Transformations - Chapter 8

When she got back with her doctor's kit, Moira had shaken her head. "First rule to remember, Buffy: do not allow patient's skull to make sudden contact with hard objects." She shone a little flashlight in Giles's eyes, satisfying herself that his pupils were still equal and reactive (her words), then decided they should move him out into the bedroom.

"Why?" Buffy asked.

Moira gave her a look. "Because if I sit or kneel on the floor for too long, I shan't be able to get up again. Forty-five may be the prime of life, but I've seen, so to speak, rather a lot of miles."

Buffy felt a little embarrassed--she probably should've figured that one out. Between the two of them, they managed to haul an extremely groggy Giles out to his bed, and he was just as heavy as Buffy had always suspected. Moira was very professional, washing her hands with antibacterial soap, slipping on gloves, making sure everything was sterile and remained that way--which left nothing for Buffy to do but hold an icepack to the big bump on Giles's forehead, and move the bright light a little bit whenever Moira said. The Watcher worked fast, and Buffy could tell she was good, making whole little rows of individual stitches so the wound wouldn't tear open again. Buffy hadn't known it was done that way--she probably would have put in one long line.

"Where'd you learn to do that? Is it a Watcher thing?"

Moira nodded.

"And you guys are best friends?"

The Watcher knotted a suture, then snipped. "Mmn."

"Mmn yes, or mmn no?"

"Yes. I'm concentrating."

"But that's all?"

"Why this concern?" Moira glanced up momentarily, then said, in a funny, tight voice. "Buffy, I don't much like to be--ah--touched anymore."

"Cordy said she saw you guys hugging and kissing."

"I didn't mean that. Don't you hug and kiss your friends?"

"Yeah, but anyone touches my butt, they lose a hand."

"And who is this Cordy?" Carefully, Moira put in the last stitch, disposed of her bloody gloves and began to apply a dressing to Giles's hand. "Oh, yes. Wesley's stalker."

"Believe me, the stalkage was mutual." Buffy giggled, more to release tension than anything else. "You should have seen him at the prom."

"Wesley attended a prom? Buffy, he's thirty-two years old."

"Yeah, but he used chaperoning as a cover story. Believe me. Stalkage." She giggled again. "Cordy had this great dress and looked really hot. Giles told Wesley he had the emotional maturity of a blueberry scone."

"That's outrageous. Wesley has the maturity of a day-old crumpet, at the very least." Moira gave her soft, low, wicked-sounding laugh. "My poor Wes: what a fish out of water he must have been here. Speaking of which--" She glanced over Buffy's shoulder at the clock. "I'm late to collect him from hospital. Will you be all right?"

Buffy nodded. "Wake Giles up every two hours, and if I have any trouble call 911. When he really wakes up make him drink lots of liquids. Keep him quiet and warm."

"Very good. And you've my digital phone number?"

"Any problems, I'll call," Buffy said. "Say howdy to Wes for me."

"Howdy?" Moira smiled. "Yes, I think that I shall."

She gathered up her things and Buffy walked her to the door before returning to Giles. He'd started to wake up a little, so she asked him his name--he got that one right, including the middle names, of which he apparently had two: Henry and Sebastian, which after "Rupert" seemed like a an awful lot for even English parents to have dumped on a poor, defenseless baby. She asked him who was president, and Giles answered, sleepily. "That unfortunate fellow who seems to have such difficulty keeping his trousers zipped." Buffy took that as a right answer.

She borrowed another one of Giles's shirts--a blue Oxford--and curled up beside him, watching his face as he slept, gently touching his arm or his shoulder or his chest. His chest hair felt crisp and silky at the same time, not at all the texture she'd expected. Giles wasn't ultra-buff like Angel, but he felt nice, and he looked nice in his clothes, both the old ones--even the tweed, she had to admit--and the new. Why hadn't she seen it? Why had she made all those comments, about Giles and Ms. Calendar, or Giles and her mom?

Because she was jealous, Buffy guessed. Giles was older, sure, but he wasn't really old. Lots of women thought he was pretty much a hottie, she knew that. Some of the women teachers, and some of the students, too, had flirted with Giles like there was no tomorrow--and Will said even her mom had asked about that "shy but extremely attractive man" after the MOO rally. Buffy had been too young before, and had known it--but maybe she'd been afraid someone else would snap up her Giles before she got to eighteen.

