Title: Headed Off at the Pass (Ch 1 of 2)
Rating: NC-17 (in Ch 2)
Summary: Giles gets a job at UC Sunnydale, and overhears some of his female students talking about Parker and his evil ways. To head off potential disaster with Buffy, Giles finds her and Parker. Response to Michelle’s challenge (at end of story)
Timeline: Season 4, during “Harsh Light of Day”
Disclaimer: These characters aren’t mine. Plot lines aren’t even really mine. All hail the mighty and benevolent Joss for making it all possible.
Distribution: WatcherGirls, ODD, GilesRulesBaby & BuffyGiles.com and BGWM. Okay anywhere else. Just tell me where it is so I can revel in the idea that someone other than me might be reading what I wrote.
Feedback: Welcomed and appreciated. Email: email@example.com
Notes: [Thoughts] *Emphasis* I did muck with the episode timeline a bit. It was intentional. I apologize if it's a little disconcerting.
Thanks: Many, many, many thanks to the ever patient, always brilliant, great ElizaBuffy: you are eagle-eyed and I thank you. To the exacting, meticulous and challenging Linda: you are a wonder and a marvel and I deeply appreciate it.
“Thank you for agreeing to take over Professor Helm’s classes on such short notice, Dr. Giles. I must again express my surprise to find such a qualified professor free of other commitments.” Dean Simmons was amazed by the credentials of the man. . . although he was a bit of a contradiction. Oxford, Summa Cum Laude, a tenured History department professor, curator at the British Museum, coming here to Sunnydale to tend the high school library! “But, surprise aside, it’s lovely to be able to welcome you as one of our part-time faculty.”
[If only you knew, Dean Simmons…if only you knew.] “Please, call me Rupert. It is a pleasure to again be associated with an institution of higher learning, Dean Simmons. I hope I’ll be able to do justice to the material,” replied Giles. [Ah, America, you’re always terribly impressed with old institutions.]
Giles’ slightly enigmatic smile didn’t comfort the Dean, but his reply was more than satisfactory. Dean Simmons had never been a man to look a gift horse in the mouth, nor a gift professor like Giles. And he was willing to work part time, so the tight university budget wouldn’t be strained by his addition. But then again, at the rate they lost some of their professors, maybe he could get Giles to take over more classes. Sunnydale both attracted and repelled professors, and he had a devil of a time keeping quality people on hand.
“Rupert. And please, call me Irving. My secretary will send you the rest of the paperwork, and here are the course guides and descriptions of the class. You will, of course, be able to make modifications to the lectures as you see fit, but I’m afraid all of the reading material is fixed. Most students pick up the books for their classes at the beginning of the semester. I hope that won’t be too much of a problem?”
“I don’t think it presents too many difficulties. This seems to be quite standard material. I’m sure the students and I will be fine.” Giles felt like rubbing his hands with glee. Researching demons was one thing, but he’d truly enjoyed teaching when he was at Oxford. He was delighted to return to a classroom, even if UC Sunnydale’s History 101 course was basically filled with the standard mind-numbing material. He’d see what he could do about changing that.
He shook hands with the dean, left his number and address with the secretary, and walked back home, mentally congratulating himself on how well the second interview had gone. Wouldn’t the gang be surprised? He debated telling them or letting them find out for themselves. And he wondered if it had really been such a good idea to leave Xander alone in his apartment shelving books.
“Oh my god, he did it to you, too?”
“Yep, my first week here last year. He’s such a pig.”
Giles stood at the door of his classroom, waiting for the conversation just on the other side to end. His first week of teaching had gone quite well, but these kinds of impromptu conversations seemed to occur directly after his evening classes, making it very hard for him to get out the door. Like clockwork, two women would stand just outside the classroom and chat for several minutes. He tried not to listen to their conversation, but his efforts were constantly thwarted. Today was no exception.
“Parker Abrams should be strung up. Or at least he should come with a warning label or something.”
Giles’ eyes widened at that. Parker was the young man Buffy had been hanging out with all week. Although he hadn’t met the boy yet, Buffy had rambled on and on about him once she’d recovered her voice from the shock of his professorship. He couldn’t help but be a little jealous of her infatuation, but at least she seemed to be moving on from Angel.
“I know; he’s such an ass. I’ve talked to like a dozen girls he’s done that to, and the sad part is he uses the same routine over and over. His dead father, his ‘I don’t want comfort’ attitude. Then he slept with me and tried to tell me I was crazy when I called him the next day and wanted to hang out. He’s collecting little notches on his belt buckle. It’s just sick. I think this year he’s trying the whole thing on another freshman.”
“You know who he’s doing it to? We should warn her or something. Just so she’s prepared.”
“Would she really listen, though? Someone actually tried to warn me, but I just thought she was an angry ex-girlfriend. Parker gave me some line about her having mental problems and I totally believed him. She’d probably do the same thing.”
Giles had heard enough. The little pillock wasn’t going to use Buffy. She’d had enough trouble with men for ten lifetimes. She mentioned skipping patrolling in favor of accompanying him to a campus party. Giles’ lips hardened into a thin line. He had to do something.
He walked through the press of dancers in front of the band and saw them sitting on the couch. Damn. Buffy looked luminous. That stupid prat was leaning towards her as they shared some conspiratorial joke. Giles stood watching, realizing he’d arrived without a plan. He was stuck and didn’t know how to break up their conversation, much less warn her. He was half-tempted to just go over and hurt the man. No one took advantage of his Buffy, not when he could help it.
