Change of Pace part 3

"Your fugitive's name is Slayer Buffy Summers." Xander tried to lighten the mood.

"Why is he here?" Cordelia asked Giles.

"I might ask the same question." He retorted with a fierce look that he held as he chomped down on a cookie that crumbled into his lap.

"Smooth Romeo!" Cordelia snickered.

"Stop it! The two of you are both equally important members of our... um... " Giles searched for a description.

"Scoobie gang!" Oz finished.

"Yes... thank you, Oz." Giles smiled.

Oz nodded and let Willow sit on his lap and place a proud kiss on his lips. "Glad to be of service."

Giles couldn't tell if Oz was responding to him or Willow. What a juvenile gang they were, and now his place was the unspoken official headquarters. A hint of pride filled his heart.

"We are meeting here to discuss recent... shall we say, occurrences at Buffy's residence." He looked to Buffy for acceptance of his choice in words. She shrugged and grabbed another chocolate kiss. "Yes, well... it seems that Buffy and Joyce had a bit of a falling out and Buffy will be needing a place to stay."

"I'm re-wording my earlier question." Cordelia quipped, "Why am I here?"

Xander stared livid at Cordelia then looked at Buffy, "Well, my favorite Slayer is more than welcome to stay... at... my... " Willow's wildly waving hands caught Xander's eye. She slowly mouthed 'No' and pointed to Giles and Buffy who were oblivious to her motions. "... More... than welcome to stay at Giles place. Right G-man?" Willow smiled and gave him a thumbs up.

Giles shook his head at the boy's insistence at calling him that irritating name. "Yes, Buffy will be staying with me." Again, he looked to Buffy for a reaction. She cracked a subtle smile and grabbed another chocolate. He returned a smile and continued. "Buffy's mom will no doubt be searching for her. We have to keep this quiet for both our sakes."

"Why?" Cordelia asked and poured herself more tea.

"Well, um... Buffy's mother is having troubles with accepting... " Giles was interrupted by Buffy.

"I never want to see her again. That's all you need to know." Buffy lowered her head and stared at her shoes.

"Geeze, forgive much?" Cordelia mumbled.

"Look whose talking." Xander hissed.

"Please... we need to focus on Buffy's needs now." Giles interrupted.

"You make me sound like a quadriplegic, Giles. Just don't let my mom know where I am. She needs to think I ran away to Los Angeles. Are we clear?" Buffy was on edge.

"Crystal!" Xander agreed.

"Yes. Now can I leave?" Cordelia stood up and walked to the door.

"Uh, yeah. I think we all need to leave Buffy to her new... uh... whatever. Come on." Willow held Oz's hand and pulled him to the door. She grabbed at Xanders shirt as she passed him, urging him to follow. "Take care Buffy. I'll see you tomorrow."

"Have sweet slayer dreams, Buffster." Xander offered with a smile.

"Thanks guys." Buffy tried to smile but her heart wasn't in it. The door closed and Buffy took in a deep breath.

Giles heart reached out to her, "How are you doing?"

"How do you think? I'm homeless and family-less." She grabbed a decorative pillow and held it to her chest.

"Not as long as I'm around." Giles moved to join her on the couch. He didn't know what to do. He knew what he wanted to do but considered his options. Buffy fidgeted with a corner of the pillow. He slowly took the corner of the pillow and pulled it from her grasp. Once the pillow was free from her possession, she began to cry and Giles opened his arms inviting her in. "We'll get through this. I promise." She sobbed and buried her face into his chest. He held her all night, letting her vent her anger and sadness into the protection of his welcoming chest.

Giles woke to find himself still spread out on the couch with Buffy sleeping deeply on his chest. He sighed with contentment; it felt wonderful to have her so close to him. It was as if something missing had been returned. His heart was complete, whole. Then she shifted and the movement made him utterly aware of the consequences of her body against his. 'What is wrong with me? I'm not bloody sixteen.' He thought and planned his escape. He tried to slide out from under her tempting form. The subtle movement caused her to wiggle her hips, trying to cuddle back into her warm bed. Unfortunately, Giles was the bed and once again his groin was the center of her unwanted attention. He closed his eyes as she shifted again, feeling the rush of arousal overtake him. "I'm never going to survive this," he breathed.