She wasn't proud of it, but she guessed a lot of her comments over the years had been aimed at Giles's self-esteem, never his strongest feature to start with, so he'd feel shy about himself when other women said flattering things.

"Oh, nice, Buff," she said aloud.

"Hmn?" Giles asked sleepily.

"Are you slipping into a coma?"

"Wasn't planning to," he answered, seriously.

"You can go back to sleep, then."

"All right." He was quiet for a while, so she thought he had, but then Giles said, "What a lovely dream."

"Glad you like it." Buffy snuggled up closer and put her head on his shoulder, her arm around his waist. Giles turned toward her a little, resting his cheek on the top of her head. It surprised her how comfortable she felt, and how at peace--another big difference from the situation with Angel, where, ever since he'd gotten back from Hell, there was always that sadness, or guilt, or the tense feeling of anxiety in the pit of her stomach that all her love couldn't quite ease. She wasn't going to ruin this moment, though, by thinking of those times. It was all right, for now, to just be.

With that in mind, she fell asleep herself.

All those late nights must have caught up with her, because when she woke up the light had changed and Giles wasn't there. She heard the shower turning off, then a few minutes later he came out, wearing his robe. It was a very nice robe, burgundy silk, and Buffy kind of suspected that maybe some woman who liked him a lot had given it to him. The robe was the kind of gift she'd always imagined giving to a man she loved, if she was older, more sophisticated, and didn't have to depend on her allowance for fundage.

Giles went to the closet, not quite walking a straight line, and peered inside, trying to pick out something to wear--but then he stopped and leaned his head against the wall.

"You know, last night I went in there by accident," Buffy told him, "And suddenly I was in a forest, with a lamppost, and then a faun with an umbrella came along and told me I was in this place called Narnia, and then he asked me to tea. It was just the weirdest."

"That's odd. Usually I get a strange-looking woman in a sleigh, offering me Turkish Delight."

"This would be because you're a bad boy."

"And I must have rather a severe head injury, because I thought I just heard Buffy Summers make a literary allusion." He half turned to her, smiling, his cheek still resting against the plaster. "A book reference."

"Hey, I knew what you meant, and I have the SAT scores to prove it. Also, I want you to realize that I have a very good mom, who read to me every night before I went to sleep when I was a kid, and lots of those books were old and English. So there." Buffy sat up against the headboard. "What is Turkish Delight, anyway? I always thought it sounded yummy."

"It's--" Giles scowled a little. "I believe what you Americans know as 'Aplets and Cotlets.'"

"That nasty, sweet, old-lady candy? That kid Edmund in the book really was a weirdo. And why are you looking for clothes? Why don't you just come back to bed?"

"Because you're in it."

"Wow, that's flattering. I'm no more in it than I've been for the past--" Buffy glanced at the clock. "Five hours. During which I was s'posed to wake you up every other hour. Thank you for not going into a coma; Moira woulda killed me."

"My pleasure." Giles abandoned his search and came to sit on the edge of the bed, looking at Buffy kind of sideways. "I remember cutting my hand. Why does my head hurt?"

"Ooh, looks like you might get a nice black eye out of it too."

Giles flopped backward on the bed. The robe gapped a little, and Buffy could see he had on boxers, silk ones, in that charcoal gray that seemed to be his favorite color. She scooted over until her face was near his, looking down into his eyes, running her fingers lightly over the bruise.

"I'm sorry. I wasn't watching when you fainted." She traced the lines of his cheekbone and jaw.

"I don't faint."

"Swooned, then." Buffy giggled, her fingers moving along his throat to his collarbones.

"Lost consciousness."

"Same difference. Anyway, you bonked your head on the corner of the vanity in the bathroom." Her thumb slipped into that little hollow at the base of his throat.

"The word 'bonked,'" Giles said reflectively, "Has a different meaning in England."

"And what would that be?" Buffy wriggled even closer. Her hand slipped beneath the lapel of his robe, stroking the now slightly-damp hair on his chest, following it down to his stomach, where the belt of his robe stopped her progress. "Mr. Giles?"

"Buffy," he said, sounding amused, but a little bit exasperated too--or maybe something else.

"Sorry," she said again. "That's a nice robe?" Buffy pulled on one end of the belt; the knot undid itself easily. "Was it a present?"

"Mmn-hmn." Either he was getting sleepy again, avoiding the issue--or, as she'd thought before, something else.

