AUTHOR E-MAIL: PhenDog@gmail.com
SUMMARY: The newest member of the family wants to make sure it’s a night Buffy and Giles will never forget!
Written for GilesWench’s 24 hour challenge issued 7/10/04 16:52 PST. In addition to being written in the 24 hr time frame, fics were to include a Giles romance pairing, a cat or dog, a pair of glasses that don’t belong to Giles, a paperback novel, and chocolates. Also Monday Mini-Challenge #30: Champagne
PAIRING: G/B and a feline OC
TIMELINE: AU Post Chosen, assumes ongoing B/G relationship and that B, G, and Dawn live in their own house...
DISCLAIMER: I don’t own Giles, Buffy, Sassy or anything else except my beloved computer named “Slate.” (Obviously I don’t own them, or I’d own a lot more than Slate and you’d have to pay to read this.) The Buffyverse belongs to Joss, ME (yes I know, old joke), and a whole bunch of alphabetical TV networks, ‘specially now that it’s gone into syndication. Please don’t sue, I know I don’t have permission. Bad me. All my money went to bootleg X-files and Buffy episodes and Slate doesn’t want to leave me! Sassy is owned by no one, but lowers herself enough to live with her minion ElizaBuffy.
WARNINGS: Um, excessive cuteness?
DEDICATION: To ElizaBuffy, who is owned by the fattest cat I know. EB’s furry master won’t appreciate this fic at all, and will probably hiss at the computer screen for making her slave laugh, disturbing her hard earned catnap. However, I shan’t mind, just so long as I don’t get any new red scratches on my arm the next time I come over! (And I apologize to Sassy…unlike in the fic, she was boxtrained long before she went to live with her humans. Also, to my memory she’s only actually scratched me once, and that was because I deserved it!)
Thanks also to EB for the lightening fast beta I forced out of you last night and this morning! *Mauls EB and licks her* Who’s Phen’s bestest little beta friend?
FEEDBACK: PLEASE!!! Lay it on me at PhenDog@gmail.com Good feedback will be treasured, printed, and taped on my wall. Flames will be treasured, printed in large typeface, matted, framed, and hung with care on my door for all to see. Either way, you’ll be encouraging me to write more!
DISTRIBUTION: GRB, WatcherGirls, ODD, TweedyBookGuy, www.buffygiles.com/efiction Anyone else just ask and send me a link!
A/N: Wench, I took a liberty w/your “pair of glasses” grin, but um, it IS a “pair of glasses”, also not REALLY a novel even if it is a paperback. My penance was to answer MMC #30 as well, but I’m sure you and the rest of the GRB will forgive, so…
Sassy was bored and restless. Her new people had thoughtlessly left not long ago, though it felt like ages to her mind. The apartment was hot and muggy in the late California afternoon, cooled only by the weak breeze of the air conditioner that lived at the far end of the living room. The slight chill of the air that ruffled her fur was vastly appealing, but her kittenly instincts continued to tell her to keep her distance. She couldn’t get over her distrust of the thing.
When the three humans had first brought her to the house just ten days ago, they’d played with her for hours until she curled into an exhausted little grey and white ball right in front of the beast she would later know as the “air conditioner.” Then, the blonde woman had turned it on and it had roared to life, chugging and coughing.
Sassy was new to the world, having only made its acquaintance for the last four months, a little less than a quarter of which had been spent blind and mewling for the warmth of the mother she’d never see again, but, even so, she knew danger when she saw it. ANYTHING that made that much noise had to be evil, and she’d bravely defended her honor, hissing and spitting at it, tail fluffed to its fullest as she refused to back down, swiping its toothy grate with claws fully extended.
The younger of the two females had laughed so hard, it had almost scared her further—until the indignation sunk in. Then it had gotten worse! The other female and her mate had joined in with her musical giggle and his slightly deeper guffaw, blue and green eyes positively sparkling with merriment at her expense. She’d tried to maintain some form of decorum, stalking off stiff-legged, when, against her wishes the older of the two women, still laughing, had scooped her up, just asking to bit scratched—when she’d had the nerve to ask “Who’s Buffy’s little slayer? The one kitten in all the world chosen to keep the forces of air conditioning at bay!” it had been the final straw, and claws had come out to draw blood.
Two minutes later, “Sassy the Vampire Kitten” had her name, and it suited her well. Perhaps it would inspire proper fear and remind the pesky humans, with whom she’d deigned to share her new house, just who was in charge.
