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Disclaimer: Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, Fox, WB, FX, etc,etc own the rights. I don’t. I’m making no money off of this. This is for enjoyment only. The characters herein are their property.
Author: escargot
Rating: An odd sort of PG-13 (It all really depends on how you look at it)
Distribution: If you want it, take it, but tell me where you're putting it.

Subtexty, very subtexty Buffy/Giles interaction here. It all depends on how you look at it.

Rupert Giles had never been accused of being impractical. Not even in his wild days as Ripper had he ever done something impractical. Foolish, yes, but impractical never.

He bought expensive sweaters not because they were expensive, but because they would last longer and therefore actually cost less in the long run. He was apt to spend more money on old books and better weapons rather than buy expensive shampoo as they would in the end do more for his person than a thick and shiny head of hair. He bought his meat on sale because he really didn’t need to impress himself with his meager cooking skills and the heat killed off any harmful bacteria the same in a fresh cut of beef as it would in a slab that had been cut for a while.

That then brought up the question of why on Earth he had bought a sporty red convertible. It truly boggled one’s mind that he had done something so utterly unbefitting of his character.

Oh, it certainly looked good on him. It made him look younger until one got close enough to see the lines on his face. Then all it did was make him look like a middle aged librarian trying to recapture his youth.

Which again came back to the reason he got the car in the first place, he was not trying to recapture his youth. In fact, he would rather not think about his youth at all.

The purchase of the car had truly been an accident. Giles had finally decided to go car shopping. Joyce had volunteered to drive him down to the car lot so he did not have to walk there or hire a taxi.

He had looked at several nice sedans and even considered a nondescript looking SUV. Joyce had companionably pointed out the various pros and cons of each vehicle. There had really been nothing spectacular about the day. He had negotiated a good price with the dealer on a sedate and comfortable looking car when he decided to take a turn about the lot one last time. He had learned that when dealing for a new car, one should not look too interested as the dealer tended not to come down on the price if you looked like you could not leave the car there.

So, he had pretended to need some time to think. That was when he saw the tramp.

It was freshly waxed and just newly put out on the lot. He was fairly certain of this as he was certain he would have seen it out earlier. Its top was rolled down and the happy red hood just begged to be touched. Transfixed, Giles had walked over to it and began to stroke a spot just about a foot from the front end of the car. Methodically, his fingers ran back and forth over the surface.

It was not a ‘come hither’ convertible like Cordelia’s had been. The red was cheerful and not a strictly seductive color. The lines were not totally smooth, but had a slight boxiness to them that reminded Rupert of himself.

It was sassy and small as far as what he generally preferred in a car. But, then again, so was Buffy.

That thought stopped him as he smiled wistfully down at the convertible. It reminded him of Buffy: small and deceivingly happy looking. He would have bet money right then and there that it had an incredible motor underneath the hood. The engine probably purred like a kitten and handled like a dream.

Giles stopped stroking the car and looked at it. His old car had been him: trusty, dependable, perhaps a bit slower that it used to be, but able to destroy a demon even if its motor did not run quite as fast as it had in its youth.

The sporty, red car in front of him screamed Buffy. His mind’s eye could see her bouncing happily up and down in the passenger’s seat, playing with the car radio …

Dear Lord, he wanted that car very, very badly.

“Rupert?” Joyce interrupted his inner turmoil.

“Yes?” he turned around to look at the woman standing behind him.

“Have you made your decision?”

“Not quite, I don’t think.” He looked back at the little red tramp just begging him to come over and slide into the driver’s side.

Joyce followed his gaze and smiled. “You ought to be glad that Buffy didn’t come with us, she’d probably be trying to talk you into buying that thing.”

“You think so?” Giles tried to sound nonchalant.

Joyce laughed. “Buffy’s taste in vehicles is about as practical as her taste in clothes. I should actually be glad she doesn’t drive much. I’m not sure that I could afford it.”

“Yes, yes I suppose so,” Giles paused for a second, “Although, it would be nice to have something that would accelerate quickly.” His hand began to absently stroke the hood of the car again.

“I don’t believe it,” Joyce said after a moment.

“What?” Giles looked at her with a totally confused look on his face.

“You want that car,” Joyce stated without a hint of doubt in her voice.

Giles yanked his hand away from it. “I most certainly do not. I just, that is I… I suppose that it does hold some appeal for me,” he conceded grudgingly.

Joyce nodded. “Don’t worry I completely understand. Hank went through the same phase when Buffy first went to school. His little girl was all grown up and going to kindergarten, and he didn’t want to feel old.”

Giles looked down at the car. He was not sure whether he was irked or relieved at Joyce’s perception of his feelings. He did feel old and somewhat forgotten, and it irritated him that Joyce had so aptly pointed that out. On the other hand, he would rather allow her to think that he wanted the car to prove his virility rather than her know that he wanted the car because it reminded him of Buffy. There was something pathetic about wanting a car simply because his Slayer would like it.

“I think you should get it,” Joyce said.

“Pardon?” Giles looked back up at Joyce.

“The convertible, I think you should get it. You won’t be happy taking home a big, old sedan when you really want a little red car.”

“I don’t think that I’m the right type for this car.”

“Nonsense, if the car is yours it’s yours. I don’t think that it matters what anybody else says about it.”

“You really think so?”

Joyce simply smiled. “Why don’t you take it for a test drive? I’m sure that you’ll agree with me once you’ve slid into those soft looking seats and put her into drive.”

Giles blushed for a minute before he realized that there really was not anything worth blushing about. “I suppose that I could give her a bit of a spin.”

“I’m sure you won’t regret it. I know that Buffy won’t.” Joyce walked away to find the salesman.

Giles turned back to the car and looked at the passenger seat. He smiled a bit. If he knew Buffy, she’d want a ride in his new car, and she’d only get that ride with him in the driver’s seat. Riley would not be able to give it to her.

So, he took it for a test drive. He almost scared the salesman senseless with the rapid acceleration and deft movements he made, but in the end he could not say no to purchasing the car, so the salesman was happy even if a couple of years had been taken off of his life.

And quite frankly, the rapture that spread across Buffy’s face when she first settled onto the seat made the whole thing worthwhile, even if it did ruin his reputation for being practical.

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