"Survive what?" Buffy mumbled with a smile.

'Thank you so bloody much!' Giles thought, cursing the powers that be. "Nothing... just dreaming." He answered.

Buffy opened her eyes and looked up at him glossy-eyed. His distress faded with the warmth of her smile. "Good morning."

"Good morning," she sprang up into a sitting position, "Oh god, Giles. You slept in that position the whole night?"

"Uh, yes but it was no bother... really." He tried to sit up and felt a nerve pinch in his spine. His held his breath until the sharp pain subsided, trying not to let Buffy see his pained expression.

"Thank you, Giles. You've been so... you're my rock. You're solid, dependable... I really need that now." She stood up and headed to the bathroom.

"That's me. Like a rock!" Giles mumbled under his breath and glanced defiantly at his jeans bulging against the strain of his erection.

"Isn't that a truck slogan?" Buffy asked and closed the bathroom door.

Giles leaped to his feet, 'Damn her Slayer hearing, ' he thought and hoped she hadn't noticed his morning salute to her.

Giles arrived at the library five minutes late. A practice he normally reserved for special occasions like when the new spring line of exercise wear arrived at the local malls. He learned it was best to divert his attention else ware when Buffy would parade in front of him with her new form fitting delectable work out clothes. He would try to avoid her morning visit until he had better control over his libido. He dropped his bag off in his office and walked out into the main room to discover Principal Snyder standing by the side of Joyce Summers at the entrance to the library.

"Mrs. Summers... uh, do come in," he tried to flash her his million dollar smile, the one that had seduced her in the band candy incident. But then he suddenly became aware that the design was a poor one due to her previous accusations toward him. "How can I be of service?" He tried to divert their attention to the books that pilled up in the return cart.

"Mrs. Summers has brought it to my attention that you have been spending an inappropriate amount of time with her daughter, Buffy." Snyder stepped forward, oozing confidence.

"Is that so?" Giles raised an eyebrow to Joyce. She didn't answer, she just bounced her gaze back and forth between Snyder and him. "I see. Well, I consider young miss Summers my friend; as well as her mother. I spend no more time with them as I would any other close acquaintance." He answered as politically correct as he could. 'You bleedin' pillock!' he thought.

"Yes, well... young Buffy Summers has come up missing and we believe you may know where she is." Snyder said accusingly.

Giles continued his morning routine, thinking of what he should prepare Buffy for dinner.
"I'm sorry to disappoint you, principal. I haven't seen her. I wish I could cross her path, though. She hasn't returned a particularly valuable print of Shakespeare's sonnets... " he looked at Joyce, "... a personal favorite of mine." She looked away.

"Ok... fine! Have it your way. Mrs. Summers has informed me of her intent to involve the police by the end of the week if Buffy hasn't appeared. Why don't you inform the little... Buffy, if you happen to cross her path before then." Snyder turned to leave and Giles tried to hold his tongue. The urge to speak was too strong. "Principal Snyder, might I have a word?" Snyder glanced at Joyce and she nodded toward the door.

"I'll meet you in my office in five minutes," he smiled confidently. He walked over to Giles who waved an open hand toward his office.

A wicked grin played along the librarian's lips as he shut the door behind Snyder. "I don't appreciate you accusing me of inappropriate behavior towards Buffy in front of her mother."

"Just doing my job. Oh well, can't say I blame you. If Buffy's anything like her mom, I couldn't help but try to get a piece of th... " Snyder never finished his comment; Giles fist silenced him.

"Never refer to either of them in such a imbecilic manner again." He threatened with a pointed finger to Snyder's chest.

Snyder's eyes were wide as he tended to his bleeding nose. "I hate foreigners!" he hissed and left licking his wounds.

Giles sighed at his predicament. How often was it that a high school librarian has a one-night stand with the mother of his true love and ends up defending the honor of both? He began to hate foreigners as well. He went back to his work and considered treating Buffy to his famous lasagna.

part 4...