"From who?" Buffy ran a finger along the elasticized edge of his boxers. Yup, silk all right.


"That doesn't answer my question. Whom gave it to you?" Very lightly, with just the edge of her fingernail, Buffy traced the stitching of the fly.


"Still not an answer. Was it a girlfriend?" She laid her hand flat. In just a second now, she'd be touching him there. Buffy could feel the heat of him, right by the edge of her hand. Weird, she hadn't expected it to be warm like that--Angel's wasn't. Of course, Angel's wasn't. Giles seemed large, too. She wanted so badly to put her hand lower, to stroke him through the silk, and for him to touch her in return--she was getting what Faith called that "good, low-down tickle," like a ball of tightness and heat up between her own legs. Without her even meaning it to, Buffy's body pushed against his hip.

"Fiancee." Giles looked at her, his eyes dark in a way she'd never seen before. His good hand covered hers--not exactly stopping her progress, but not encouraging it either.

"Ooh, fiancee." Buffy knew she should shut up. She was breathing too fast, and her nipples had tightened into little knots, even as the heat spread all the way up to the pit of her stomach. "Big time romance for Giles. Is she still pining away for you back home in Mother England, or did you send her a dump-o-gram?"

"I thought it was possible," Giles said, "Love. Romance. But it wasn't, then, not with Eva. Not with Jenny. It isn't, perhaps." His voice had gotten sad, and Buffy was suddenly embarrassed that she'd started the whole thing--not the touching, she wanted that worse than she'd ever imagined--but that she'd let her foot go straight into her mouth again. She realized that one of the reasons that Giles didn't talk about his past wasn't so much that he was secretive, or didn't want to bore his friends in Sunnydale--but that it hurt him. He repressed stuff because that was the only way for him to deal.

"What happened?" she asked, seriously. There was some sort of pulse there, under her hand, beating hard. "I didn't mean to make fun, before." God, what if his fiancee had gotten chomped by monsters, or something? Was she ever going to learn to keep her big mouth shut?

"We were engaged for exactly twenty-six hours, seven minutes. I opened the box that contained this robe--my Christmas gift--after Eva had opened her ring, which means, I suppose, that she was my fiancee at the time. At seven minutes past three, on Boxing Day, she took the ring off again."

Buffy looked at him in confusion. Her leg, that like her body seemed to have a mind of its own, slid up between his, her soft thigh rubbing against his muscular one, the hard length of it, as his chest was, sprinkled with crisp, silky hair. "You guys have a whole day to celebrate boxing?"

"Not the sport, Buffy. It's the day one gives gifts--boxes--to those that aren't one's friends or family, such as servants, if one has them, or the poor."

"Oh. Why did...umn...Eva...take off the ring?"

"We were meant to go away together, to Norway, to see her people. Instead, I let her go alone, whilst I flew to Prague. Watcher business." Giles brought his hand away from hers, up to cover his eyes. "Buffy, will you shut out the lights, please?"

"Uh--sure." She rolled over and reached for the lampswitch, twisting it so that the only light in the room was the little bit of daylight that leaked in around the curtains, then turned right back to him. Giles lay there silently, his good hand gripping the edge of the mattress, the injured one lying across his chest.

"Is your head really bad?" she asked him.

"No, no, it's quite all right."

"Which, translated from Giles-speak, means?"

Giles didn't answer. Of course he didn't--any more than, when he was getting ready to pass out from blood loss that morning, he'd bothered to say so much as, "Oh, by the way, Buffy, I'm not actually joking--I'll be hitting the floor in about five seconds flat." A normal person would, but not Giles. Another person would say, "My fiancee dumped me the day after Christmas, your demon lover killed the only other woman I was ever able to get close too, and now here you are stirring me up when I'm terrified that I can't trust you not to break my heart.

He held onto her hand, more firmly than tenderly, and said to her--very quietly, but in one of his Watcher voices, one of the tones you couldn't argue with to save your life: "If you are not serious in this, Buffy, you must stop at once."

"Giles..." she began, but his eyes turned to hers, a dark, dark green that in the shadowy room looked almost black.

"I mean it, Buffy. If this is a whim, or experimentation, gather together your things and leave at once. We will see each other tomorrow, and carry on as we were."

"Why are you saying this stuff to me?" To Buffy's surprise, her voice sounded hoarse and shaky, like she was getting ready to cry.

