Title: The Wearing of the Tweed
Author: Sweetdoggie (email@example.com)
Pairing: No real pairing, just Giles and the Gang
Rating: FRC, humor
Summary: A new tweed jacket causes some controversy
Disclaimer: No permission has been granted to use the characters. They are owned by their creator, Joss Whedon, Twentieth Century Fox, UPN, WB, and Mutant Enemy. This story is non-profit and is intended solely as entertainment. No copyright infringement is intended.
The Wearing of the Tweed
Giles walked into the library, his new tweed coat draped casually over his shoulder. He knew the children would mock him for wearing tweed but they didn't understand the rich history and the wonderful wear the fabric gave for literally years. His favorite jacket was one he had purchased twenty years earlier on a visit to the Isle of Harris, Scotland. It was soft and warm and beautifully tailored. As much as he loved them, the Scooby gang would never understand the pleasing utility of the fabric. It had an aura, a mystique; it had character.
Buffy looked up from her history book as he entered the room.
“Hi, Giles,” she smiled at him. “Hey! That's a new jacket.”
He was surprised. It wasn't like Buffy to notice his clothing beyond her normal disparagement.
“Yes, it is.”
She narrowed her eyes and looked at it closely. “It's tweed, isn't it?” Her voice sounded somewhat disappointed.
“Why, yes. A very serviceable fabric.” He felt the need to defend it.
She sighed mightily. “You know, it wouldn't hurt you to break out into some other fabric once and a while. You could work up to it. Start with corduroy with those leather elbow patches or something.”
“Corduroy doesn't wear well. Tweed wears like iron. I've been very glad to have it on some of the occasions of our patrols.”
Buffy looked at him and shook her head. What a cruel waste of a handsome man to wrap him in such an old-fashioned fabric. “Whatever.”
He moved into the room and draped his jacket over the back of a chair. “What are you studying today?”
“History. Industrial Revolution.” She sounded tired.
“Ah, that's very interesting.”
The three teens looked at him with wordless awe.
“Interesting?” Xander moaned. “Only if you have a thing for stupidly named inventions. What is the Spinning Jenny, anyhow?”
Giles joined them at the table. “It was a marvelous invention that allowed multiple threads to be spun at one time.”
Xander looked like he might just slip into a coma. “And that's good, why?”
“Prior to the invention of the Spinning Jenny, every bit of thread that went into creating a fabric had to be spun one thread at a time by one person at a time. Suddenly, one person could spin multiple spools of thread, thus leading to a cheaper, less time-consuming production of cloth.”
“I guess that would be important,” Willow said slowly, trying to get her mind around the concept of making cloth one thread at a time.
Buffy yawned, not necessarily only from boredom, but because she'd been patrolling late the previous evening. “I need a topic for a paper, Giles. Something Industrial Revolutiony.”
He pinched the bridge of his nose. “Why don't you write about how the Industrial Revolution changed the manufacture of cloth? That would be interesting.”
Buffy looked at him. “Giles, in Bizzaro world that would be interesting. In Sunnydale, California, maybe not so much.”
Xander told her jokingly that she should write about the production and manufacture of tweed. “I'm sure Giles probably has an old jacket or something you could use for show and tell.”
That sounded mildly more intriguing to her. “Yeah. Tweed. I mean, it would be like an example and everything,” Buffy said thoughtfully. She leaned across the aisle and pulled the 'T' volume of the encyclopedia towards her. “Tweed. Tweed. Tweed. Here it is.” She settled down to read.
Giles knew the minute she found the information on fulling or waulking, the process of stretching the tweed fibers into usable form.
“Oh Dear Lord!!!” she yelped, culling the phrase from his vocabulary.
“What is it, Buffy?” Willow asked curiously. A pale and wan Buffy handed her the encyclopedia.
“Look at the part on 'waulking'.” Buffy said in a fading tone.
“Oh, OH, eeew!”
“What? What is it?” Xander was practically hopping with curiosity.
Willow handed him the book and pointed out the appropriate paragraph. He read more slowly than either of the girls, but they saw the idea of what he had read take hold. They watched him read it again, more carefully before he dropped the book to the table and looked up.
“Human urine? They soak it in pee?” He looked green. “Is that why it always smells so funky?”
“It doesn't smell 'funky',” Giles explained patiently. “It smells like tweed—a wool fabric. And I seriously doubt that it is made in that manner today. Even in the wilds of Scotland, people have moved into the twentieth century, you know.”
“Is that what they call a Pee coat?” Buffy asked, still pale.
“No, it is not. A Peacoat is simply a double-breasted coat or jacket made of pea. It's a coarse woolen fabric. Originally of Frisian origin, I believe.” Giles could feel a headache coming on. He was never going to live this down.
The three teens turned as one and looked at his new tweed jacket. “Pee coat!” somebody mumbled under their breath.
“It is not a peacoat! Good Heavens! Are you ten?” Giles stood, grabbed his jacket from the chair and stalked into his office, pointedly closing the door firmly behind him.
“Pee coat!” could be heard echoing through the room, followed by gales of laughter. He simply shook his head and set about preparing himself a pot of tea, extra strong. It was going to be a long day.
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