So far, they remained unruly, but they were learning and would be proper minions soon. All three had learned to pet her on command, and knew about that extra special place right below her furry and slightly orange chin. The younger woman, “Dawnie,” liked to pick her up more than she cared for but had such a lovely way of itching right along her spine. “Buffy,” the slightly older female, had gentler hands, and usually caressed along her head and sides with long strokes.
The male was her favorite petter though. His name was “Giles,” though his full name seemed to be “Giles Honey.” His mate called him by his full name often, voice soft and inviting when she wanted to be petted and extra sweet and sing-songy when she wanted something more mundane. When the younger female used the longer name it was usually with a mocking tone. His hands, though, were lovely, with long, strong fingers that found all the best spots. When he was alone with her, sometimes he’d even hum or sing softly, causing her pleasure vibrations to come rumbling out even louder. The times she’d found him quietly reading during her few days with them, he hadn’t been as good about stroking, but she’d learned she could hook her claws in his clothing, using it as leverage to crawl up and sit on his shoulder, curling in the crook of his neck until he had to move again. Once, he’d begun to read aloud, the vibrations of his throat reverberating against her side and mixing with her own thrum.
Her other favorite thing about him was when he’d take the coverings off his feet and wiggle the toes, letting her play with them. They were so much fun to attack, and she loved the salty taste between the toes. He’d only stop her when she was too rough. It was something neither female would let her do. They both shrieked and giggled, pulling their feet away whenever she tried, in a way that was really quite frustrating. They would at least play with fingers, though.
Yes, on the whole, the humans were quickly shaping up into quite good little minions, plentiful with the food, and good at playing. If they would just stop yelling at her every time they found a new wet spot on the carpet! It wasn’t her fault if they were too unintelligent to look where they stepped. If she ever came across where they’d urinated, she knew she certainly wouldn’t be dumb enough to wet her paws by walking all over it, and, if she was, then she would at least be sensible enough not to bite them for something that was entirely her own fault.
Something white and fluttery caught her eye, breaking through her musings. The slight breeze in the room managed to catch the window coverings just right, moving them around in a way that was utterly appealing and evoked predatory instincts from deep within. Her claws flexed out before she even realized it, and she could feel her tail twitching in time with her whiskers. Sassy the Vampire Kitten crouched low, emitting a slight squeaking meow as she wiggled her rear slightly to improve her position. She launched herself into the air directly at the offending fabric and delighted in the feel of her claws catching hold and supporting her weight when she slammed into it. Her heart beating rapidly, she hung for several seconds, enjoying herself, when suddenly there was a slight ripping noise, and she began to slip.
Sassy pulled frantically, panicking when she realized her claws were caught. The hind ones ripped, shredding the fabric, but one forepaw stubbornly remained caught despite her struggles and yowls.
Then there was a crack and she fell hard, twisting in the fabric folds to catch herself right-side up as the fabric came around her in waves. She ducked just in time to miss the bar that had been holding them up, fluffing her tail and jumping in alarm.
She jerked the paw free of the offending fabric, which had gone from being labeled “interesting” to “scary,” and she wanted nothing more to do with it as she bounded halfway across the room before stopping to force a look of controlled nonchalance. Sassy was four months old after all, and she was going to be a cat soon. She knew that she had to be strong in the face of adversity.
Looking around for something else to do, she saw the remains of her toy mouse, given to her just over a week ago, when she had first arrived, and batted it half-heartedly against the side of the little box of sand they kept in the corner. The humans had shown the box to her often, occasionally even physically picking her up and placing her in it. Sassy had to admit it was a piece of furniture she liked. It felt good to dig, the way the little granules slipped beneath the pads of her feet, and it was nicely scented, too.
Just the thought of it was almost enough to make her want to step over the edge of the shiny plastic container and let her paws go to work, but then she felt the pressing need warning her it was time to make a small deposit. Regretfully, she walked away from the sand box, and, knowing how the humans felt about such things, she looked for a good bathroom spot, well hidden. Her eyes fell on a pair of fuzzy slippers. One sniff told her that they already smelled so strongly, her own contribution wouldn’t make much difference, so she squatted carefully.
More comfortable, Sassy decided to continue her detailed explorations of her new house. Turning her nose up at the air conditioner, she kept a careful eye on it as she walked past.
The door to the basement was firmly closed, blocking her passage, but Sassy didn’t really mind. The one time she’d wandered down, she’d found the male and his mate trying to attack each other with sticks and making a rather alarming amount of noise, even over the raucous music that hurt her ears.