"Why?" Giles rolled onto his side, propping himself up on one elbow, looking down on her. Looming, she might almost have said. The shadow of him, falling across her body, chilled her skin, even as the heat pressed toward her, from where they nearly touched.

"I thought." Buffy swallowed, her mouth suddenly dry. "I thought you loved me."

A light had come in behind Giles's eyes, like candleflame flickering behind green glass. The air began to smell weird, like fire, and the deep, dark part of a forest.

"I am. Serious. Really serious. I won't..." What wouldn't she do? She wanted to be scared, but she wasn't, not exactly. More excited, the heat spreading out of her center and down her thighs, until she almost couldn't stand not to be touched.

"Because if this means nothing," Giles told her, in the same low, earnest voice, "I think I should never be able to forgive you."

Buffy touched his jaw, bringing his face close to hers. She traced his mouth with her thumb, memorizing the shape, the curve of his lips, the texture.. The start of his five o'clock shadow felt prickly under her fingertips. Even in the low light she could see silver in it, and there was silver in his chest hair too, but for some reason, she wasn't sure why, that didn't make him seem older. She leaned closer to kiss him, not a weak little kiss this time, but something that grew and grew until it knocked down all the boundaries between them. Everything she was seemed to pour out toward him, and he returned himself with that same passion, his fingers weaving into her hair, holding her, holding her to him. They breathed into each other.

Giles tore at the line of buttons that held his shirt closed across her body. Even through the cloth his touch made her burn, and when his fingers finally caressed her bare skin, she cried out in wonder and surprise. The fabric of the shirt rubbed with pleasant roughness against her sides, even as the silk folds of Giles's robe drifted around her, with a touch like butterfly wings.

Oh, Buffy thought. Oh! Then, This is how it's supposed to feel. Her consciousness spun around, in no pattern at all, little fragments of words unloading into her brain.

Giles's mouth moved from hers, and Buffy moaned his name. When he kissed her throat, she found herself making odd little humming sounds of pleasure--though she moaned again when his fingertips, slightly rough with callus, stroked the outer edge of her breast. His thumb rolled the nipple, even as his mouth moved from her throat to the other breast, his tongue running a light, trail up the underside before his lips closed over the aureole, only his tongue-tip gliding over the puckered flesh.

His leg had come up between her thighs, and as Buffy felt her body gather itself she pressed her center hard against its hardness. She wanted to touch something, stroke something of him, but he was too tall, she couldn't reach, and so she rubbed his hair, and his back through the silk, her hips pushing toward him. She could feel his lips smiling against her breast. Lightning shot through her entire body, and she gave a little gasping cry, rolling onto her back. Giles followed her over, rising above her, his weight supported on his elbows.

His eyes never left hers. "Buffy, you know this is impossible."

"Dammit, Giles, nothing's impossible." She wanted him worse than she'd wanted anything before, to have now, at this moment, and then to know a lifetime of his touches. It was all so new, and so strange, and yet she wanted it never, never to go away. "Especially not love," she whispered.

He raised his good hand to stroke her cheek. "Odd, that I've touched you a thousand times or more, and every time you feel new. Every time you leave me breathless, Buffy. I'm too old for you, love. You know that, don't you?"

"Well, generally I go for much older guys, as you're well aware. So this time I thought I'd try for someone a little closer to my age." Buffy shook her head at the expression of hurt and confusion in his eyes. "Uh, Giles--that would be you, dummy."

"Oh, Buffy." Giles rose to kneel between her parted thighs. His hand traveled down her body, between her breasts, along the curve of her waist, down her left cheek and her leg and back up again, trailing fire wherever it touched. Then he slid off the edge of the bed, standing, looking down on her as she lay sprawled on the rumpled covers.

"Giles?" she said, uncertain, as he turned away--but he was only opening the nightstand drawer, fumbling for something inside. Buffy couldn't help smile: that was her Giles, prepared and careful. She hadn't even given the consequences of unprotected sex a thought, she'd been too ready for him. And she tried not to think who he'd bought the condoms for, and if any of the package had been used.

The robe slipped from his shoulders, and he eased the boxers over his hips, freeing himself. Buffy sat up, tugging the sleeves of Giles's shirt down her arms, hoping, at least for this time, that he couldn't see any more of her than she could see of him. She wasn't ashamed of her body, not really, but she felt, at that moment, very young, and awkward, and inexperienced. She knew that it was kind of her job to put the condom on him, but for the life of her she didn't know how. She'd skipped class the day they'd been shown in Sex Ed, and though Willow had tried to repeat the lesson with a cherry red rubber and a banana, they'd both gotten started laughing too hard to really benefit from the practice.

