Title: Weapons Practice
Author: Sweetdoggie (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Summary: Some things are worth waiting for
Spoilers season 1
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.
Buffy had let her attention wander away from the topic of today’s lecture. She zoned out listening to the wonderful voice of her Watcher. Listening to him, she could almost imagine a world where she was a normal girl in love with a normal guy who just happened to be twenty years older than she was. She blinked back to attention when he dropped the axe on the table in front of her.
“You aren’t listening to me, Buffy. Not that I’m surprised, but this is important. Do make an effort, won’t you?”
She looked up and flashed him a slightly embarrassed grin. “Sorry Giles. I was listening, I just got to thinking about something and, well…” she shrugged.
“If you were paying attention, you’d be able to tell me what I said about this weapon.” He held up the axe.
“Oh. Um, let’s see. The axe is a tool for the very strong, where speed isn’t necessarily the object. The weight of the blade makes parrying return blows tricky. Axes are primarily used from horseback where the rider doesn’t need to do much beyond swing downward. I think that was it.”
He sighed. Even when she didn’t appear to hear a word he said, she managed to retain the information he presented to her—as long as it involved weapons and fighting. Let him veer off into an academic subject or some other topic she had no interest in and it was like talking to a table. She heard absolutely nothing.
Putting the axe away, he turned so that his back was to her. “Buffy? Is there something you’d like to talk about? You’ve been distracted for some time now and it’s worrying me.”
She looked down at the table and drew a doodle with her finger. “Um, no. I don’t think so. It’s sort of personal, I guess.”
“You know you can always tell me anything. I won’t judge you.”
“I know. It’s just, look, it’s a girl thing, ok?”
“Buffy, I’m your Watcher. I know you’d feel more comfortable discussing some topics with another female, but I can assure you, I’ve had decades of training specifically to help you with whatever you need. You needn’t feel shy around me.”
She tipped her head into her hands. He wasn’t going to let it go. Giles could be as persistent as a bulldog about holding on to something. She looked at the axe hoping for a diversion. “So, what’s the proper method of countering a blow from one of these babies?”
“Buffy…” He stopped and looked into her bright eyes. “Oh, very well. For now,” he warned before beginning an explanation of axe warfare. He caught her gaze periodically but said nothing when she simply looked away again.
She was able to keep her mind from drifting by thinking of the consequences if he ever found out her secret. Buffy could pinpoint the hour and day she had fallen in love with him, though she hadn’t realized what was happening for quite a while afterwards. He had saved her from the evil cheerleading-obsessed witch. They barely knew each other but he had risked his life for her. As he carried her from the house to the science lab, she felt a bolt of something new, some undefined emotion go through her. Now, of course, she recognized the feeling as love but was as helpless to act on her discovery as ever.
Buffy was actually horrified to find out she had fallen in love with a man old enough to be her father. She tried to love the handsome Angel, but every time he got close to her, she got cramps. For a Slayer, loving a vampire wasn’t just a bad idea; it was impossible. Holding Angel at a distance was easy, it was the handsome Watcher that gave her fits.
Buffy knew that Giles’ devotion to her was complete. He was at her beck and call twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. She liked it that way and would tolerate no interference especially when she noticed how that Ms. Calendar, the computer science teacher tried to hit on him, but he was oblivious. Every time she would try to put the moves on him, Buffy would interrupt. Finally, the teacher caught Buffy alone after class.
“Buffy, can I speak to you?”
“I noticed that you seem to spend an awful lot of time with Mr. Giles.”
“Don’t you think a grown man wants more company than a teenaged girl can give him?”
The teacher laughed lightly. “I can see that I’m going to have to lay this on the line, Buffy. The truth is, I’m interested in him and every time I start to make progress with him, you or one of your friends shows up. I want some time alone with him.” Her voice took on a confiding tone, implying that they were just women together in a world of men. “You understand that, don’t you?”
“I understand.” Buffy leaned forward slightly. “He has other commitments.”
“What? I don’t think I understand what you’re driving at.”
Thinking quickly, Buffy shuffled her feet. “I thought you knew that he was gay?”
“What!!! Are you sure?”
“Of course I’m sure. I asked him if he’d be interested in dating my mom and he told me then.”
“Wow! No wonder he never acted interested. Well, this explains a lot. Thanks for telling me.”
“Would you mind keeping it a secret? I don’t think he wants this to be public knowledge.”
“Of course. I’m glad you told me, but I won’t say anything to anybody else.”
The computer science teacher nodded her thanks and returned to her classroom. Buffy leaned back against the wall with a gasp of relief to be out of that awkward conversation. The only drawback was that Giles was going to kill her when he found out.
Walking down the hall toward the library and her doom, she wondered if she could make this situation seem better somehow. She could say that Ms. Calendar wanted to make her stop seeing him, which, clearly, she couldn’t do because of the whole Watcher/Slayer thing. And really, that wasn’t even a lie. She could say it had been the first thing that popped into her head, also not exactly a lie. The first thing had been to kill the Computer Science teacher and stuff her body down a dry well in the desert somewhere but Buffy realized that was probably a bad thought and gave it up.
She slowly pushed the library doors open and walked inside. Giles wasn’t readily visible anywhere so she called out his name. “Giles? You in here?”
He stuck his head out from the stacks. “Yes, just a minute.”
She sat down at the table and waited for him.
“You look disturbed. What happened?”
“Um…you’ll be mad if I tell you.”
“Oh, lord! Did someone else find out about your Calling?”
“N, no. Worse than that.”
“Buffy! Out with it, if you please. The suspense is killing me.”
She sighed, crossed her arms and refused to look up. “Well, you know Ms. Calendar, the computer science teacher?”
“Yes. I know her.”
“Just tell me, Buffy.”
“She thought we were seeing too much of each other. She thought I had a crush on you. She told me that she was interested in you herself and that me and the Scoobies kept interrupting you guys. I told her that you were gay.”
He’d been nodding sympathetically up till that last bit. “What?”
“I told her you were gay. It was all I could think of on short notice.”
He paced up and down in front of her, ruffling his hair and furiously polishing his glasses. Every few minutes he would try to talk to her. “I’m not…why would you suppose…for heaven’s sake! What made you pick such an outrageous fabrication?”
Buffy shrugged. “Did you want to date her? I can always tell her that you just said you were gay to make me leave you alone about my mom. I mean, that’s how I told her I knew. That I had offered to set you up with my mom and you had explained about being gay.”
He rubbed his face. “I suppose, given the circumstances, this is for the best. I could hardly tell her that Watchers are celibate except under extremely specific circumstances.”
“Really? Wow. What circumstances?”
“I’m not at liberty to say until you turn eighteen.”
“But you’ll tell me then?”
“Should you still wish to know, then, yes, I shall tell you.”
“Cool. Well, I gotta go.” She shrugged, stood, and skipped to the door. Just as she was about to exit, he stopped her.
“Why didn’t you deny that you had a crush on me? That would have been the simplest method of dissuading her.”
“”Cause I’d never lie about that.” She stepped out of the room and ran off to her next class.
Giles stepped back and watched the swinging door flap back and forth on its hinges for a few moments. If he read her correctly, Buffy had implied that she did have a crush on him. He smiled and shook his head. He couldn’t tell her that the only acceptable outlet for a Watcher’s sexual needs was with his Slayer. He hoped that when she turned eighteen, she would indeed ask him again. He would be free to tell and show her what it meant for a Watcher to be dedicated to his Slayer.
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