll for the best, Buffy, " he whispered to the sleeping Slayer. "If there was another way... but your mother's left us little choice. I can only hope you'll understand in time and find it in your heart forgive me."

part 2...