"Buffy?" Giles said. "Are you all right?"

She scooted to the edge of the bed, her legs hanging down. She didn't know what to do, or say. This was so different from her time before, and she kept thinking about Jenny. Had they done it? Had they? And Moira--Giles had definitely been with her. How could she possibly compare to those sophisticated, experienced women? She was going to come off as a stupid kid.

"Buffy, love." Giles knelt between her knees, his hand gently rubbing her leg--up the top, down the inner thigh, the softest skin on her entire body, never quite touching her sex although the tips of his fingers would just brush the hair every time. "Do you know what we say, back home, as part of our marriage vows?"

Biting her lower lip, Buffy shook her head.

"We say, 'With my body, I thee worship.' I would like to worship you, Buffy, more than anything I've wanted in my life." Giles pulled closer, kissing her cheek, then her mouth. "You must never, never feel awkward or ashamed with me. We will only do what you want, no more. All right?"

"Okay," Buffy breathed. Why was she acting this way? It's not like she was a virgin, though she wished she could be, for him. She hoped Giles wasn't thinking of Angel at all, and she wished, more than anything she could get Angel's face out of her mind--though it wasn't Angel's face she was seeing, really, but Angelus's. The way he'd mocked her. The way she'd cried.

"I will still be the same," Giles told her. "Before, during, after. I shan't change. I shall still love you, and respect you, every bit as much as I do now. Do you believe me?"

She nodded, feeling the tears start in her eyes. Giles's arm slipped around her, resting at the base of her spine. He bent to kiss her thighs, left, then right--close, so close she began to shiver uncontrollably.

"Lie back a little, love," he told her, and Buffy reclined, resting on her elbows, head thrown back. She guessed what he was about to do, and it embarrassed and excited her. He blew lightly on her tight blonde curls, stirring her into prickles of pleasure. His tongue slipped in between her lips to trace the outline of her sex, tasting her, then glided upward to tease her clitoris out of hiding, his tongue-tip stroking her in little flickers. His hand pulled out from behind her back and began to stroke her stomach lightly, gently, a feeling like being brushed with feathers. Her legs pulled up, heels pressing at the edge of the mattress, and again, Giles followed her.

"Tell me what you want," he breathed against her. "Tell me what you need." His tongue returned to her, one long, slow stroke, as his hand pressed over her mound and she came in an instant, crying out sharply.

"Please," she said, "Please." Lights of different colors flashed behind her eyes. Dimly, she could hear him tearing open the condom packet, and she scooted up on the mattress to give him room to lie. The tip of him brushed her, encased in latex, and though Buffy knew it was ridiculous she felt a moment of panic--he seemed very big. What if he was too big for her? What if he didn't fit?

He brushed her again, his penis so hard now it must have been painful. She dared to look up into his eyes, and saw, in his face, an expression of profound concentration. "I can stop," he told her. "Any time you say the word, I can stop."

"Ever the gentleman," she managed.

"One does what one can," Giles answered. Buffy didn't miss the tension in his voice.

"Pray proceed, Mr. Giles," she told him, giggling. She really needed to stop reading those romance novels.

Giles laughed too, quietly, stooping over her, sliding just the tip of his cock inside her. "All right?" he asked again.

Buffy nodded. Giles thrust gently, filling her, stretching her inner walls, that were already slick with her previous orgasm. He lay above her, moving slowly, allowing her to become accustomed to the feel of him inside her.

Buffy reached up, rubbing his chest, brushing his nipples with her thumbs. Giles began to move a little more urgently, and Buffy raised her legs, locking them around him, using her strength to bring him closer and closer still, his muscular chest with its light mat of hair rubbing wonderfully against her breasts. The heat began to build in her again, from that touch, and from the movement of him in her passage. He ducked his head, capturing her mouth, tongue thrusting against hers, and then her capacity for conscious thought left her again, and they were rocking together in hard, rapid, synchronized motion. Her nails clawed into his back but she doubted that he noticed, because he was coming, and she, a second later, followed, hanging in that place where time didn't exist, only wave after wave of rippling pleasure. Her body, with a mind of its own, captured him, holding him to her.

Giles called out her name, but Buffy just cried. She didn't have any words left.

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