Another door further down the hall WAS open though, and she perked her ears with immediate interest. At night, she usually slept in the room with the youngest human, but beyond this enticingly cracked door was where the other two slept…and mated. The one other time she’d managed to sneak in, they’d been rather busily engaged, and when she’d crawled in with them, they’d rather angrily tossed her out, slamming the door behind her.
She pushed against the door now, and it opened further, allowing her in. The contrast of the wood, as opposed to the carpet of the hallway, was smooth and cool against the pads of her feet.
Sassy hopped onto the bed, sniffing. The sheets were fresh, smelling of detergent and fabric freshener, but her sensitive nose could still smell the faint lingering scent of the two of her humans that slept here, the blonde woman and the male. Sassy understood why they might not like her around when they were busy, but it was too bad they didn’t allow her to sleep here. “Dawnie” was warm, but tended to be a bit restless at night, sometimes forcing her off her spot at the end of the bed. It was one of the things she’d have to work on as she moulded them into the perfect minions for this house that would ultimately become her kingdom. When the plan was complete, nothing would be barred against her.
She found a rectangular object on the bed, noticing it was a “book.” The male human was rather fond of “books,” but his usually had a certain old and musty smell. This one was new, and smelled more of the chemicals used to make the shiny glossy paper cover. Further inspection showed a picture of a white and black kitten gazing up in a sickeningly cute manner; one which Sassy herself only employed when wanting something from the minions. Curious as to why they would have such a thing, she started to chew on it, finding the paper actually tasted quite good and was very pleasant for cutting her sharp little teeth on.
Shredding the cover and pages was delightful, but another pressing need started to bother her. Recalling her humans’ strange responses to her wet puddles, she moved to the open flat clothes box at the foot of the bed. She saw the tissue paper lining and bits of silk within, and thought it would serve, at least keeping the wetness from where they slept. When Sassy was done, she moved the silky bits of fabric around in the box with her paws in an attempt to cover the where she’d made her puddle.
Satisfied with her efforts, Sassy jumped from the bed to the dresser nearby. The kitten stepped gingerly over the hairbrush to the first object that caught her eye, a picture in a gold frame. The photo was of a group of people. Squinting at it, Sassy recognized her three humans and the other two people in the picture. One was a smiling red-haired woman who apparently went by the name of “Will.” Sassy almost purred, remembering the feel of those talented fingers as they found JUST the right spot behind her ears, forcing the vibrations of happiness to just well up inside her. Will was also very good at playing with the string, making it wiggle just right, and praising her every time she managed to catch it. Sassy liked Will.
The other human was “Xander.” Xander liked to pick her up and squeeze her. He also liked to grab her tail when she was trying to get the string. Sassy hissed, and hit the picture with a forepaw. It fell forward off the dresser and onto the hardwood floor with a satisfying crash, the glass breaking out of the frame.
Her whiskers detected a slight coolness. Curious, she investigated and found a metal container further down the nightstand. It seemed to be filled with ice and a bottle of something. To get a closer look, she brushed past the pair of champagne flutes resting on a box of chocolate truffles. She produced another satisfying tinkle of breaking glass as one of them toppled and joined the frame on the floor.
The kitten stepped on top of the chocolates and reared up, white front paws on the rim of the bucket to get a better view. It was cold, but that only increased her desire to actually touch the ice, so she tried to haul herself up by pulling her weight up with her paws. Unfortunately, the uneven load caused the bucket to topple right over on top of her, chocolates bouncing out of the box as it followed them to the ground and ice scattering everywhere. Chilly water from the melt at the bottom of the bucket drenched her completely.
Sassy jumped up indignantly, flying halfway across the room from sheer fright. Her fur was plastered to her skin and her ears were laid flat against her head as she tried to shake off what she could. The smell of alcohol from the broken champagne bottle was sharp and irritated her nostrils as she stomped out of the room, stiff legged and trying to shake her paws off with each step.
Tail straight up, looking like a stick with its wet fur, Sassy tried to once again maintain her tattered pride. She wandered into the kitchen and chewed noisily on her catfood. Then, as she swallowed the hard kernels, her nose became aware of a new scent, far more intriguing that what she was currently eating.
She wiggled her whiskers and tilted her head as she sat on her haunches looking around for the source of the lovely aroma. It seemed to be coming from the counter. Mentally, she calculated the jump from the floor to the seat of a chair shoved up next to it and then it was only a short leap onto the counter itself. Within seconds, she’d put it into execution.
