Change of Pace part 5

A week later...

Giles woke to the sounds of muffled moans. It took him a moment to recognize it was Buffy's voice. He quickly threw on his robe and rushed down stairs to the guest room. The door was open slightly so he ducked his head in.

"Oh god... " she moaned.

'She's in pain. Wake her, it's a nightmare he thought and moved to the bedside. He knelt down and lifted a hand toward her shoulder.

"Please... more!" she groaned in ecstasy.

Giles lowered his hand to his robe, securing it. 'She seems to be enjoying herself.'

"God... GILES!" Her body thrust towards him and he fell back, hitting his head on the door. He pushed himself to his feet, rubbing the wound.
'I must have misheard... '

"Harder... take me, Giles." She rocked under the sheets, gaining in momentum. He felt his loins stir with every urging. She bellowed a final, "GILES" and the sexual sleep-romping was over.

His jaw dropped. He was in serious trouble.

Buffy stirred, and Giles hurried out of the room, stubbing his toe on the door.

Another week later...

Giles sat in his bed, writing in his journal...

    'Weeks have passed without any sign of trouble. The masquerade is in place and Buffy's slaying has improved considerably. I have been treading cautiously to introduce some of my normal routines that Buffy must grow accustomed to. I worry I might drive her away if I'm not a bit more modest with my usual behaviors. She seems to be acclimating to her new surroundings with surprising enthusiasm. I must admit, having her here has made this old place... welcoming.'

He set the journal on the nightstand and got out of bed. He looked in his closet for the usual attire then considered a change.

'It will be the robe today. Little steps... don't want to wig her out,' he smiled at his ridiculous use of her ludicrous slang. She was rubbing off on him.

"Good morning. How did you sleep?" Giles walked into the kitchen in his wine tinted robe and his face free from glasses.

"Great. I haven't had a nightmare since I moved... " Buffy looked up at Giles, noticed the robe and let out a faint sigh. "Oh... that's nice," she mumbled without realizing she'd said it out loud.

"Come again?" He took the kettle and filled it with water.

"What? Oh... um. Is that new? Your robe?" Buffy stammered.

"This? No... quite old actually." He paused and looked at her, "I'm sorry, does it bother you. I didn't mean to... I-I was just feeling so... uh, comfortable with our arrangement. I thought I might return to some old habits, this being one."

"Yes... I mean no. I mean... you should do what you want. This is your place, Giles. I'm just visiting." She reached out and straightened the collar of the robe, "I like it. Its... refreshing." Buffy smiled.

Giles concern melted into a grin. "This is your home Buffy. You should feel free to make any alterations necessary to claim it as such."

"Nah, I like it just the way it is."

That evening...

"No more Wil. My brains bursting." Buffy tossed the pencil on the table in front of her.

"Come on Buffy. You've got to keep up with your studies. One more chapter and I'll treat you to a mocha." Willow bribed.

"With whip cream?" Buffy's eyes perked up.

"Nothings good enough for my Slayer!" Willow teased.

"That would be my Slayer," Giles said as he closed the door behind him.

"Giles! You're going to be so proud of Buffy," Willow jumped up and ran over to him, flailing a sheet of paper in her hand, "Look!" she presented it to him.

Giles took the mysterious page, adjusted his glasses and examined the item. It looked like a multiple-choice test, very official, with a brilliant red B+ decorating the top.

"Buffy got a B+ on the test I gave her. She's doing better in chemistry than she ever did in school." Willow beamed with pride.

"Yes, Willow. I see. I especially like the little stars circling around the perimeter of the letter grade. Nice touch, very academic." He smiled at her and looked at Buffy, "Nice work. I am indeed proud; of both of you." He hung his coat over the couch and set down his bag.

"I thought the stars would encourage her more." Willow explained.

"Yes, I'm sure they do," Giles noticed a piece of lint on Willow shoulder and brushed it away. "You would make an excellent professor some day."

'Hey!' Buffy thought, 'What about me?' She looked around, grabbed a small crumb of a potato chip and carefully placed it slightly above her chest.

"We still have work to do with math but she's coming along." Willow rejoined Buffy on the couch and Giles sat down across from them.

"Guys... Slayer in an earshot. I'm right here." Buffy was miffed he hadn't noticed her crumb yet.

"Buffy, you have s-something... " Giles pointed to her crumb and Buffy smiled innocently.

"Hmmm?" She hummed.

Willow brushed the crumb away. "There. Cleanliness is next to... "

"Thanks Wil!" Buffy interrupted harshly. She suddenly realized she was jealous of the attention Giles showed Willow. 'When did this happen?'