His heart started to race as he watched Parker begin to lean in for a kiss. Giles couldn’t help himself. . . he walked over to the couch. At his advance, Buffy looked up in startled surprise.
He leaned into her ear to whisper, “I’ll explain later,” then captured her mouth in a kiss.
Buffy didn’t know how to react. Giles’ mouth was hot, and her mouth opened as she gasped a little at the surprise of his onslaught. He took full advantage and deepened the kiss. Her head began to spin – his mouth was demanding, almost crushing, and so very warm. She was stunned at her body’s response to his tongue sliding across her lips. Impulsively, her hand came up and held his head close. She didn’t want him to stop. The world fell away and the only thing left were his lips against hers.
Giles was lost. He hadn’t meant to touch her, but his possessive instinct reared its head, and instead of concocting some story, he’d done the very thing he’d wanted to do since prom. Buffy’s mouth was exquisite. He took fierce pleasure in the feeling of her lips against his, and a thrill of joy went through him when her hand held his head to hers. He didn’t want to stop.
Sounds of the party and Parker’s disgruntled exclamation broke into their consciousness at the same time. Giles regretfully ended their kiss, lingering just a little on the side of Buffy’s mouth, wanting nothing more than to finish what his lips had started.
Buffy was out of breath when Giles pulled away. Heart pounding, her brain was doing some definite mental calculations. [Not old and *so* not gross] She blinked up at Giles, trying to regain her equilibrium, and instead became mesmerized with his mouth. She wondered how she could get him to kiss her like that again.
Meanwhile, Parker continued to make weird guppy-like sounds of surprise. Giles looked over at the idiot and watched as the poor boy tried to pick his jaw off the ground. A warm feeling of pleasure washed through Giles as Parker looked back and forth between him and Buffy, trying to understand the situation. Finally, his gaze rested on Buffy.
“Buffy? Who is this guy?” Parker squeaked.
Giles turned to look at her, realizing with some chagrin that he had absolutely no idea what she was going to say. He was thrilled that she still seemed to be in a daze, her eyes resting on his lips. It’d been a long time since he’d kissed anyone like that. His heart rose to see that his kiss affected her so strongly
Parker tried to interrupt again, “Hello, Buffy? What’s going on?”
Buffy blinked, shook her head, and turned to her sputtering date, “Um . . . Parker? This is Giles . . . He’s my . . .” Words failed her. She had no idea how to explain what was going on, because she had no idea what had just happened.
Oh, she knew her very sexy and very non-gross Watcher had just kissed her hard enough to make her head spin, but she had no idea what had prompted it. Hadn’t Giles whispered something in her ear before he’d kissed her? She tried to remember, but his kiss had spread a haze over the rest of the evening.
Giles stepped in when Buffy faltered. “Ah, Parker. I’ve heard so much about you. None of it good.” He turned a steely gaze on the sophomore, who shrank back from the look in Giles’ eyes and the implied threat in his tone. “I’d like a word with you outside. If you wouldn’t mind? Buffy, dear one, we’ll be right back.” He placed a heavy hand on the boy’s shoulder, not waiting for assent or denial, and ushered him out of the room.
Buffy watched them leave, still partially dazed, and ran her fingers across her still tingling lips. [Dear one? I’m his dear one?!]
Outside, Giles’ hand dropped from Parker’s shoulder. The young man turned to the Watcher and began to sputter, but Giles stopped him.
“I know exactly what you were doing in there, and I will only give you one warning. One chance. Never touch that woman again. She deserves far more than you can possibly give her. If I ever hear from any woman, on this campus or off of it, that you have added another notch to your belt in the deceitful manner you in which were going about it tonight, I will personally see to it that you never have the opportunity to do so again.” Although his voice was low and controlled, the open threat in it made Parker take a step back and shiver in fear. This guy, whoever he was, was serious. Parker didn’t doubt a single word.
As he continued, Giles’ tone made Parker wince. “Have I made myself clear?”
The shaken sophomore nodded, then realized some verbal reply was required, “Yes.” At Giles’ arched eyebrow he added, “Yes, sir.”
“Good. Then this, I believe, is goodnight.” Parker simply nodded, then headed away on unsteady legs. He felt like he’d come within an inch of losing his life tonight, and the only thing the guy had done was talk to him. [Who was he? What was he doing with Buffy?] He wandered away realizing that the answers didn’t really matter. The guy had scared the crap out of him.
Giles turned to find Buffy in the doorway, arms crossed, wearing an inscrutable expression. She moved to stand directly in front of him. Buffy realized that she didn’t give a damn about Parker. By the time Giles had finished with his speech she’d figured out what was going on: with her date, with her Watcher, and with her heart. She was kind of in shock…but she knew what really mattered to her was what happened next. Between the two of them.
Giles swallowed. Her eyes fixed on his face as he asked, “How much did you hear?”
“I came in at ‘she deserves far more’.” Buffy took a step closer to Giles. She drew a deep breath before she asked her $20,000 question. “Giles, what do I deserve?”
He replied on instinct, “Everything. You deserve everything.”
Her mouth turned up at the corners, and he watched the happiness bubble into her eyes. “Everything huh? You offering?”
Crazy joy welled up in Giles’ heart. He leaned down, moving slowly in case he’d completely misread his Slayer, and murmured his reply against her lips.
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