The saran wrap was easy enough to contend with, and when she’d managed to remove it and shake it free of her teeth and claws, she was left with a ceramic bowl with a pair of thawing and marinating chicken breasts.
Recalling how well the trick had worked with the ice bucket in the bedroom, she sat up on her hind legs and used her front paws to pull it over, jumping out of the way and avoiding most of the sticky brown marinade as the mostly-thawed chicken breasts slipped across the smooth marble-top counter and flopped onto the linoleum tile below.
Happily, she followed them down and dug into the meat, razor sharp teeth making short work of it as the savory raw chunks glided down her throat. She made a mental note. This was FAR superior to dried catfood. In their minion training, she would have to teach the people to offer such fine fair more often.
Her belly was practically bulging before she’d even managed to finish the first one, when noises came to her from the next room over. Hearing the shuffling at the door and giggling, Sassy realized that her people must be back. An instinct suggested they wouldn’t be happy if they knew she’d eaten the chicken and spoiled her dinner, so she slipped out and found her way back to the living room. She curled up contentedly on the couch, and began licking the rest of the damp and stickiness from her fur.
“I’m so glad you decided to cook tonight, because honestly, I don’t think I could refrain from some MASSIVE PDAs if we went out,” Buffy giggled as her free hand wandered up her lover’s chest. The other contained a bag of groceries for later in the evening. It had been exactly six months since THAT night, and, with Dawn safely tucked away at a friend’s house for the weekend, they planned to recreate it or better it in the house they’d moved into as a family just one month after the nature of their relationship had changed so significantly for the better. “Trust me. Making it through the grocery store was hard enough.”
“I noticed. So did half of the store, I’m quite sure,” Giles smiled as he disengaged himself enough to unlock the door. “Particularly with that little speech you made when picking out whipped cream.”
“Ah, that lady’s kids were only like six years old. She can give us all the dirty looks she wants, but I’m sure they didn’t understand a word I said. I’m very good at the hidden innuendo-y stuff.” She pecked him on the check. “You sure we don’t just want to skip dinner altogether? I think I could get hungry for something else…” she trailed off as her eyes widened and then sparkled wickedly. “Though if I could get you to cook it wearing JUST the apron like you did the other day at breakfast…”
He cleared his throat as he opened the door and ushered her through with a hand to her lower back. “I’m afraid we never ate that breakfast if you’ll remember. If it weren’t for the smoke detector interrupting us, I’m quite sure we might have had to exercise that homeowner’s insurance sooner than we ever thought.”
Buffy laughed and headed for the kitchen carrying the strawberries, chocolate sauce, and whipped cream for later as Giles followed closely behind with the remainder of the ingredients needed to prepare a meal identical to the one they’d shared six months before. Suddenly, she stopped in her tracks.
“Buffy, what…” he trailed off as he saw what she was looking at. Somehow, the bowl in which they’d left the chicken to thaw had been tipped over, and sticky balsamic marinade covered the counter and floor. Then Buffy spotted the mostly-eaten chicken breast on the floor.
“SASSY! You little DEMON!” she yelled, not hearing the thump in the other room as a furry body jumped from the couch and ran for cover. She was on the verge of getting furious when she was cut off by the sound of laughter from behind.
Buffy turned to her lover confused, and Giles struggled for breath to explain. “Well, you said we should just skip dinner. I think Dawn’s kitten agrees.”
Buffy couldn’t help it, as his good humor proved infectious and she started to laugh. Giles set down his groceries, drew her toward him so that her back was flush with his chest, and kissed the top of her head where it fit perfectly under his own. “If you’d like, we can always thaw some more. It’ll take longer, but…”
She shook her head. “Nah. No big. We should probably find Sassy the Chicken Slayer, though, and make sure she didn’t do anything else while we were out. No more fun little wet spots or brown piles to step on, for instance.”
Giles agreed and followed her as she wandered into the living room and noticed the curtains. Buffy started giggling again. “Well, um, I think we might need to inspect the whole house. She must have decided the curtains were looking at her funny because she slayed them, too.”
“Sassy! Here Sassy, Sassy!” she called. “Come on, kitty.” Sassy, of course, neglected to come.
There was an “Oh, dear Lord!” from the bedroom, and Buffy decided to abandon finding the kitten in order to investigate.
“More Sassy presents?” she asked wryly, her voice still tinged with mirth that a kitten could get in so much trouble in just over an hour’s time.