"I think I'll go have a shower. Buffy, you should thank Willow for her tutelage. Due to your required absence from school, she's your only source of academia." He disappeared into the bathroom.

"That's what I told her... " Willow stopped when she noticed Buffy biting at her top lip. "What?"

"Wil... you ever think about Giles? I mean in a non-librarian, non-Watchery way?" Buffy whispered and looked over toward the bathroom to make sure Giles wasn't there. The shower came on and she relaxed a little.

"What do you mean?" Willow knew where she was heading with the question but tried to play coy.

"You know... like he's a man?"

"Buffy... he is a man!"

"I know, but I guess I never thought of him that way. He's always been book-guy."

"Welcome to the real world Buff. Giles is a real live breathing man. You should've figured that one out that morning you had the lumpy awakening." Willow snickered.

"Maybe living here's affecting my judgment. I'm noticing things... little things." Buffy closed the textbook sitting in front of her.

"Like? Spill it Buffy. This girls gotta thirst for knowledge." Willow sat forward, eagerly waiting details.

"Oh it's silly stuff." Buffy waved her hand, dismissing her thoughts.

"Give. That's an order!"

"Ok... fine. Before I moved in, Giles wouldn't touch me. I mean, except when we were training of course. Now, I see a bit more nudging. Little playful pushes, touches. And I can't seem to keep my hands off him."

"Xander and I are always foolin' around like that. What's the big deal?"

"Well, I noticed him in his robe this morning; minus his glasses. My mind froze. I could only think one thing." Buffy felt her face flush with the memory.

"Which was?" Willow was too curious.

"Yummy!" Buffy's forehead creased. "Am I a freak? Besides the obvious Slayer thing?"

"Of course not. It's totally natural. Well, even I have found myself with occasional flutter of the heart when I see Giles doing something particularly Gilesy." Willow knew she could take advantage of this sudden development.

"Like when he stutters uncontrollably when I tease him a little." Buffy smiled at the image.

"Yeah, or when he gives you that look over the rim of his glasses. You know?"

"Uh-huh. Or when he cleans his glasses when he's uncomfortable or nervous."

"When he does his absent-minded little 'hmmm?' when he realizes you were talking to him and he'd spaced out." Willow giggled.

"Yep. Or when he has you in the Dover stance and his hips just can't seem to pivot enough so he can't follow through with the... " Buffy realized she was rambling.

"Can't say I can relate to that one." Willow smiled at Buffy's enjoyment of the recollection. "I envy you."

"What? Why?" Buffy was bewildered.

"You and Giles. You have something special... unique."

"Complicated. At least now it's complicated." Buffy sighed and bit into a potato chip.

"What's so complicated about it? You're a woman, he's a man."

"He's like a parental unit one minute and a close friend the next. We talk about things I don't even discuss with you. Dreams and stuff. It's hard to explain."

"What's the real issue here Buffy?" Willow knew she was close to her goal.

"I don't know. Something's missing. I think our relationship is changing."

"See... I'm envy girl. I will never have what you two have."

"Wil, come on... " Buffy shook her head.

"Don't get me wrong... I love Oz, with all my heart. But here you have this man... not a boy, a man! He's so completely devoted to you that his whole life centers on being there for you. He studied and trained and gave up everything to be your Watcher. Everything he does, everything he is... is for you." Willow felt her throat tighten at the thought. "Just think about it, Buffy. It's so romantic." Willow stared at Buffy, waiting for a reaction.

The color faded from Buffy's face. "My God Wil. Why did you tell me that?"

"Are you ok?" Willow was worried, she'd said too much.

"I can't breath. I mean... no. I don't want that. Giles doesn't think of me that way. Right?" Buffy looked to Willow with an expression of panic.

"Buffy, calm down. Nothings changed. Giles is still Giles." Willow took her by the shoulders.

"You think he cares that way? That he could possibly think of me that way?" Buffy looked over at the bathroom again.

"Buffy, he loves you. Everyone sees it but you."

Buffy stood up and began to pace around the room. "What should I do? Ohmygod, Ohmygod... he loves me. Of course. How did I not see it?"

Willow stood up and stepped into Buffy's path. "Do you love him?"

Buffy couldn't answer. It frightened her.

"You cannot hurt him, I won't let you. Do you love him?" Willows face exuded seriousness. The sound of the shower stopped and both friends looked over and back.

"I think I do." Buffy said breathlessly. "That's what's missing. I love him."

Willow quickly gathered her things. "Then tell him. He deserves to know."

"Are you sure?" Buffy caught Willow's arm as she opened the door.

"He's been waiting to hear it since the summer you ran away." She smiled and closed the door behind her.

Buffy turned around and stared at the bathroom door.

part 6...