Giles’ face was serious as he met her at the door. “Quite a few, actually.” He held up a pale blue glass stem. “I’m afraid your mother’s champagne flutes are no longer a matched set.” He knew they were important to her because so much had been lost when Sunnydale plunged into the ground. These, however, had been found in storage in Los Angeles, pre-dating Buffy’s original move to the Hellmouth.
He was surprised by a snort as Buffy answered. “Um, actually, now they are! There were four at one time, but one got broke before, so I had three…just as long as we never need to share with Dawnie, we’ll be perfect! Down to one complete pair of glasses. I can pull out the other for tonight.”
“Um, I wouldn’t worry about it. She got the champagne too.”
Buffy’s hand flew to her mouth as the giggles came harder. “One cat? One cat did that?”
“And more.” He stepped aside to let her in, glad that she was taking it well.
She pounced on the shredded mass of paper on the bed. “Well, this explains it!”
He read the title and couldn’t stop his own burst of laughter. ‘Stopping Little Homewreckers: How to Train Your New Kitten.’ “I’m beginning to think Dawn truly might have managed to bring a demon into our midst.”
Buffy walked over to the edge of the bed, noting the massive puddle with shards of broken glass and chocolate creams floating in it. Her eye also caught the disarray of the lingerie box on the bed. Fingering the lacy intimates, she grimaced, and leaned down to swipe a soggy chocolate with the other hand. “Here, eat this.”
“Um, you’re gonna want it when I tell you that ‘little something’ you bought for me to wear tonight isn’t gonna get worn. Unless you find kitty pee more attractive than I remember.”
Giles pushed a strand of blonde hair behind her ear and kissed his love before pulling away and pulling the alcohol and water soaked chocolate in his mouth.
“I like you better naked,” he grinned. “Besides, I’m sure Sassy just wanted to help us make tonight memorable.”
“She certainly did!” Buffy piped up, picking up a chocolate of her own.
“Yes, I’m sure we’ll look back on this and laugh.”
“Um, Giles, honey? We are laughing.” She giggled again to prove it, and he joined her.
“Yes, well, we need to clean this up before it damages the floor, I’m afraid.”
Buffy picked up the box with the soiled lingerie and ran her hand underneath. “Yeah. I need to change the bedspread, too, and throw it in the laundry with, um, the delicates. So cold cycle.”
When the mess was finally cleaned up, and Buffy threw herself on the couch with the phone, announcing to Giles that she’d call out for pizza. “Might as well eat, because I’m gonna need a breather before I can get back to where I was in the grocery store. Then, maybe I can take a shower with my special guy, and we can do justice to the ‘dessert’ in the bedroom?” she asked hopefully.
“Alright. I’ll just throw away the rest of these paper towels and take out the garbage before it starts to smell. Then we can look for Dawn’s furball,” he agreed.
Buffy dialed the number and found herself immediately on hold.
“Yes, a, um, medium pizza, half vegetarian and half absolutely everything. And breadsticks,” Buffy spilled out her order when the cheerful recorded voice telling her the specials finally cut off and an actual person came on the line. Then she remembered the ruined meal they had planned. “And, um, do you have something like chicken wings?”
From under the slightly raised entertainment center, Sassy tilted her head and watched as her human continued to debate with the object she held up to her ear, wondering why on earth anyone would bother to talk to an inanimate object. Her curiosity got the better of her, and she finally crawled out and hopped up on the couch, batting at it curiously.
Buffy shoved the paw away from her face in mild irritation as she ended the conversation. “There you are.” She gathered the little ball of fur on her lap, scratching it between the ears until it began to purr. “You’re on Buffy’s bad list, you know,” she muttered with no real force behind it as the cat stretched out to give her better access.
“I can not believe you are treating that little monster with kindness right now,” Giles commented dryly as Buffy grinned up at him when he came back in the room.
“Ah, but she’s so cute! She looks apologetic.” Sassy looked nothing of the sort, but Buffy continued, “Besides, you always forgive me when I purr.”
“Be that as it may…” he trailed off, pulling off his shoes and socks and preparing to step into his slippers.
Suddenly, there was a bellow as bare toes met a still warm squishiness. “SASSY!!!”
But he didn’t make it to the couch in time as a white and grey furry streak barreled across the room and down the hall, seeking a hiding place out of the way, until things were safer and she could begin her misadventures once again.
END: 7/11/04 01:34 PST
BETAED AND PUBLISHED TO GRB TO MEET CHALLENGE: 7/11/04 13:40 PST
And to all interested, here’s the real Sassy…all grown up and completely ruling her ElizaBuffy:
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